Website owners often ask the question, “Why is there so much copy on my site?” Others often ask why there is so little copy on my site. Both are legitimate questions, but there is no correct answer to either. The question is not so much about the number of words – although that is a factor – but rather about how well the copy is written, and if it is fulfilling its intended purpose. Here’s a guide to ensure that you have the right amount of effective copy on your website.
Writing for Google or writing for people?
Your web copy needs to serve two purposes: It needs to be relevant to what you offer, must satisfy all SEO requirements to ensure that Google’s search bots find it. It’s a matter of writing for both humans and roBOTS so make it easy to read.
There is a minimum amount of words that Google’s bots need in order to find any website. That amount may vary from page to page, but for home pages it is a standard that sits at about 400 words; remember, this is not written in stone and no one really knows how Google operates. In addition, Google is always changing the rules of the game to ensure that developers and SEO specialists cannot crack the system. The secret is to write and test, tweak and test, and then repeat until you are happy with the copy and your website’s ranking, and you want your website to rank on page 1 of a SERP (search engine results page). There is no magic formula for this, but follow these basic rules and you’re on your way to climbing the ranking ladder of website success.
Establish your goals
What are you hoping to achieve from your website? Do you just want to share information? Do you want to sell goods online, or do you want to build a database of potential customers by gathering people’s email addresses? Establish this upfront and then ensure that your copy is written to achieve this goal.
Layout is critical to usability. When you arrive at a website and all you see is a block of copy, do you read through it all? Most people go elsewhere. The reason is that no one has time to read everything, and most people, up to 80%, have said they scan copy instead of reading all of it. This means you need to lay out your copy in an easy-to-scan manner with plenty of sub headings. You should also highlight important elements of your copy, making the crucial information stand out from the rest.
Enough of the right information
You want enough information on your website to allow people to make informed decisions about your products and services. You don’t have to tell them everything there is to know about a certain product or service, but just enough to peak their interest and get them to contact you. This is called conversion, and is critical to your website’s success.
Conversions include someone purchasing something online, downloading a brochure, filling in a contact form or subscribing to an email. There must be enough copy to be able to persuade someone to perform an action (convert), but not too much to scare them off or put them to sleep.
Call to Action (CTA)
Any salesman will tell you that ABC (Always Be Closing) is the secret to sales success. You can pitch your products in the best way possible but if you don’t ask for the sale you probably won’t get it. The same applies to your website. You want regular calls to action buttons that are visible and easy to find, whether it’s a contact us link, subscribe to a newsletter button, or a purchase button. This doesn’t mean you need one in each paragraph, but you need enough so that when your target is ready to commit, he doesn’t have to look far to do so.
Small businesses often don‘t see the benefit of hiring professionals to do what they think they can do themselves; this is often their downfall. You wouldn’t fix your own plumbing, unless you’re a plumber, the same goes for your website. Contact digital marketing specialists whose business it is to optimise your site to ensure the best possible marketing results. Your business will reap the rewards.