Tag Archive: website design

  1. Web Content Done “Write”: How to Craft Web Copy

    How to Craft Web Copy

    Whether you realize it or not, you’re a writer. From a catty comment on a Facebook post to the embarrassing email you almost (tragically) forwarded to your boss, in one form or another, you’re committing words to page or screen.

    Fortunately, many considerations taken when writing even the most trivial of texts can directly help you better understand how to craft web copy for your next website. Stay with me here: When texting a friend, responding with, “lol, omg,” may be acceptable. However, when writing an email to a colleague, the same message may be better suited as, “Oh my goodness. That’s hilarious.” You are crafting your message not just for the audience (formal vs. informal), but also the delivery vehicle (email vs. text). At its core, these are also the salient considerations when crafting effective web copy.

    Understanding the above point, it should come as no surprise that writing web copy like you might write a blog post or company newsletter will not fly. Crafting web copy is its own unique beast. Before trying to conquer your website’s content, consider the following factors:

    • Who are You?: What is your company’s persona? Is it clearly defined? If your company were a person, do you know what’s on their Spotify playlist, what car they drive and who their favorite Beatle is? Though it may sound (and feel) a bit silly to get this granular with your brand’s persona, it helps to clearly paint a picture of how to craft web copy in a voice that’s pitch perfect. Whether it’s playful, formal, whimsical or a mish-mash of all of the above, defining your brand’s persona is key. For example, Findsome & Winmore is generally characterized as professional, yet with a touch of whimsy and approachability.

    • Who are They?: Second only to knowing your own brand’s persona is knowing your audience’s. In all forms of writing, you must know your audience. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, chances are you’re writing for no one. Especially when writing web copy, there is a natural tendency to write towards one’s own interests instead of serving the target audience. Do not fall into this trap. Your audience should be top of mind at all times and take precedence over personal preferences. I may love early 1990s hip hop, describing Findsome & Winmore’s services as “phat” just won’t play for our target audiences. 

    • What’s the Point?: Though this is partially to do with the larger discussion of website design, you must ensure that every page of your site has a purpose. Moreover, ensure that this purpose is served by the content provided therein. Make your intentions known early and with gusto, especially if the page’s primary objective is to get them to click a link, “buy now,” or otherwise jump through a fiery hoop. Call to actions should never be subtle. Our site opens with a simple, direct question in all caps and red font that nearly glows off of the page: “LOOKING FOR A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY TO HELP YOU FIND AND WIN NEW CUSTOMERS?” If so, you know to read on.

    • Keep it Short: Brevity is the soul of wit. Though most creative writers are guilty of getting a bit overly verbose for the fun of it, a website is not the place. Your audience is rarely looking to read a novel. Instead, it’s your job as a content writer to walk the tightrope between conciseness and creativity. If you proofread your web copy and think the same message can be conveyed in fewer words, chop chop chop. In promotion for our newsletter, we wrote, “Our monthly e-newsletter, HOT AIR, is chock full of advice on how to FIND and WIN more customers.” Balancing our defined voice with conciseness, this single sentence conveys that 1) we have a newsletter 2) it’s called HOT AIR 3) it’s full of marketing advice 4) you should subscribe (pushed by the subscribe button just adjacent to the copy).

      But hold on – there is one notable exception to this rule. Though conciseness is often golden, there are some notable SEO benefits to long-form content as well. Such content has been shown to sometimes rank higher in search engines, produce more backlinks and increase conversion rates, according to one article from 2015. The solution? Consider including a bit of both shorter and longer content to your site, monitor your performance and decide the best length for your audience moving forward.

    • Work with Web Design: Design and content face the same quandary presented with the chicken and the egg: what comes first? In best-case scenarios, both are developed in tandem, allowing both the form and function of the site to fit the content within it (and vice versa). However, if the design is already built, ensure that you are writing with this context in mind. Copy should fit the page like a glove.

    Even for well-practiced writers, writing for the web can be a real challenge. Take a deep breath–we promise, it will all be OK just as long as you keep a firm grasp on who you are as a brand, who your website content is targeting, and what the purpose is of each page. Then, you can edit for length and ensure the copy matches the design.

    Last, but not least, always, and I repeat, always, have someone proof your website copy. The internet is as big as its memory is good. From one writer to another (even if your specialty is texting), you have it in you to craft copy that works for the web. However, if you need help along the way we may be able to {Findsome} one up for the job.

  2. The Dawn of Mobilegeddon: The Scoop On Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

    Remember all of those times that we and other web developers and marketing agencies just like us told you how truly important it is to have a mobile-friendly, responsive website? If you didn’t believe us then, you probably do now. Because Google’s Mobilegeddon is upon us, and there is nowhere to hide.

    What Is Mobilegeddon?

    In a nutshell, Google finally put its foot down and announced that IT KNOWS. It knows if your website isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly. It’s watching when your users are frustratedly shaking their phones and gesturing toward the heavens for an answer. Google is here to tell us that if your website does any of the following, it will negatively affect how you rank on mobile SERPs:

    • Uses software that is unfriendly on mobile devices (like Flash)
    • Makes your users pinch, zoom, scroll, feverishly tap, and throw their phones into a river just to see/read what’s on the page
    • Places links so close together that your users have to press the back button 14 times in order to get to where they want to go; that is if they don’t give up first and visit one of your competitors’ mobile-friendly websites

    How Will This Affect My Rankings?

