Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start if you’re writing your own website copy. At Infomedia, we start by creating a site map, which acts as an outline for copy. It’s good to think about how users will be navigating your site to give you some direction — that way, you aren’t writing aimlessly. If you don’t have a site map, you can use other site maps for inspiration. You’ll usually have a Homepage, an About page and maybe a Products or Services page.
Once you’ve nailed down the pages you’re writing, make an outline for each page that highlights the important points. You can also use keywords for SEO, or think about what users will be looking up on Google as you write.
Writer’s block is a common issue while writing copy, but we suggest writing anyway — even if it’s just a first draft. You can start with bullet points or bad sentences, but once you have something on the page, it’s a lot easier to go back and edit. The first draft is always the hardest.
Another thing to consider is how much copy to write, and sometimes there’s a fine line when it comes to writing for websites. Most users won’t read every word — they’ll look at headlines and hit the high points. But Google likes a lot of words and information, so it’s important to find a good balance. We suggest writing a few healthy paragraphs for each webpage and adding headlines where you can (Google likes headlines, too!).
If you have copy on your old website that’s still accurate and well written, it’s not a bad idea to reuse it. We always tell clients to try not to shock Google with lots of changes, and if you have to, do it all at once — in other words, try not to change your copy too often. It’s also important to write unique copy for every page because Google doesn’t like duplicate content.
If you’d like to learn more about what goes into building a website, such as content, branding and development, check out Infomedia’s collaboration with The Localist podcast. This week’s episode features Infomedia’s Project Management Lead, Leslie Johnson.