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Over the past 3 years, we’ve built approximately 100 websites. In that time, we’ve learned that most clients struggle with content.  It’s a common assumption that since your web company is building your website, they will be writing all the words (copy) on it too.  In truth, no one can speak about your business with as much knowledge as you can.  You will need to be engaged in the process to ensure that the messaging matches your vision for your business and the products or services that you are offering. Think of your web designer like a police sketch artist.  The more details you give the better, (and more accurate,) someone can make your design. Hopefully, this article can give you some quick pointers to save you some time and money.

Copy is an industry word for the writing that is on your site.  You probably haven’t consciously thought about how much writing goes into a website, since as a consumer you mostly pay attention to the images and the feeling that is created when you visit one. But the amount of copy that you submit to your designer will have a direct impact on the size, scope, and effectiveness of your website.

Sample web mock-up with content areas circled, including an intro at the top, a description of the business, a product description, and a call to action to join the mailing list

This is a very simple web page, you’ll notice the paragraphs are short and sweet! We rarely recommend more than a short paragraph of copy on a home page.

If this is starting to feel like a daunting task, we have good news for you. When preparing copy, most clients write too much. Long sweeping paragraphs are overwhelming for your site’s guests to read, and it looks awful on mobile!  What your designer needs, is SHORT paragraphs – often under 150 words is fine. Short paragraphs and brief descriptions can be placed next to images, above buttons and under headings with ease. So be brief! Some example paragraphs that you might want to consider are:

  • A short business intro – your elevator pitch.
  • A short description of each of your services or products
  • A short bio for you or your staff members
  • Address barriers to purchase. If it’s common for potential clients to say your product is too expensive – explain its value or unique elements.
  • What sets you apart – you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.  Just quickly explain your additional features, the extra’s you provide, how you go further with customer service, or how you are faster, or a better fit for a certain kind of client.
  • Your process – if people navigate a process or workflow – explain it. It might include consultations, quotes, installs etc., include what happens at each stage.
  • Call to action – what do you want customers to do? Book a consultation? Call for a free weight-loss consultation? Visit your store? Tell your designer, and your site can be designed to direct customers to that end.

Remember, bullet points, checklists, and timelines are highly visual, and easier for customers to read, so you can save time creating those.

For additional inspiration, we recommend looking up a similar business like yours from another town or city. See what they wrote, and adapt it to your own voice and needs. You can also ask people on your team to help you with different parts of the site. (It’s often easier to edit someone else’s work than to write from scratch!) If you want to hire a content writer, do so, but budget accordingly! Content writing is one of the most expensive marketing services, and you will still need to be involved as they will have to interview you extensively to do a good job.

We always want our web clients to enjoy the experience as much as possible. So prepare yourself to collaborate with your web team. Your website will be much more rewarding for you and provide a greater financial return to your business if you are open and engaged with the process.

Please note, that if you are a Brand Ambition client, you can always reach out to your account manager for further support developing your content.  Content writing services are also available for additional fees. 

Have an upcoming web project? Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the scope of your project, and get a custom, no obligation quote!