5 quick wins to revamp your website copy
Your website is your 24/7 salesperson. Great, we all need one of those. But are they doing their best for you?
Revamping your website, and in particular, your copy can feel daunting. Those words aren’t just filling space, they’re motivating people to get in touch – even buy something, there and then.
It’s never a five-minute job. Not even a five-hour job. I can give you five simple pointers to help you focus your efforts, though.
#1 Add sub-headings
People rarely spend long on a website. Many skim read first, then decide whether to dive in. For that reason, sub-headings are crucial. They’re also important to help Google. I’ll unpack both points for you.
Consider sub-headings as your signposts. Or an opportunity to highlight your main messages. From reading them, your reader knows where they are and what you’re about. Sub-headings make everything easier. They should be your friend.
Google scans your copy to understand what your website’s about. It knows words in a heading (H1) must be important. So, you’ll be familiar with naturally weaving keywords in there if you’re looking to optimise the page for search.
Formatted as H2s or H3s, sub-headings can also flag keywords to the big G. But always keep it natural and don’t overdo it.
#2 Shorten your sentences
Back at school, we were praised for long, flowery sentences. How clever!
Yet, for business, they’re bad news. You’re not trying to impress your English teacher now - you want conversations with your prospects. And they’re busy.
So, keep it short.
Look at business websites you like reading. I bet they have shorter sentences. I’m not saying EVERY sentence must be short, just trim and cut where you can. AND use the full stop thoroughly.
Ditch the fluff and nonsense. No space for that here. Also, dig out filler words bloating your sentences. Common culprits include that, very, quite, possibly, actually, basically. In most situations (not all) they’re not needed. Cut ‘em!
#3 Break up dense copy
You know that feeling when you’re greeted with a loooooong piece of text to read? Dense paragraphs (and long sentences) that you’ll have to read twice to take in.
You groan inside. If you must, you push on. If it’s optional, you look elsewhere.
That’s why dense copy is a NO on your website.
Do you really want to make your visitors groan — and then go elsewhere?
Break it up. New point new paragraph is a fabulous principle to follow. You can emphasise a sentence with a separate line too.
Embrace white space. Most people would rather something was twice as long and easier to read than crammed and dense.
Stop them groaning and you’ll have a better result.
#4 Embrace punctuation
No, I’m not taking you to grammar school (but keep an eye on that too). I want to talk about brackets, question marks, em dashes, and more.
First though, the exclamation mark! Use it extremely wisely and hardly at all. I hate seeing it in headings. And I hate it littering website copy to suggest you’re a friendly bunch. It doesn’t work. You simply annoy people.
Creative use of other punctuation, such as those mentioned above (EXCEPT the !) can make your copy flow better, and feel more like an expressive conversation (which is a good thing).
Don’t overdo it though. Keep these sweeties up your sleeve. Just know they help your copy become a pleasure, which is what you want.
#5 Replace long words
Back to your distant English lessons. Why use two syllables when you can use four? Or five…
Now, in the business world, long words are bad. Again, a bit of context and judgement – most business sectors have long words to include. Just don’t add more.
My rule of thumb? When you’re editing, highlight everything with four syllables or more. Then see if you can use a simpler word instead.
Are you 'utilising' when you could be 'using'? 'Facilitating' when you could be 'helping'? Once you look, you spot these critters all over the place.
Do your reader a favour and keep it simple.
And whilst you’re at it, question any jargon you’re using. Are you market-leading, innovative thinkers, and world-class? Is your copy littered with industry acronyms? Question each one and replace what you can.
Yes, website copy is a monster job. Yes, you can improve by focusing on certain aspects. However you handle your website copy, ensure you give it the attention it deserves because those words are the voice of your 24/7 salesperson. And you want them in tip-top shape so they win more business.
Need a hand? I’m always happy to chat.