How To Write For Your Website
Websites are merely frames for the content we populate them with. A website itself can’t drive new customers through your storefront door or encourage people to schedule a service with you. It’s the content on the website that captures your future customer’s attention and inspires them to reach out to you. It’s also the content that helps creative agencies such as Markon build the site altogether. We know that writing isn’t everyone’s jam, and we know that writing about yourself or your business isn’t easy. It’s hard to write about things that we are incredibly close to. A lot of what we know about it is in our heads and more easily expressed extemporaneously out loud. Writing creates this moment of anxiety that’s like “What do I say?! This feels permanent! Get me out here! I’m out! I’m leaving!” Sadly, some people just opt out. Content creation can delay, or even sink, a website project. It. Doesn’t. Have. To.
We recommend clearing your calendar, and your mind, before sitting down to write your website content. Find a distraction-free, calming environment so that there is nothing to prevent all of your thoughts from surfacing to the top of your mind.
Writing For Your Website
We are going to help you get through this. It’s easier than you think. We recommend a comfortable place, with your preferred level of noise and beverage of choice. Trust us, it helps.
Let’s talk about the most common web pages and types of content any website would have.
When people find you through a Google search, nine times out of ten Google is going to show them your homepage. This is where your website either sinks or swims. You have less than 30 seconds (sometimes even milliseconds!) to convince someone to stay on your site and move from page to page.
Here’s what you should deliver:
A strong headline stating who you are and what you do
A paragraph that digs into both of those a little more in-depth and makes clear who your target audience/customer demographic is. You basically want to let them know what they’ll find if they stick around, and what your website has to offer.
Gorgeous photos. Great graphics that sell your products or services are worth a million words, and we just told you how important the words are. So. (more on that here)
Listen, this is your website. Feel free to take up some space and tell people what’s up. We like to see an about page that offers a more in-depth overview of the business than the homepage provides. This is your chance to talk about why your company does what it does, where it’s been, who or what makes it unique and talk more about your unique selling/value proposition. Bring the entire narrative together in one place and answer the questions you imagine your audience might have. (This should be strictly different than an actual FAQ page if you have one, and really focus on the WHO and WHY of your business.)
Product / Service Page
Whatever it is you provide, you should dedicate a web page to explaining those products or services. That’s why you made a website, after all, isn’t it? We recommend prioritizing this content by talking about your most valuable (to your customers) product or service first. If you offer a large number of products or services, then just cover the most popular (or important) on this page and offer a way for potential customers to drill deeper based on their needs or interests. Product or service descriptions should clearly define what it is, who it’s for, what it does, and how it improves their life.
No matter what it is that you do, someone will inevitably need to reach out to you. For many businesses, a contact page is the sole place online where they capture leads. A strong call-to-action invites people to reach out and share their name and contact info and describe their needs, and then the business reaches out. Others use this page to field customer service queries, or even get feedback about a product, service, or experience. The ultimate utility is up to you and your own needs. We always recommend a web form because it creates a sort of channel that filters the information to your inbox. Since your website is your 24/7 workhorse employee that never needs a sick day, make sure to put the power of forms to work for you! Think about what information you or your sales team needs to be able to differentiate a junk inquiry from a real, hot lead. Your contact form is the gatekeeper between you and the whole internet so make sure it’s asking just the right questions.
While You Are Writing, Consider This:
There are lots of different CTAs that your website may have. Buttons and links asking visitors to click to read more, sign up for your mailing list or even share a blog post on social media are all common calls-to-action. Most sites all have this type of language. The real CTA for your site, however, is going to be specific to you and your business. Sure, it could just be to have them fill out a contact form but being more specific can really help. Consider what would really move your business forward. Would it be if all visitors registered for a product demo? Downloaded an app? Signed up for your service? Bought a product? Whatever it is, defining it is as important as writing the rest of your content, and ultimately what all of your content should be driven towards.
This post is part of a series on the topic of writing for your website. Here are other posts you may be interested in: