Australian small businesses are moving online – the percentage with a website grew from 41% in 2019 to 60% in 2022. But many are operating with small budgets – they may have paid someone to develop the website, but stopped short of hiring a web copywriter or getting professional photos to improve the content of that website.
If that’s you, it may mean you’re missing out of some of the advantages of a great website. Customer enquiries. New business opportunities. Showing up on relevant Google searches.
Investing in great website copy and some basic SEO doesn’t cost the earth but can help your website appear in more searches, get more visits, and convert more of those visitors to enquiries.
Some websites have much more room for improvement than others. Here are 5 signs that working with a web copywriter could really lift your site’s performance.
1. The heading text on your home page doesn’t make it clear what you do
Your home page gets lots of traffic. It should make clear exactly what you do, and who you do it for. Even big companies get this wrong. What does this company do?
Does adding the sub-heading help clarify?
By now, you can tell that this is a software company – but what kind of software? Something for business – but what? CRM? Project Management? Messaging and collaboration?
The message is still really vague. This is actually the home page copy for Zoho.
Most of us probably think of Zoho as a CRM. Indeed, if you search ‘What is Zoho used for?’ the results start off with ‘Zoho CRM’. Ironic that they can’t be this clear on their own home page!
Businesses which often get this wrong include software and technology, coaches and consultants.
2. Your website is a wall of text
Nearly half of all Australian adults have low literacy. Many of the rest don’t like reading.
The example above is not only a wall of text, it’s a wall of extremely hard-to-read text. I ran this through the Hemingway editor (minus the footnotes) – you need 15 years of education to be able to read and understand this easily. That means it’s written for third year university students! A good web copywriter will deliver words which are easy for students in Year 8 or 9, possibly even younger. That doesn’t mean the content is simple, by the way. It means the writing is clear and straightforward.
You still need words on your website, but you need to make them easy and friendly. Writing for the web means (amongst other things) skimmable headings, bullet points and white space.
Walls of text are common with lawyers, accountants and similar professionals. They work with words and numbers, not images. It’s all too easy for them to forget that their clients are different. (Lawyers have an added challenge with creating easily readable web copy, since in their day job they use words for precision, not marketing.
3. You have portfolio or gallery pages which are all images with no words
Businesses often making this mistake include builders, architects and designers. They believe photographs of their work will demonstrate what they do far better than words can.
To a large degree, they’re correct. But people need to find those photos in the first place, and if they like them, they need to know what to do next.
Google and other search engines work on text, not images. They don’t ‘see’ images in the way humans do – they see a file name and some alt text (if you included it – there isn’t any on this site).
Google needs 300 plus words to identify what a page is about. The page above (from an architect’s site) has a grand total of 24 words, including the navigation menu!
The photos should still take pride of place on the page, but adding a small amount of website copy (suburb; type of project; key challenges; how you overcame them; materials used; a reaction from the clients) can help far more people find them.
And if someone likes your photos enough to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, don’t just leave them there! Provide a ‘call to action’ – an invitation to contact you, or find out more about this project, or something!
4. Your website is all about you and not about your client or customer
I’ve talked about this one before. You might think your website is about you and your business.
As far as your customer’s concerned, your website is actually about what your business can do for them!
‘You’ is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It shows we’re focused on the other person, not ourselves. Do you use it enough on your website?
5. You have a blog where the last post is more than 2 years old.
This is another issue which crops up in all kinds of businesses. If your website is like this, you have several options:
- Remove the blog. Not recommended if you have more than a couple of posts, since you’ll lose search authority and your Google rankings will probably slip.
- Reformat the blog so that no dates show onscreen. This way no one can tell how old your most recent post is – unless the content is time-sensitive and clearly out of date. This option is relatively quick to implement and won’t damage your site rankings significantly, but it won’t help them either.
- Write some more blogs yourself. A great option if you have both the time to keep doing this and some basic SEO knowledge.
- Hire a web copywriter to work with you on new blogs and fresh content.
Most of the work we do here at NoBull Marketing is web copywriting, either general website copy, landing pages or blogs. Everything we write is original and SEO-friendly. We also have a wealth of insight into other aspects of a good website and effective SEO, which we always happy to share.
If you’re frustrated with the performance of your website, the first thing to do is have a quick chat to explore whether or how we can help. Book in a time here – and please make sure to share your website url so I can have a look in advance!