    On desktop it probably won’t do much, to be honest…for now. This algorithm mostly affects the search results on mobile devices and tablets…for now. A few weeks ago, if you ranked number one on desktop for any given keyword, you were mostly likely floating somewhere close to number one on mobile too. Today, that is no longer. You may stay number one on desktop, but depending on how mobile-friendly your website is, you could completely disappear from mobile SERPs. Don’t think this matters to you?

    Well, in 2014, 60% of all online searches were made from mobile devices. A hefty ⅓ of all organic traffic came from mobile devices. And guess what? It’s 2015; this number is only projected to increase every year. Pretty soon people will be searching from their kitchen sinks, and then where will your website be?

    Ok, I’m Listening. So What Do I Do?

    Mobile DevicesAre you really listening? Because this is important:

    The only way to survive the mobile device apocalypse is to listen to what Google is suggesting. Your website shouldn’t be an afterthought, it should be an investment. It is your digital storefront — the first thing your customers and clients see when they find out about you. As your mother always said, first impressions are important.

    All is not lost. Google is rolling out these changes today, and if your website still doesn’t satisfy Google’s mobile-friendly guidelines, it’s never too late to give your website a little TLC.

    Don’t know if your website satisfies Google’s appetite for mobile? You can find out with their handy mobile-friendly test. If what you see on that page disturbs you, your website may need a makeover.

  3. What Is The Value Of A Website?

    “I want a new website, and I want it cheap.” Trust me, many people do.  Plus who doesn’t like a bargain deal?  But, maybe there’s a reason why cheap isn’t always better.

    Maybe you’re a new company, or perhaps an existing company — but you’ve realized you need a new website.  When thinking of the cost and what you might need, it may be something that you imagined to be fairly quick, simple, and low budget. 

    Companies that typically try to get the best bang for their buck end up spending more in the long run.  Why?  Well, that picture perfect website you imagined only ends up working on one platform, such as Internet Explorer, and unfortunately it wasn’t designed to match your brand.

    There are many reasons why investing in a well-crafted website is a must:

    Get it right, the first time.

    Use a reputable company with great experience.  An agency that focuses on design to best represent your brand is a first indicator that you’re on the right track.  Consistency  is key in marketing your company and building credibility.  If your site ends up looking like something completely different then your business, then it wasn’t built for success.  Your website should visually encompass your brand. 

    Using an agency that cares and takes the time to ensure that the design meets your business standards is the first measure in incorporating a well-made site.

    Just because it’s pretty doesn’t mean it works.

    Sure, it looks great.   And yes, I’m sure you’re thinking “didn’t you say it was supposed to match my brand?”

    An innovative and contemporary design is great, but what’s great about a website that doesn’t function on all browsers and devices?  Design and Programming are best friends and work together like Jack and Sally.   You want a user-friendly site that is easy to navigate, fast loading, clean and concise, and works on all supported browsers and devices. 

    A site that was thrown together like paper mache, won’t give you the benefits of programming for all platforms, browsers and devices that our everyday users are consumed with. 

    Building the site with SEO in mind will help in your search rankings.   Web developers that take the time to do this will help you benefit the most with your search by adding title tags, alt-tags, keywords and making the page(s) SEO optimized.

    Testing of the website is another big factor that many businesses tend to forget or don’t think about when factoring in the build of a website.   Just because it’s built, definitely doesn’t mean that it’s perfect.   That’s like building a house but not having anyone check the foundation or inspect the wiring.   Taking the time to view and utilize the website as a user would on each device is important.  Occasionally, the site may look flawless on a laptop, but may be buggy on an iPhone.   Troubleshooting to make all elements correct on each device may take longer than scoped, but it’s worth the time to make it right.

    Why I Ought To.

    A well built, up-to-date site will give your company the validation that it deserves.   Your site can provide information to your clients 24/7.  Being accessible when your clients want to obtain information about your company is key to marketing effectively.  These days, we are instantaneously driven to find out information about a company, place, or thing as fast as we can.  It’s crucial that you’re there readily with that answer.

    Your website can also help you gain new leads by providing an email sign up or contact area.  This is another marketing tool that you can eventually use to your advantage.   Give your customers a reason to want to be on your email list or to provide you with their contact information. 

    A site built with great imagery allows you to demo your office, explain where it’s located and introduce the people that work there.  This helps to promote familiarity.  People like to know that you’re real and who exactly they’re working with to create a trusting relationship. 

    Being able to build your website the way you want, allows you the flexibility to be creative and original – to show off why you’re different from your competitors.  

    So, how much…?

    If you’re wondering how much to invest in building a site or rebuilding a website, there is no clear cut answer.  In fact, a website scope typically alters as the building occurs. However, before assuming what it may cost, have a digital marketing agency give a proper look at your overall needs and see how to best optimize your site to give a proper assessment.

    Keep in mind that the question isn’t always, “how much is the cost?”, the question should be “how much value will my website provide me?”.