Every business that is worth its salt has its own website. However, websites can vary hugely in terms of quality.
Some are purely functional home pages, while those at the top end are fully interactive, with the use of audio and video content. It’s fine if you have the time and money to create such a high-spec website.
But what happens if you don’t have those resources to hand? Don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank to produce a quality website that works effectively and your target audience will want to visit time and again.
I should know: I have built my own website from scratch as well as helped hundreds of clients to write their websites. I have even written a book on the subject: Every Word Counts: The Easy Way To Win More Customers Online. Here is my simple five-step guide to writing an award-winning website:
1) Put yourself in your client’s shoes
A good starting point is to think about what your client wants or expects to see when they go on your website. They may be looking for a particular product or service, or simply to get advice, find out your latest news and offers or stay in contact with you.
2) Structure your website accordingly
Once you have a clear idea of what your client needs, you should start to draw up a visual plan of how your website will look. The focus has to be on how to make it as user friendly and easy to navigate as possible.
As a basic, you need to have a home page with all of your key information. But make sure not to overload it with too much text – that’s why you should also have about you, services, blog, testimonial and contact pages. Depending on the industry you work in, you may also want to include a portfolio and FAQ page.
3) Lay out your pages, one by one
Having decided which pages you are going to have and how your website will all fit together, then you need to design each page. It’s key to get the right balance between text and images.
You want to provide enough detail without overwhelming the reader with information. So adopt a policy of less is more, breaking everything down into easy-to-read and digestible parts, using short headlines and sub-headlines, two-sentence paragraphs, bullet points, links and, where necessary, picture captions.
4) Write clearly and concisely
The rule of thumb for all writing is to pitch it as if you were explaining something to a 12-year-old. And because people’s concentration span is lower when reading a screen, your sentences need to be shorter and sharper than in print.
People tend to remember points in threes and fives, so stick to that guideline when making yours. An effective way to do this is through the use of bullet points or sub-headers.
5) Review and monitor regularly
Once you have finished writing your website, you need to go back and read it and re-read it to make sure that the narrative flows and you get all of your key messages across as succinctly and effectively as possible. Also, ask someone else, ideally who is completely unrelated to your business and interests, to have a look and seek their feedback.
There are always improvements that you can make to your website. Those could be updates or changes to keep your website current and relevant.
Do you need help with writing your website or any other writing? Give me a call on +44 (0)7949 590213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org