I’ve been suffering from blog block recently and missed my last two self-imposed deadlines, so writing about … well writing, is possibly a strange topic for this blog post at this precise moment in time. But here goes!
Writing content for your own website can present a challenge. You undoubtably understand your small business the best and know exactly what you are all about and how you deliver your services. But … sometimes in your enthusiasm for your business (don’t get me wrong conveying that enthusiasm is great) the writing can get a little laboured and key points can sometimes be lost amongst a lot of unnecessary content.
In this post I’ll share some key things to consider when drafting your content so that it encourages your small business website visitors to get in touch … and become your customers.
1 It’s all about you
Well, more accurately, it’s all about your customer. It’s easy to get carried away by the aforementioned enthusiasm and write about all the great things that you can do and the services you offer. But your customers don’t want to read about you they want to read about what you can do for them.
Focus your writing on the word ‘you’. Less ‘me, myself and I’ and more ‘you and yours’.
Make it clear to your website visitors what benefits there are to them in using your services.
2 Keep it simple
No one wants hassle. Depending on your offering your customers may have landed at your website looking for an easy answer to a specific business need. Don’t overwhelm and over complicate with flowery language and lots of complicated offers.
Now is not the time to showcase your extensive vocabulary. So, forget about all that descriptive writing you did in school. Website visitors have a notoriously short attention span.
Get your message across using as few words as possible. Think short sentences. Forget connectives. Did you see what I did there?
Write as if an 8-year-old is going to be reading it.
3 Instil trust
Customers that come to you via referral are great and often the easiest sale to close. But visitors that have arrived at your website via a Google search or social media know nothing about you. Your website needs to look open and inviting and make it clear that you have nothing to hide with no hidden catches to your offering. Confusion can lead to mis-trust so again keeping the language simple will help with this objective.
Make sure contact information is readily available including your business address. Ensure that anything that differentiates your level of service and the benefits to your customer is accessible.
If you and your small business:
- can offer an initial non-obligatory consultation make sure it’s clear and easy to arrange.
- can provide a period of ‘hand-holding’ or follow ups after completion of your work highlight it.
- has public reviews on Google or Facebook for example make them accessible from your website.
The bottom line is that your prospect needs to feel confident when handing over their hard-earned cash to you. That you’re not just going to take their money and run.
Less is more so avoid overwhelm with too much complicated language.
4 Make it visually appealing
Although we’re talking about the writing here it’s important to remember that website visitors do not like to read through great walls of text, so making that text look visually appealing is key.
- Make sure that you include engaging images to break up the text.
- Work key messages into headings at regular intervals to break up the text.
- Use bullet points where possible to provide bite sized nuggets of information.
Specifically, focus on your home page as an entry point to the website. Resist the urge to put everything here in case no one visits the other page of your site. A simple landing page that clearly states your key message will do its job and encourage visitors to move on to read more detail on the website.
Streamline your home page with:
- One clear statement of who you are.
- A broad statement outlining clearly what you do. This is not the place for all the different combinations and packages that you may offer.
- One key benefit to anyone using your services. What is your USP? What is the best reason to use your services?
- One main call to action.
- A standout image that will be easily identifiable and is relevant to your brand. I work locally, so this website has a very distinctive local landmark as its main image (thank you Karen Colebeck). OK … so this about an image, but it does support the message in the content that I work locally!
So, in the interests of not writing too much in this post and causing overwhelm, I’m going to conclude by summarising the 4 key things to remember when working on the content for your small business website.
- Write for your reader not you. Make sure that that it’s all about them.
- Keep it simple and easy to understand. No complicated ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’. Just a simple offering that is of benefit to your target.
- The first two points will help with the third when it comes to gaining the trust of your website visitor. But keep this as your main objective when crafting your content. A potential customer has to trust you before they become a customer.
- Make it look pretty and interesting. A great wall of text will have your visitors bouncing off your website. Break it up with images, headings and bulleted lists.