One of the biggest problems for people wanting to create a website for their business or organisation is the issue of written content. Frankly, a great number of websites will never reach their potential, through lack of content.
“Can’t I pay you to write it for me?”
The short answer is, “Yes you can.” If your assumption is that a web designer will provide copy and you are willing to pay for their time, that’s great. If you use Kernow Design to write your copy you will get readable text that is optimised for search engines (see Search Engine Optimisation). But even then, no copywriter will know your business or organisation as well as you do. So there will need to be one or more interviews to kick-start the copy-writing process.
To start the writing process, we find that an interview is invaluable for several reasons. It helps us understand how to break down the website logically into pages that cover the main themes of your organisation. It helps us to understand what your organisational ‘culture’ and language is. We can also get a good idea of the type of visitors you expect so we can use an appropriate reading level.
To see what we mean by this last point, try using this page to check some text.
If we run the text above the link on this page through it, we get the following results:
Grade Level: 9
Reading Level: standard / average.
Reader’s Age: 13-15 yrs. old (Eighth and Ninth graders)
This might seem rather low for a business website; but bear in mind that people generally read online differently from the way they read books. They scan. They speed-read. They are looking for links. Good copy takes this into account and also avoids you losing the bottom, say, 25% of readers who are not so able. It does this without diluting or obscuring your message.
“What about brochures and printed literature?”
The reading level for printed material, especially brochures and prospectuses, will usually be higher than that expected for web-based content.
For this reason we, at Kernow Design, are in a unique position to help you. Our owner has a master’s degree in linguistics and over a decade’s experience delivering business and marketing communications training. This experience can be applied to annual reports, marketing materials and many other written communications.
Producing coherent, structured, concise writing is a skill and using it will create a good impression on readers. At Kernow Design, we will help you to get your message across in ways that will reflect well on your organisation.
“I’m a pretty good writer – I can do this”
Frankly, if you can, then you should. No-one knows your business and clients better than you. Websites based on Content Management Systems will give you the ability to create your own content. If you have the time to learn how to use them, and the time to actually use them, then that is ideal.
But, even so, it is worth having a copy writer look at the content. Simple typos and punctuation errors can slip through. If they do they create a bad impression, undoing all the good work achieved by your text.
Furthermore, your text should be created with a view to its optimisation for the other type of ‘reader’ of your website, the search engine…
“What about regular and ad hoc updates?”
We strongly recommend that you keep your site regularly updated. New content will keep return visitors engaged, making your site a regular destination for your customers and clients. Perhaps you will be informing them of new offers, perhaps you will write an article that they want to share.
Whatever it is, it will need to be well-written, “sticky” content. That is to say, content which people will want to stop and read.
At least as important is that fresh content and regular updates will help your site hit as high as it can on search engine rankings. You can read more about this in the next section.
Whatever your content needs are, just remember that at Kernow Design, we can help you with professionally written copy.