How to start writing great copy for your website

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1 WILLIAMS GRAPHICS How to start writing great copy for your website Writing content for your own website can be hard. These pointers are here to help get you started. williamsgraphics.co.uk

2 About Williams Graphics Williams Graphics goal is to help people and businesses get what they want out of their websites through careful discussion, solid construction, and fresh perspectives on outdated solutions. Williams Graphics is a website design agency based in Wolverhampton that serves the local area, the West Midlands and beyond. Run by independent design consultant Chris Williams, Williams Graphics provides a range of marketing and design solutions to complement their outstanding website design, including branding, graphic design, e-commerce solutions, on-page SEO, and consultancy for web and print based projects. Deciding on which company or person you want to build your new website is an unusually difficult business. There are hundreds of designers looking to get your attention, and not all of them have the most noble intentions. What makes Williams Graphics different is the level of customer service, design collaboration, and marketing knowledge which all ties together to give you a website and design package which is as hands-on as you want it to be, looks how you want it to look, and performs how you want it to perform.

3 Getting Started... There s a common misconception about writing content for your own website, and that s that it will be quick, easy, and pain free. After all, you already know everything about your business, so what could possibly slow you down? In this short booklet, we ll cover the main points you ll want to think about when sitting down to write content for yourself (or someone else, this advice is generally quite universal), as well as some of the common mistakes that we ve seen occouring elsewhere on the web. Start with the finish line Before writing anything, the first thing you should do is think about your visitors and the action that you want them to take on your site when they re done reading. Don t worry how its laid out (that s the designers job) but think rather what the service/product you offer is, what information you want to include on each page, then what you want the visitor to do with that information. Home About Services Contact On most websites, you have a basic structure of what is known at Williams Graphics as the core four. These are 4 pages that visitors typically expect to see on a site, and normally navigate in a predictable way. While there s no way we can say that the homepage will be the first page a visitor sees, it s a good place to start to capture their attention. On the following pages, there are some tips on writing for each of these main pages.

4 General writing tips Each page serves a purpose but all pages should also aim to have a common goal. Depending on your business, your goals might not translate directly into the advice below, but it will be a good start. It will help to consider the following for every page on your site: Your Unique Selling Point (USP) Typically a USP is for businesses with a service to sell, so not everyone has a clear option for this. We usually recommend having a USP prepared to include on your site, that way we can use it if required. It s supposed to be a summary of what your business does in its most pure form, and the feeling you want to give your customers in one sentence that makes you different from all your competitors. For example, when people visit Williams Graphics, it dosen t focus on We build websites. Rather, it says Website design to attract more business online, providing an answer to a problem they might be having. Likewise, we can apply a similar formula to your business depending on your core values. Other companies have different approaches. A bike shop in Wolverhampton uses Lightweight bicycle sales and repair specialists. A landscaper uses Everything you need to maintain an excellent indoor and outdoor Environment. A gym uses The Midland s premier fitness centre. These phrases can be used everywhere, not just on a website, but if you find that you re really struggling and don t think its that important for your website, don t worry about it. What do you want to achieve from your website and web page? Do you want to inform your customers - what are you trying to tell them? Attract more clients - what s your hook? Act as a brochure for your services - are you giving them what they came to your site for? Who is your target audience?

5 What is your realistic focus keyword (for SEO)? Taking Williams Graphics as an example, as a regional company that builds websites, it is unlikely to get to the first page of Google search results when searching for website design, going up against the rest of the UK for that search term. The more specific the search term is, the more likely you will see results. Website Design West Midlands gives Williams Graphics a more specific and obtainable search focus keyword and stands a very realistic chance of getting on first page of search results. The more specific your site search terms are, the more likely you will be at the top of the first page for that search term. What is your Call to Action (CTA) phrase? A Call to Action is an instruction to get your visitors to do something. This should tie in with your website goal. If you want someone to subscribe to a newsletter, you would have SUBSCRIBE HERE or CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE AND GET YOUR FREE E-BOOK. If you want people to call you, try CALL US TODAY or something similar. A call to action is typically placed quite prominently on your website. The best CTA phrases are reciprocal. Eg. Contact us today to book your free discovery session!. The example here is that your visitors receive something in return for contacting you, opening a door to make a sale.

