A modern, eye-catching website is arguably the most important ingredient of a winning marketing strategy. It’s your storefront. Your billboard. It’s your one shot to showcase your offerings, communicate your brand value, and persuade your customers to choose you over the competition.
Appearance matters. Functionality and user-friendliness matter. But the truth is, even the most beautifully designed website can fall flat if the copy—the written content—isn’t up to snuff. Worse, a poorly written website can send the wrong message to your customers.
How hard can it be to write a few paragraphs here, a tagline there, then hit “publish”?
Website copywriting can be surprisingly challenging, particularly for those who know their business inside and out (here’s looking at you, owners and executives and entrepreneurs!).
To help you write a better, more persuasive website for technical and scientific industries, avoid these common website writing gaffes:
- Writing for the wrong audience, or the wrong segment of your audience
- Using excessive jargon, technical terms, acronyms, or formal language
- Recycling the same old messaging you’ve always used on every piece of marketing you’ve ever done
- Including long paragraphs or superfluous text
- Focusing too much on product specs, and not enough on storytelling
- Writing for search engines, not people
- Using an inconsistent, or inappropriate, tone for the brand or industry
So, what should you do instead? Here are our top tips.
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
What’s the key to writing compelling website copy? Put simply, it’s an exercise in restraint, creativity, and knowing your audience.
You only have a few seconds to capture a visitor’s attention and explain your product’s benefits. A good place to start is to write in plain language using the fewest words possible.
This means speaking in a tone that a real person will want to read. (Even the most intelligent scientists don’t want to trudge through lengthy, jargon-filled paragraphs!) It means distilling your message down to the essentials and nixing unnecessary text.
In many cases, it also means “dumbing down” your message—especially if you’re playing in a highly technical space—so your visitors can quickly and easily understand your offering and how they’ll benefit.
Outsource Your Editing
Once you have a draft written, run it by a friend or family member who doesn’t know your industry. Better yet, a high school student. If they can’t instantly comprehend what you’re trying to say, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and simplify the messaging further. And when you think you’re done, refine, refine, refine!
Know Where to Go From Here
At the end of the day, your website is one of the first steps on the journey from visitor to customer. If your website copy has done its job, they’ll be motivated to contact you.
From there, you can nurture interested visitors with helpful content, email newsletters, and blog posts aimed at solving their problems. Layering marketing tactics, with a well-written website at the core, will lead you down the path to success.