Writing content (or ‘copy’) for your website, ads and emails can be a daunting task – spelling, grammar, sentence structure, search engine optimisation (SEO), tone, consistency…the list goes on!
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself when producing content for your business:
1. Have I communicated the information my reader wants?
Your customers don’t want to read a whole lot of information. Say what you need to say and no more – keep it short and sweet.
Also, make sure the content matches the heading it lives under. For example, under your ‘contact’ page, put your contact details – no more topics, no less topics.
2. Have I used the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ enough?
Engaging copy that sells puts your reader in the spotlight and makes it easy for them to visualise how your product or service will help them.
Instead of phrases like ‘We can…’ and ‘We offer…’, write ‘You will benefit from…’ and ‘You’ll experience…’
3. Have I thought about SEO keywords?
Before people can read your content, they need to find your content. Effective search engine optimisation makes this far more likely.
Research and think about the words people associate with your business and then use these words in your copy. For example, ‘affordable Melbourne plumber’ will rank much more highly than ‘plumber’.
4. Have I repeated the same words or phrases too much?
You don’t want to sound like a politician spouting the same catch phrase over and over again. Similarly, overuse of words makes your writing sound awkward.
For example, instead of:
- “You will benefit from the expertise of our expert plumbers”, write
- “You will benefit from the expertise of our professional plumbers”, or
- “You will benefit from the knowledge of our expert”
5. Have I been consistent with formatting, punctuation and spacing?
It might seem like a small thing, but inconsistency can really detract from otherwise great writing.
Review your entire piece with the following questions in mind:
- Do I use capitals, sentence case or lowercase for my headings and bullet points?
- Do I use one space or two spaces after each full stop?
- Do I use single or double quotation marks to indicate speech?
- Is the spacing between paragraphs uniform?
6. Have I checked if my plurals and singulars are correct?
This is a very common mistake and one that is easy to make. When referring to a company name, it is singular. For example:
- “Broadway offers a range of costume-hire choices” is correct.
- “Broadway offer a range of costume-hire choices” is incorrect.
7. Have I used apostrophes correctly?
It seems apostrophes are the bane of many people’s existence, or at least their writing existence. There are quite a few rules but the most common mistake occurs when an apostrophe is placed before the ‘s’ of a plural. For example, “Tomatoe’s cost $4/kg” is incorrect (there should be no apostrophe).
If in doubt, have a look at the apostrophe rules on the Oxford Dictionaries website.
8. Have I completed a spell-check?
Spelling mistakes are easy to make. I suggest you:
- read your work out loud with fresh eyes, and
- share your writing with someone else before publishing.
At Shuttle Rocket, our copywriters always take these steps before sending copy back to customers. Take a look at our copywriting packages to learn more about our easy web content options for small businesses.