Take a quick look at your website and consider these questions: is it focused on the visitor and their needs rather than being about your business? Is it user-friendly and easy to navigate? Have you paid attention to the hierarchy of information?
If not, don’t panic. I’ve seen (and helped improve) a lot of websites that don’t get this quite right. Some businesses commission freelance copywriters like myself to help create their websites, because we know what and how much copy is required. Some businesses write their websites themselves. If you’re confident in your copywriting skills, that’s great. But it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with the following key points, if you want your website to perform well…
Make sure your home, about us and services pages are spot-on
The home page, about us page and services page are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of most websites. In future blogs I’ll offer some specific advice on how to make these pages top-notch, but the key thing to remember is they need to be visitor-focused – particularly the home and services pages.
A person has clicked on your website because they need or want something. You have to address that need or want in the copy. Imagine the questions the visitor is asking and answer them. Sometimes I include the questions that could be going through the visitor’s head in the copy. It’s a way of immediately interacting, involving and drawing the visitor in.
Take a moment to look at the home page of this website. I start with three questions a person looking for a copywriter might be asking:
- Are you reaching your customers?
- Are you engaging them – and engaging with them?
- Are you keeping them?
Even the about us page can and ought to be visitor-focused to an extent. This is another very important page. Visitors will click about us pages when they want further clarity on what the business does. Yes, you can include some background information on your company, but make sure it’s interesting and don’t reel off the life history of the company. An about us page is a prime place for reiterating the main benefits to the reader of doing business with you. Continue to address the reader’s questions and needs as you explain more about how your company can help them.
Get the hierarchy of information right
Using the hierarchy of information principle should help make your site easy to navigate. It should prevent visitors from clicking off your site in frustration that their questions haven’t been answered. It basically means that the top tier of information is generic and then, as the visitor gets deeper into the website, the pages get longer and more detailed.
For instance, your home page should welcome people to your site, sum up what the site is about and identify – in a few sentences – what it offers the reader. You don’t want to inundate your reader with complicated information on the home page. Keep it simple. Use the home page to introduce the reader to your business, and entice them enough to keep them on the site. Then have a well-thought-out and user-friendly menu to help them get to where they need to be.
At the moment I have a special offer on: for only £30 I will review the main pages of your website and provide a short report (up to 300 words) on how your website might be improved, with a list of problems and solutions in bullet point form. If you’re interested, please get in touch on 07411 331721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.