Although RevBuilders Marketing provides content writing for those that need it, either on a one-time basis or for ongoing support, sometimes our clients want to write their own content. And that’s perfectly fine! There’s a certain personal aspect to a company doing their own writing that no one who is outsourced can reach. We do our best, and we can sometimes get close, but it’s never the same as a personal blog or a knowledgeable web content piece written directly from the company’s internal folks.
On the other hand, there can be some big hindrances to a company writing their own content. Below are some tips and things to keep in mind if you decide to write for your small business:
1. Write for your audience, not your company. If I could only give one tip, it’d probably be this one. Don’t think about describing your company to an employee, but to your ideal customer. Who is your ideal customer? Click here for a starting point to determine your audience.
2. Have a conversation. This goes along with the previous point. Write your draft as if you were talking to the perfect customer. Even if you have the most technical company in the world, and your company doesn’t normally have a personable tone, keep a “human” aspect to your writing.
3. Avoid industry jargon. Along with the previous point, you should try to speak in the language of your audience. This is especially an issue for technological or medical companies, if you’re a B2C company – this means avoiding industry-specific words that your audience may not understand or use. (The one side note is that if you’re a B2B company, you may actually want to use industry jargon, but you still need to speak the same language as your ideal customer.)
4. Use researched keywords. Although this may seem odd, given that you want it to sound natural and you want to avoid industry jargon, you really should try to research and use good keywords in your content. If you use the correct keywords, people who want what your company offers will be able to find you easier – this is the whole idea behind SEO.
5. Don’t overuse keywords. The other end of the previous point is to not overuse keywords, as this can make it awkward (not to mention some search engines can negatively mark a website that does keyword stuffing).
6. Don’t sterilize your content. That means don’t over-edit. Keep it natural. Like a conversation, if you start to sound like you’re simply reading a memorized script, people tend to stop listening. Engage your audience by keeping your content human and personable. This is true even for technical, B2B companies where you do have an industry jargon that your customers are familiar with and often use.
Tips for a few specific pages of content found on a website:
7. Home page: Although a common feature of recent websites is a large, photographic homepage without content, we highly recommend that you keep content on your homepage, even if it’s below the big picture. Content on the homepage is highly, highly essential to your website being found in organic search by your potential customers. With that in mind, what should the content on the homepage look like? Think of the homepage as meeting someone for the first time. It could be the first, maybe second time that someone has come into contact with your name. They could know a little about you, but more likely than not, they don’t know very much. So while you’ll need to explain your company and what you provide, try to make it as invitational and open-conversation as possible. You want your website visitors to feel welcomed, and to know what to do next. Gently guide them along in a process, remembering that you first have to explain why you have what they need before you ever sell them on purchasing.
8. About Us page: Everyone expects this page to be a showcase of your company. Try to keep it honest, though. While you should talk about your achievements and victories, don’t be afraid to show a personal side to your business, including a picture of you (the business owner), and maybe even some or all of your employees. Talk about the story of your business. Discuss your interests outside of the business. Maybe you could even list charities, organizations, or causes that you and or your business supports.
9. Contact Us page: Please have a “Contact Us” page, or some equivalent and obvious page where people can go and in one glance find the phone number to call, an email (that is monitored regularly), and even an address if you have a physical location, or your mailing address. Make it easy for your potential customers to contact you. Content for this page can be a simple invitation to connect with you, and don’t forget to list your social media accounts!
As for the actual writing? It’s really simple:
10. Have a headline on every page, preferably with a researched keyword in it.
11. Use subheadlines, where appropriate.
12. Use bullet points and or numbered lists when you can.
13. Draft without editing the first time.
14. Once you’ve drafted the content, go back to edit.
15. Edit again.
16. Get at least one other person to review and edit, preferably two other people.
17. Remove any industry jargon (when not used by your audience).
18. Go back once more, but this time make sure your content wasn’t sterilized into legalese.
19. Just post it. It will never be absolutely perfect, and yes, it will need updated as time passes. That’s okay.
Lastly, this has nothing to do with the actual writing but is an essential part of website content:
20. Pictures are important! Take photos of your business and customers, or have someone do professional photography for you. Good website content paired with good photography makes for an excellent website.
If you’re going to write your own web content, I wish you the best of luck and hope you have fun! However, if you find the whole process a little overwhelming, and you really don’t like writing and have no writers on staff, contact us at RevBuilders Marketing to ask about our copywriting services. We’re happy to help you make your website more personable and inviting to your potential customers!