Is your website copy clear about what you do?

‘Of course, our website copy tells people what our company does,’ I hear you say.

Slightly different question: Does your website copy describe what your company does using the same words and phrases your clients would use?

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Because that’s the thing, the words you use and those your potential clients use might not be the same. And it’s a crucial distinction if you want your business website to appear in searches.

When you are in the flow of writing about what you do, talking about your services and offer, it’s tempting to make it sound, well, a bit more flash. You might want to use technical terms or marketing lingo.

Here’s an example. I came across a company name, and I wanted to check what they did. I had an inkling were an office fit-out business.

So I Googled the company name to find their website and clarify what they did.

After spending 10 minutes scrolling through various pages on their website, I was still not 100% sure if they were an office fit-out company.

Fancy phrases vs clear and simple

The reason? Nowhere on the website did it mention ‘fit-out’. Instead, they used phrases like ‘end-to-end workspace solutions’.

If you were looking for a company to fit out your new office, would you search for ‘end-to-end workspace solutions’? Or would you search for ‘office fit-out company’?

It’s not unusual for B2B website copy to leave visitors confused about what the business actually does.

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Simple ways to improve dwell time on your B2B website

Web search tools such as Google, like your B2B website more if people spend time on it rather than having a quick look. It’s a sign that your website is useful and interesting and content can play an important role in this.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

First of all Google et al check your site to see if there is new content being published regularly, so having a regular flow of news, blogs posts, insight – whatever form your content takes – is a key part of optimising your site for search (SEO).

Your B2B website is also monitored for the time visitors spend on it which is often referred to as ‘dwell time’ or just ‘dwell’.

Having good quality, relevant content to read is, of course, important but also having some longer pieces helps.

It is good practice to include an image or photo with all content – it not only helps tell the story but can help grab readers attention if they are scrolling.

Longer pieces can additionally be broken up with subheads, infographics, pull quotes etc all of which can also help grab attention and keep readers engaged.

(There’s a practical reason too, big blocks of text are harder to read on screen.)

Interaction – engagement – with your B2B content can also increase dwell time so you could allow people to comment on your posts.

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Unlocking the benefits of regular B2B content – and my goal for 2021

It’s been two years since I set myself a goal of writing regular blog content here on my business website but like a lot of New Year’s Resolutions, it fell by the wayside.

I knew I needed to blog regularly because it is good for business, helping to build authority and traffic for my website. And I also knew I should practice what I preach.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

But it wasn’t until a lightbulb moment in September last year that I was finally on the road to achieving that goal – and as a result, it’s unlocked a new content marketing opportunity for 2021.

Up until last Autumn, my blog post writing was sporadic at best with some months going past without publishing anything at all.

It meant my web content wasn’t delivering with no discernible rise in traffic or engagement. And few business leads came from my website.

Content ideas weren’t the problem as I was publishing regularly on social media – LinkedIn – and getting good results.

So what changed? The spur – or perhaps kick up the backside – was a conversation with a fellow freelancer who refocused my B2B content strategy.

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Writing online headlines that work

The first Covid vaccine arrived in the UK last week and The Sun newspaper’s headline was: ‘The needle has landed’.

It’s a great pun. The Sun is particularly good at ‘punny’ headlines.

But it’s a headline that only works well in print because there is a picture, caption and additional information – a subheading – to help readers understand what the story is about.

Photo by Bruno Bučar on Unsplash

Did The Sun use the same headline for the online version?

No.

Why?

Because if people are Googling stories about the vaccine they aren’t likely to use ‘needle’ or ‘landed’ in their search terms. Headlines are an important part of search engine optimisation (SEO).

In addition, if you saw a list of different news headlines, would you immediately know what ‘The needle has landed’ was about?

When we are online we tend to make snap decisions. If there are other search results that more readily fit what we are looking for, are clear what the story is about then we’ll more likely click on those.

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Writing online content – 4 practical tips

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I’ve been writing for the web for many years, both for work and on my theatre blog, making some of the common mistakes along the way.

But I’ve learned from those mistakes, and I wanted to share some of the tips I’ve picked up.

This is practical advice rather than what to write and how to write because if your carefully crafted words aren’t easy to find and read, they won’t get read.

1. Keywords

For Google to find your content, it needs to contain the search terms your target audience would use when looking for information on that topic.

Don’t be too clever; use the common words and phrases, and if several different terms can be used, include them all.

For example, if you are writing about flexible office space, some people might search for articles on ‘flex space’, ‘ serviced offices’ or ‘co-working space’, so it’s a good idea to include all these terms.

Don’t stuff your content with keywords; rather, make sure you’ve covered the common bases.

And don’t forget to include keywords in your headline.

2. Mobile-friendly

Remember that people could be reading your blog post, article or web content on a phone or tablet, not just a laptop or desktop.

Current trends show that the proportion of web searches made on mobile devices has overtaken laptops and desktops.

So it’s important to check how your content looks and reads on all devices and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

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