popWeb has become the go-to web developer for start-up companies in South Africa. It’s a low cost, hands-off solution that allows entrepreneurs to focus on their business. But when it is time to write the copy for each page many artisans or busy entrepreneurs are either unable or just don’t have the time to write the copy. However, if you do have the time, and are ready to take a crack at writing your own content, here are some essentials to get you started:
HOW TO START
Once you have decided what pages you are going to have on your website, e.g. About, Products, Services, Contact, etc, create a list of bullet points for each. Each bullet point can be expanded on later when you are ready to start writing, but initially, it will construct an outline of the text content on each page.
SEARCH ENGINE VISIBILITY
Copy on your website has 2 functions. Firstly, to sell your product or service to potential clients and customers, and secondly, to tell Google and other search engines who you are, what you do, and where customers can find you. Search engines trawl the internet 24/7, analysing websites to see where they rank relative to each other, and then display them in that order. To ensure that Google finds you, your copy needs to contain as many keywords as possible. Keywords are the words that people type into a search engine when they are looking for something, e.g. “chocolate” “cake” “recipe” for someone who is a baker. If you are a food blogger and you publish a recipe for chocolate cake, you want to ensure that those keywords are in the heading, and in the body content as close to the heading as possible.
LESS IS MORE
If your work is very detailed and you feel compelled to put large amounts of extraneous information on your page, don’t. Visitors tend to spend just a few minutes on web pages and, for mobile users, even less. They want to scan the page, pick out the salient points, and then decide to read further, contact you, or abandon your website. To maintain their interest, keep copy concise, but not too short so that the search engines think you are irrelevant. The balance of those 2 considerations is a fine art and should be carefully considered when writing website copy.
There are 3 types of links that you can add to your page.
- Internal Links: These are links that take the visitor to other pages or sections on your website. For example “Contact us for more information” would send the visitor to your contact page. Or “Find our more about popWeb” would link to your About page.
- External Links: These are links to other websites. For example, if your products are available from selected retail outlets, you can link to their websites, either via a logo image or by mentioning the name in the copy and linking to their website from there.
- Incoming links: These are links TO your website FROM an affiliate. If you are a doctor on the Discovery list of accredited service providers, their list should link to your website. Ensure that you contact your suppliers or partners, give them your web address and ask that they link to your website from theirs. This improves your google ranking.
IMAGES AND GRAPHICS
Let your images and graphics support what you are writing. For example, if your text mentions that you have 3 ranges of electrical switches, ensure that you have a large, bold image above the text that shows examples of the 3 ranges. “Hero Images” are the full-width images that stretch across the top of each of your web pages. This is the first thing that visitors see, so ensure that they tell a story. You can add text to the hero images, or create a graphic that sells your product.
The most important thing to remember is that you are building content for both human visitors and search bots. Achieving a balance between the two is what will create a successful website that sells your business.