To my fellow Copywriters or anyone who wants to earn money writing content.
Websites are the backbone of every successful business, unless you already have too many clients. Here are a few tips I have learned.
There is so much to learn about building the right website. Applying some basic concepts is a great beginning. Clare Lynch says that "business writing fails because it's not concrete enough." Using specific details means also using the right words. That's why my motto says "Words Matter."
Also, make sure you have enough pages. Usually there is a home page, an about page, and a contact page. If you are copywriter, then you need a portfolio page. Don't forget that blog page and it's good to have a resources page.
Know your Audience
In order to speak to your audience, you need to build a persona and do a little research. Talk to clients. There are no mass audiences anymore. If you get feedback from actual customers/clients you can then use that information in order to direct your content creation.
Create engaging headlines and Sub-Headlines
Yes, headlines are the most important way to engage your audience. If you can't get them to read the headline, then you lose them, even if you create great content. Practicing headlines is essential. Create a notebook of headlines that you think you might use someday. You can also adapt headlines that others have used. Don't copy them though.
As for subheadings, they are useful for guiding the reader, and good for those who want to scan. I try to write for both readers and scanners.
You might create a story from one of your happy clients or you can use your own story. People will relate better to your content if you include a story. It doesn't have to be long. You might see that I created a simple story on my home page. Why? It's more engaging then just giving the facts alone.
Carefully craft your Message
If you know your audience, you can craft the right message by applying the main concept of your message. One or two lines of your key message will keep them engaged longer. Use words that are powerful and emotional. Don't use all caps because it makes it look like you are yelling at the audience.
Keep it Simple
Don't patronize. I see so much of this. It turns people off and won't do anything for your search engine traffic. It's a mistake to sound like you are above your readers.
Testimonials have the power to super- charge your business. It's important the way they are worded and be honest and not over the top. Whatever you do... don't make them up. You can have them all one page on your site or have them sprinkled around on different pages. I have done both.
Word count per Page
You need a minimum of 500 words per page to rank in search engines. More is better, as long as the quality of the content is good and there's no repetition of content. Carefully review your content from time to time to make sure you aren't repeating information. You will rank better with the search engines.
Images help spell out your message, if you use the right ones. This can be challenging if you aren't a photographer. Even though there are many sites that supply stock images, you might be better off using your own or at least purchasing your own for copy write reasons. If you can't purchase images there are many sites that allow you to use for commercial purposes. It's best practice to state where the image comes from and the name of the photographer, if possible.
Beware of sites that claim the images are free; sometimes they are not.
Give something away for Free
What is meant here is, simply that you can create downloads or e-books for free and have people sign up for a list. I call it my keep in contact list, rather than mailing list, it sounds better. If readers are getting something out of your site, they will keep coming back (we hope).
These tips are just a few to get the basics of a good website. As you get more skilled at writing content you will become a better editor. When you can spot your mistakes you will be a big step ahead of many.
Good luck with your site!