6 Your Home page Your homepage is one of the most important pages on your website. While not everyone who visits sees your homepage, it s usually the best place to summarise everything about your business in one place. For best results, you should include the following: What your business or service does: When a potential customer lands on the site, you have just a few moments to tell them exactly what your business does, usually in just a few words as a heading. Following that, if the service described is what your visitor is looking for, they ll want to read on to an additional paragraph or two covering what your business will do in more detail. Consider your USP at this point. An high quality image illustrating what you do is useful too. What are your CORE services: If you ve got a visitors attention, a quick breakdown of your key services and a sentence about each one helps keep them on your website and pushes them one step closer to the action you want them to take, if they re interested. Write a list of your main services (Ideally no more than 3 or 4) along with a sentence for each one. If you have more than 4 key services, you can still include them on the homepage, but they won t be the main focus. Who are you? A paragraph or two with an illustrating image (eg. of the company building, the owner, the team, etc) is a good inclusion on the homepage. For a standard structure website, this usually links to an About Us page which covers who you are in more detail.

7 The About Us page This is possibly the most overlooked page of a website, but it is of critical importance that you put some effort into writing for this page. It s relatively straight forward, but when people are visiting here, they want to hear about you to make sure you re legitimate and able to back up the claims you re making elsewhere. You may want to include: A more detailed introduction to your business (with imagery from the homepage) When you were established Who runs it What makes you different Your goals An expansion of what your core services are and the area your serve (generic imagery of your services) Who runs your business (with imagery) Testimonials and social proof of a high-quality service

8 Your services This is your oppourtunity to write in more depth what each service does, with a summary of all services and your USP in a paragraph or two, typically located somewhere promintent on the page. You may want to then write for each service you provide: A headline A quick summary Then if required, a more indepth description of the service An image of the service in question where applicable. Contact Details Usually the page that people immediately visit when they re looking to reach you, it often has the following: Address (with google map if applicable) Phone number & Address (or multiple where applicable) Contact Form Business hours The best way to contact you

9 Other Pages Your site may require custom page content not covered here. Usually the content structure follows closely to the guidelines listed in this document. Your main consideration should be for the following: What is the focus of each page? What does the page clearly explain its purpose to visitors, quickly and efficiently? Imagery Possibly the most undervalued yet important aspect of your website is the imagery. Unless stated otherwise, Williams Graphics dosen t provide imagery directly for your company. The following are considerations for imagery on your website: Having stock photography (purchased from an image gallery online) can cheapen your brand and make your business seem less credible. If you do have to purchase stock photography for your website, try to use stock photograph with a low download rate. This way you re less likely to have an image used millions of times elsewhere on the internet. Images should be as high resolution as possible. Low quality jpegs can dramatically reduce the quality of your website. Where possible, use your own imagery, or make an effort to take your own images. This usually gives better results than having none at all. You will need your logo provided in as high a quality as possible, preferrably in vector format.

10 Supplying your content to us It saves everyone time if you send over your written content and imagery all in one go. You can chose to write your pages in individual documents or in one large one, so long as everything is clearly labled. Make it clear in your documents what you consider to be a headline and what is a paragraph. If you have a specific image in mind for a section of text, write the filename of the image or a description of the image by the relevant information. Try not to focus on design elements. Unless you re absolutely set on a particular style, there is no need to suggest Place image to the right in a blue box or This is centre aligned. Try to focus on the content itself and we can work out the design specifics later. Once you have everything ready, send it over.

11 Closing word Finally, remember these are just guidelines and aren t here to dictate your content structure. You can always contact us to talk through any queries you might have about anything written in this booklet, either online from the website, through to or by phone on

12 williamsgraphics.co.uk

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