The Do’s & Don’ts of Crafting Impactful Website Copy

Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, sell a product or positioning your service — crafting impactful website copy that is keyword rich can be the difference in getting seen or overlooked.

Your website is a precious commodity, it allows potential customers to learn what your brand is all about. It may be the only thing they see of you. If your website’s cumbersome and sub par, they may think the same about your product or service. The last thing you need is for poor content and flow to dissuade site visitors from becoming customers. PLUS, with poor copy and content, visitors may not find you in the first place.

Follow these tips for crafting impactful website content and you’ll start seeing more page hits and conversions in no time:

DO Craft Your Message First

Sitting quietly facing a blank piece of paper can be daunting. But this is where fresh, clean and creative ideas come from. I’ll warn you, this may take multiple rounds of variations, editing, updates, or more.

The first step in creating effective website content is to start by simply telling your story. Why are you special? What differentiates you from the competition? How did you get to where you are today? What is your experience? What did you overcome? Although it may be obvious to you,  you’re explaining it to a person who has never met you. They don’t know how great you are. It’s time to show them.

As you’re writing, mark and save potiential headlines, subheads, benefits, callouts, quotes, testimonials and more. This content will be invaluable as you build the site.

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DON’T Just Take Your Word For It, Listen To What Customers And Employees Have To Say

Consider sending a questionnaire to customers and employees. (Hint: don’t just choose the best customers and employees.) Get a random sampling of what people think of you, your product and your service.

  • How is your response time?
  • Why did they buy your product?
  • What do they like, and dislike about your product and process?
  • Would they recommend you to someone else?
  • And more…

This is a great way to get information — positive and negative. You’ll be able to list the benefits for future customers, as well as think through how to solve and position negative issues.

DO Start Small, Then Reveal Your Story and Message

You have seconds to get a customers attention. Put your BEST foot forward. Start small. Write in digestible chunks and reveal your story as a user scrolls down the page, or clicks deeper into the site. Think of a funnel but in reverse. Expand the copy and add detail through subsequent clicks. Secondary and tertiary pages will have considerably more text. Simply put, people don’t like to read. Think Bulletpoints and Benefits. Then expand with heavy, SEO, keyword rich text on secondary pages.

What is your elevator pitch for your company or product? If you were riding in an elevator with a potential customer, what would you say to them in 15-25 to get their attention. This is a good place to start.

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DON’T Start Creating in WordPress

It happens all the time, a person finds a WordPress template they like, and they change out the information and images to fit their business or product. WordPress templates were created by designers, not marketers. While there are some cool and engaging elements to the templates, the content doesn’t always fit, messaging doesn’t flow, benefits that need to be highlighted aren’t, and there’s no overall flow and cohesiveness to the site.

Creativity comes from research and planning. Think through the page flow. How will your story be revealed on the home page as a user scrolls down. Although you are giving the customer free will to do whatever they want, you are secretly steering them through your site, to your most important information, but most importantly, steering them to contact you or make a purchase.

DO Plan Your Home Page Flow and Wireframe

Mock up your site, and page flow in Photoshop. Combine the messaging we crafted based on our input and our customers, with headlines, suheads, benefits, callouts and more.

Your most important information needs to be above the fold, that is above the bottom of the screen, before a user starts scrolling. Consider not using rotators. (They are so 2015 : ). Actually, today’s users don’t take the time to wait for scrollers, so if you have important information in there, they’ll most likely miss it.

Less is More — that is my philosophy for home page design. You have less than 10 seconds to convert a customer. Potential customers will evaluate you by your polished, or broken, design and message.

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DON’T Just Delete Your Old Site

Are you creating a new website to replace your old one? Don’t just throw it out and replace it with your new site. You may miss out on valuable content and keywords, that you are already ranking for. You may fall to the bottom of the rankings for starting with all new keywords. That fresh new site you were excited about, will leave you worse off than you were before.

First evaluate your old site. What’s working? What’s not? Make sure the site is connected to Google Analytics. Do you have keywords that are ranking on pages? Are URLs ranking? Don’t start from scratch and risk losing those valuable links and URLS.

Don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site? It’s not too late to analyze your site with additional software. Contact us. We can help you get a picture of what’s working, and what’s not.

DO Plan Your Keywords

Key words should drive your page names, page content, page flow, image naming convention and more. Every page should different, and have a different keyword focus.

The difficult part is, don’t just grab keywords you think are strong. They may be strong because other companies have been using them for years, making it almost impossible for you organically break into the top rankings. Carefully do your research. 

Utilize keyword analysis when developing your pages. You are looking for keywords with an easy entry point, but also drives a lot of traffic. Not sure where to start? Contact us for help.

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DON’T Use a WordPress Template

Again, I can’t emphasize this enough, don’t force your story into someone else’s formatting and page flow. Don’t risk looking like someone else, or even worse, don’t risk looking like your competition.

For just a little more work, you can write and design an engaging WordPress site that gets attention and engages cutomers. 

DO Use A Trusted Website Builder

There are great WordPress Website builders out there. My favorite is Divi by Elegant Themes. Essentially, you can build anything that you can dream of, either with the system or by integrating plugins that work reliably with these popular builders.

Not only do these builders make it easy to create websites, but revisions can be made by virtually anyone, even if they have little web training. My clients love Divi by Elegant Themes. It’s easy to update and changes can be made in the browser, on the live pages. 

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Brave Books Website Design by Red Van Creative

DON’T Use Any Ol’ Plugin

Be sure to use reliable plugins with good rankings. So many times sites go down because of insecure or unreliable plugins. Troublshooting bad plugins that have taken your website down can be a nightmare. 

Before you load a plugin to your site, read the reviews. Have people had issues. And if so, is the company responsive in handling and solving the issues. 

DO Use An SEO Plugin

Backend SEO preparation can be just as time consuming as the forward-facing design of the website. Consider using a reliable SEO Plugin like Like YOAST SEO, Rank Math, Ahrefs or something similar. Whether you are a novice, or experienced at SEO writer, these plugins help provide recommendations to streamline the seo on your page. Consider paying for the PRO versions of these plugins to access greater keyword control.

Many people ask, can you use more than 1 SEO plugin on your WordPress website?

The answer is no. You should only install 1 SEO plugin on your website. Using multiple SEO plugins can cause plugin conflicts, usability issues and impact your site’s performance.

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Red Van Creative Website Content Creation and Design

Paradigm Brewing Website Design by Red Van Creative

DON’T Let It Be About You

Overall, even though your website is about you, don’t let it solely be about you. It’s not always about what you like and your preferences. Put your customer and audience first. What are they looking for? What resonates with them? What do they want to see and hear? What will make them engage with you and your site.

DO Contact Red Van Creative

Have questions? Or need help developing your next website. We would love to help. Contact us today for a website evaluation.

The “Do’s and Don’ts of Creating Website Content” is just part of my website design Philosophy. I’ll be more thoughts and ideas in future posts. Are you a designer, marketing director, or just a creative at heart? I would love to hear from you. Contact me with any comments or questions.

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Jared Van Bruaene

Owner/ Creative Driver
Red Van Creative