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The 5 key factors for creating a website that works: part 3 – the voice

Now copywriters are going to hate me for this but I believe if you’re a small business of 1-10 people, then you should create your own copy for your website for one main reason; personality. I believe that personality in a website is key for a successful site. If you can express your personality in your website then you will have an emotional engagement with the person who is reading it. An emotionally engaged person is more likely to listen to your thoughts and react to them.

Written By:
Paul Wright
  • 10/01/2011
  • 6 Mins to Read
  • By: Paul Wright
  • Share

Jargon Free!

To the left is a great example of a website with web copy that has personality from Now what I love about the web copy is that it talks to you in a human way. There’s no jargon, there’s no talk about what printing machines they use and how great the inks are. Who cares about that!!? If you have a problem with your toilet and you call a plumber to fix it, you don’t ask that plumber what tools he’s going to use to fix it. You don’t care as long as he fixes it!

What the copy does is:

Asks you an initial question to establish if you have a problem
Suggests how you can solve that problem
Tells you how to solve the problem by using one of their products
Then there’s the added bonus that it comes with a choice
This is brilliant sales copy, but what makes it different to a lot of sales copy is that it does it with a smile.

Are you trying to appeal to a more discerning type of clientele? We’re not suggesting you put up ‘no riff-raff’ signs on your premises. That would be silly. But maybe you need a more sophisticated level of marketing to appeal to your target audience. Our Showcards may just be the answer. They’re ever so posh and available in a wide range of exciting finishes.

Grammar and spell-check your copy

It sounds like a simple thing but you would be amazed by how many people don’t do this.

Spelling mistakes on a website scream of incompetence. There’s really no excuse for it with free spell checkers readily available. If grammar is not a strength, (and I’m speaking from experience here) then ask someone else to proof read the copy before your site goes live. It’s always best to have more than one pair of eyes on it!

Avoid long sentences

Reading web copy is not as easy as reading a physical book. Most people won’t read long paragraphs of text on a site, but will scan for relevant information instead. So with this in mind try to keep paragraph lengths to a minimum by being informative but to the point. Try to use bullet points when you want to communicate overview details about services or products.

Don’t use other websites copy

Don’t be tempted to use another website’s copy as you could be penalised by Google for duplication of content. This means that Google could just throw you off the Google listing.

Google friendly copy

Here are some useful tips from Google for creating copy that Google likes:

Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.

Copy for good SEO

Above are some basic rules for creating copy that Google likes, but if you want to see real results and achieve good listings on search engines then I would always recommend using a professional internet marketing company like the very friendly bunch at e-mphasis