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When you think of refreshing your website, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The overall look and feel, right? Have you ever considered sprucing up the copy? Probably not. That’s a mistake.
Copy ages the same as design. While it’s often overlooked, your website’s wording is crucial in shaping the way your brand is perceived by current and potential consumers.
A website revamp needs to cover all bases, not just those that make your site look good. It’s imperative that it reads well too. Copy is not something you write once and then forget about. It should be refreshed at least once a year.
Say what you mean
It’s this simple: bad copy equals bad brand perception. You need to speak to your audience in a way that creates an emotional connection. This is best done with well-crafted words.
Your brand needs to have a personality that your audience can relate to, and it needs to shine across all platforms. Saying the right thing will ensure your brand is likeable, memorable and a step ahead of the competition (because they probably haven’t updated their copy either).
Don’t write for robots
If you’re trying to better your online ranking, remember that Google values user experience above all else. Avoid keyword stuffing and other ways of ‘cheating the system’. Newsflash: they don’t work anymore.
Choose well-crafted, compelling content and Google will choose you because people will want to visit your site and stay there. Always write for humans, never for Google’s bots.
Next step: remember that the humans you’re writing for are busy and have short attention spans. Your copy needs to be short and punchy and communicate what you need. Keep it quick and simple.
Every word needs to serve a purpose. Every sentence must be compelling, informative, or both.
Web copy is its own beast
Steer clear of phrases that quickly outdate. Ensure your site is jargon-free. You want people to understand how you can help them. You don’t want to isolate and bewilder them.
It’s essential for web copy to have plenty of white space. If it doesn’t, it looks like hard work. That’s the trick with this kind of copy – it has to be written specifically for the web.
People need to be reeled in at first glance. If your site looks clean and easy to read, they’re more likely to stick around. 55% of web page views get less than 15 seconds of attention. Enough said.
The final word
Good copy is a breath of fresh air in a cramped digital world. Bad copy is off-putting, misleading and doesn’t garner trust or respect in your brand.
Don’t panic. If you’ve got a working website, there’s no need to start from scratch. Update what you have. You’ll be surprised by how a few changes can make an effective difference to your brand as a whole.
Before you publish anything, put yourself in your consumers’ shoes and be critical. Is your copy relevant and relatable? If not, it’s time to change.
Feature image: Maria Eklind via Flickr