As your brand evolves and grows, it becomes necessary to write new copy for your brand’s website.
Maybe you are just getting started, writing your business’ first “About” section. Or maybe you’re rebranding or moving to a new website.
When you write up these sections for the first time, it can feel awkward and strange. Where do you start?
This post uses questions to guide you through those first steps and teaches you to write website copy that converts.
WHO ARE YOU WRITING FOR?
This is one of the most important questions you must answer when writing website copy. If you have a marketing plan or buyer personas laid out, you can reference them to answer this question.
Have your customer database or a list or your buyers handy. You can use these lists to find out who is already buying your products to determine who might buy your products in the future.
- What industries do my potential buyers work in?
- Is there a size company that buys your product more than the others (e.g. startups buy more than enterprise)?
- What problems do they face in their jobs?
- What job titles do they have?
- Where do they live? What cultural issues impact them as a result?
- What do they like outside of work?
- What social channels will work the best to reach them?
Write answers to these questions down don’t just think about them. For some, you may have to do a fair amount of research. Go on your customer’s social media profiles to answer these questions.
While you get a lot of value from the pages of your customers and potential buyers, you’ll learn even more by tracking down their personal pages.
There, you’ll often find the human behind the brand. You can learn more about them this way than you will reading branded content.
WHAT LANGUAGE WILL YOU USE?
I’m not referring to English, Spanish, French, etc.
I’m referring to the words you use to describe:
- Your company
- Your customers
- Your audience/community
- Your industry
- Yourselves (the employees at the company you work for)
- Your product
For example, Litmus calls the community of email designers that use their software “email geeks” and even created the #emailgeeks hashtag on Twitter.
These linguistical decisions are important for giving your brand one voice, one that carries through several writers and content formats.
WHAT PAGES DO YOU WANT ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Here, you must consider why your audience comes to your website in the first place.
- How did they find your website?
- What do they want on your website?
- Where can you direct their attention next?
- What value can you offer them?
These questions will help you get started. Answer them, then consider how you will layout your navigation bar. What goes in that critical space? How will you organize other pages in those categories?
From there, you move to the copy itself.
HOW WILL YOU FORMAT THE COPY?
As you build your website, keep those decisions you just made in mind.
For each page, consider what gets your audience on a page and what will keep them there.
The idea of the journalistic “inverted pyramid” is a valuable concept here.
The gist of it is, you put your best and juiciest information at the top of the page to hook the reader’s interest and keep it.
Then you work in the less important information as the user continues to read. Throughout, you want to have hooks or some sort of goal for the reader to reach.
That leads us to our next question.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH IT?
All web pages should have some of goal or endpoint that users achieve. You want to keep your audience interested and moving through your pipeline.
To do this, you lay out the next obvious step for the individual on your page. All your copy should lead up to this step. Maybe you hint at something, but don’t reveal it until the user clicks on the download link, which brings them to a form.
You set out a trail of candy in the hopes that your leads will follow it to the close.
HOW WILL YOU PROVE IT?
How will you prove what? How will you prove that your business is worth it to a new viewer on your website?
You use statistics about your business. If you aren’t gathering these already, start. Having a set of compelling numbers that either proves your offerings work or that your customers are satisfied is critical.
You can weave this data into your website copy to further convince potential buyers that you’re “worth it.”
WHO WILL TALK ABOUT YOUR BRAND?
When you write your website copy, consider not only the “official” branded voice but the other voices that join the conversation about your brand.
Consider voices like:
- Employees — have your employees talk about their work, but also their hobbies and interests.
- Current Customers — have your current or former customers write reviews and testimonials about their experience with your business/offering. Potential buyers will trust these authentic voices more than any words that come from inside your organization.
- Individual Voices — Consider which executives or managers will speak as themselves for your brand. You’ll want to pull from both for marketing and sales. Who will attach their name to the company and speak on its behalf? Use discernment when making this choice; you want individuals who speak for your brand to remain there long term.
HOW WILL YOU BREAK DOWN THE WORK?
Now that you know what needs to be written, you must make decisions on who will write what.
Consider the various expertise of those at your company. What does your marketing director know that your copywriter does not? Who will be able to tell the company’s story accurately while making it interesting and compelling?
Each section of your website is a story and you must decide who is best to tell the tale.
As you write or rewrite your brand’s website copy, use these tactics. They will help you break down the task of rewriting and reworking your website’s copy, making sure your branding and rebranding efforts are organized and effective.