Why Your Website Copy is Important
Your website is your digital shop window, your one fleeting opportunity to attract the world’s attention. Web experts (correctly) say you need good design, striking images and a compelling headline to bring passing web traffic to your site. The problem is how to get those browsing visitors to stay. The solution? … Good copy.
Visual features attract – copy sells
Good images and well-executed design attract attention. And if they do that job well, they also promote interest and raise questions. Only good copy can sustain that interest, answer those questions and start to build an engaging relationship with your visitors. But too often, copy text is the ‘poor relation’ among website elements, which will have a negative effect on your website performance.
How great copy works
Well-crafted copy can:
- Improve SEO Ratings – You won’t get much traffic if online browsers don’t get to see your site. Search engines always favor good quality copy which is informative and incorporates the right keywords.
- Attract Your Target Audience – Rather than just fishing for anything that happens to swim by, you should be looking to attract a target group for your product or service. Well-focused copy ensures that defined group will get to see your offer, so you will be directly addressing your most productive source of business.
- Retain Interest – Capturing attention is one thing, but well-written copy which matches the interests of your chosen audience, and uses the language style, tone and formats they are most comfortable with, is essential. Like a personable salesperson, this is the type of text you need to persuade them to stay and hear your sales message right through.
- Sell Your Offer – Only a compelling text can really get your offer across, explain the benefits, and ensure the customer then knows exactly what to do to take advantage of your proposal.
- Signpost the Desired Action – Whether it’s a featured download, signing up to receive something, following you on social media, contacting you for information, making an appointment, or any other intended action, you need dynamic copy to get your interested prospects to act as you want them to do. Skillful copy can make this interaction crystal clear and support your willing respondents every step of the way.
Poor copy, on the other hand, just leaves them hanging around … bemused.
So, what is good copy?
Firstly, professionally written copy avoids poor spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Even though such mistakes are easy to prevent, far too many websites of every description contain flawed language. The effect on visitors is immediate. Trust and confidence are eroded because most people will conclude that a website which communicates poorly probably has dodgy offers too. So why ever should they take a chance?
Well-constructed text is also engaging for the reader with the best examples up to date and interesting enough to promote sharing with others. Also remember that the quality of your copy should be consistent right across your site. Every page of targeted text represents an opportunity to enhance your offer, impress your visitors and thus convert initial interest into commercially productive action. But any pockets of poor copy simply undermine those efforts you made elsewhere.
Search engines also reward good copy which is useful to web users, and the way they do this is becoming ever more sophisticated. You will undoubtedly know there are certain keywords which those searching online use when seeking your products. In the past, many enterprising traders simply loaded their web pages full of such words and expressions in order to guarantee a premium SEO listing which would bring them heavy volumes of web traffic. Thankfully, those days are gone, and search engines now respond intelligently to favor sites which provide informative copy and use such keywords in a sparingly and focused way which occurs naturally within informative text of consistent high quality. And likewise, sites with shabby, keyword-saturated text of no value are heavily penalized.
The take-home message is clear: Yes, great design and visual imagery are website essentials, but premium-quality text is just as important!