By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
Writing for the Web is very different than writing for print. Knowing and following a few easy rules can make your Website truly stand out from the rest.
Write to your reader. One of the most powerful words in the English language is “you.” If visitors to your site can relate to what you are saying and feel like you are talking to them, they will be more likely to stay and learn more, and ultimately contact you when they need your services. It’s a simple trick that works wonders.
Use keywords. Think about the words that your prospects are most likely to use when looking for your services. For a labor attorney in Atlanta it might be “labor,” “law,” “Atlanta,” and “attorney.” Sounds obvious, right? Your keywords are usually rather short and simple. But determining these keywords and using them liberally on your site will increase the chances of your prospects finding you, rather than your competition, when they need a labor attorney.
Break it up with subheads and bullets. A lot of recent studies have shown that very few people actually read Web copy. Most people skim first to see if they think it is worth their time. So if that’s what they want, make it easy for them to skim. Break up your content with subheads, draw attention to important facts by highlighting key text and add bulleted lists where appropriate.
Talk about benefits. Some professional services providers get caught up in talking about the services they provide without discussing the benefits for their clients. Keep your site visitors in mind at all times. Most of them don’t care about the details but do want to know how working with your firm will benefit them. Some people are in dire circumstances when they are looking for an attorney or accountant, so put their mind at ease. Quickly show them the benefits you provide and talk to them on their level. Too much jargon will send them running.
Edit and proofread. One of the beauties of the Web is it allows you to make changes quickly, but by the time you’ve noticed an error, so have hundreds, or potentially thousands, of others. Don’t fall into the trap of posting content too quickly and making your firm look less than buttoned up. Read and reread your copy. Then ask others to read it for you. You may even want to consider hiring a professional proofreader. And don’t just read for grammatical errors, but also for understandability and flow. If a layman understands what you are saying, and can repeat it back to you in his or her own words, you should be good to go.
What do you think or have to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts.