There’s no point posting copy that’s full of typos, difficult to read and written by someone who’s been told to “do something for the website” when writing isn’t their thing.
If your target audience finds the copy confusing, they won’t engage with it and may well question whether the same lack of attention to detail runs through to your products or service.
Badly written content is bad for your business.
As a copywriter, I spend a lot of time online researching my topics as I want to make sure that what I’m writing is on point. I’ve come across some great, engaging, and sometimes, funny B2B content where the product or service information has been carefully crafted into the copy. It reads naturally and doesn’t come across as a sales pitch.
I’ve also come across some badly written content that focuses purely on sales and is written for the sake of publishing content to sell a product or service rather than help or educate. Often this copy has been written by a salesperson or someone who has a spare moment because, after all, anyone can write….
I recently read a piece of content on a company’s website that had obviously been written by someone who wasn’t a copywriter or marketer. There was no structure to the copy, it was full of spelling and grammatical errors, it jumped from one statement to the next and tried to include every possible keyword for the product, company and location.
Content marketing isn’t about publishing content for the sake of it. It’s about publishing content that engages with a target audience, shows them you understand their pain points and WANT to help. It’s about building relationships, educating and informing, and of course meeting your business goals.
That’s why it’s crucial that your content is well written, speaks to your audience, addresses their pain points and offers solutions. But not everyone understands the art of writing good copy.
The blatant sales push
Of course a company wants to tell you about their products and services, we all get that. But when the content’s badly written, it can have a negative impact on your brand and authority and will come across as a sales push.
There’s a wealth of information out there, so when it comes to choosing a product or service, people can afford to be picky. If your content comes across as promotional and a blatant sales push, readers will go elsewhere. And guess where that will be – to your competitor!
People who understand how to write content well will expertly weave a product into the story by addressing the reader’s pain points and offering a solution, rather than focussing on the product’s features first.
So rather than turning a reader away, the words will draw them in, encourage them to find out more and take the action you want. And if you constantly supply content that’s of use, they’ll keep coming back and then, when the time’s right, book a service or buy your product.
Blah, blah, blah
It’s not all about you. Forget about corporate jargon, boasting about how great your company is or using complex technical terms to make yourself sound clever. They don’t work.
Companies who write for their audience and have a conversation with them will build a relationship with their readers.
That’s the bad, now for the good
OK so that’s the ‘how not to write content for your website’ covered. Without giving away too many tricks of the trade, here are a few pointers on how to write good copy that engages and appeals to your target audience.
Make it easy to read – Break your content up, include headers, sub-headings, images or lists. This makes it easier to read, especially for those people who like to scan first to decide if your content is of value to them before delving deeper into it.
Keep to a logical structure – If you jump from one point to another it will be difficult for the reader to follow what you’re saying and understand the key points. Structure your content so that it flows naturally and try to keep to just one key message.
Put the reader first – Thankfully the days of keyword stuffing are gone so if you want to connect with your audience and get noticed by search engines, the best way to do this is to write valuable content, that tells a story.
Your organic traffic will grow if you write for the reader first, and search engines second.
Read, reed and prooofried – This is one of the golden rules of copywriting. We’re not all perfect and sometimes the odd typo may go unnoticed, but content that’s full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, typos or poorly constructed sentences, comes across as unprofessional and sloppy.
So read your copy, read it aloud, proofread it and if you can, ask someone else to read it to see if they understand what you’re saying and have spotted any other errors.
Anyone can write, can’t they?
So I suppose the answer to my statement “after all anyone can write” at the top of this blog should be, yes. Anyone can write.
But not everyone can write good content that resonates with the reader, informs and educates, builds relationships, nurtures and then turns them into customers.
There’s a lot more to writing good copy, such as understanding what your audience wants, writing in your unique tone of voice and being able to research a topic and then translate the content into easy to follow, engaging copy.
And that’s where a copywriter comes in.
Gary is great at sales, so let him focus on that in the future.
First published on ruthtmarketing.co.uk