This is the fifth article in an eight-part series which describes the role of a digital media strategist in improving the website operations of a company or organization.
Copywriting is one of the most important aspects of a website but is often treated as an afterthought (“We’ll just use something from one of our brochures — that will be fine.”).
But if we remember that the purpose of our website is to convey information, we’ll realize that good copywriting (through which information is conveyed) is invaluable.
And so, your digital media strategist will read the content of your website and assess the quality of your writing.
We have already touched on principles of good online copywriting during our earlier discussion of landing pages, and some of those principles can be applied to online copywriting in general. But we can add a few more principles in this wider discussion covering all pages of your site:
- Be honest. Aim for an authentic voice. Today’s internet user is not interested in artificial, hyped claims. Instead, they want to read simple, straightforward, and truthful statements about your products and services. The basic idea is to write like a real person talks.
- Focus on the reader. Tell your visitors how products and services will benefit them. Instead of focusing on how wonderful your company or organization is, focus on your customers and their needs.
- Be concise and direct. Attention spans of online readers are generally short, so you will need to get to the point and get there quickly. In other words, state your conclusion first and then support it — the inverted pyramid model. And it’s important to use only as much text as is necessary to accomplish your purpose.
- Tell stories. Nothing beats a good story for helping your visitor imagine herself using your product or service. Tell the stories of people who have used your product. Tell the stories of people whose lives have been changed by your organization’s services. Storytelling is acknowledged among copywriting experts as one of the most effective methods for informing and persuading your audience.
- Write for search engines. If you’ve been around search engine optimization for any amount of time, you might think this means that you need to include lots of keywords and phrases within your content. While strategic use of the primary keywords and phrases is still important (notice that I said “strategic use,” not “a lot of use”), it’s more important to write content so compelling that people will want to link to it (on their blogs and websites, in their LinkedIn updates, on Facebook, in their tweets, at StumbleUpon, etc.). Those links from other websites play a much larger part in how your content ranks in search engine listings than the part played by your use of keywords and phrases within your content.
Your digital media strategist will use these criteria, along with the relevant criteria from our earlier discussion of landing pages, to determine how well your copywriting helps to accomplish your objectives.
In the next installment in this eight-part series, we will discover that a digital media strategist will scrutinize the search and navigation features of your website.