Using Your Words

advice | copywriting
keyboard sits on desk in front of pictures in frames

Part of my job involves me looking at lots of websites on a regular basis, specifically websites of small businesses which, if they’re anything like mine, are probably self-made on a blogging platform like WordPress. When you see so many websites, you start to notice when things are missing on them so I figured this would be a good learning curve for us all – after all, I’m a girl who learns by making mistakes (or noticing the mistakes of others!). So, here are six things that people regularly forget to put on their website and why you should be using your words and including them!

Your location

I’m always amazed when a service-led business doesn’t include a rough idea of their location on their website. It doesn’t have to be specific, guys. A city/town or a province/state/county will do, I’m not expecting you to give the location to your front door or anything! But location is important, particularly when you’re providing a service that needs to be face-to-face. Sure, you might be willing to travel, but it’s a good idea to let people know where you might be travelling from so that they can have a rough idea of what your travel expenses are likely going to be too.

keyboard sits on desk in front of pictures in frames

A means of contact…

…other than just the contact form on your website. While I don’t begrudge filling out a contact form, those things can sometimes fail and if you don’t give people another means to contact you, then you may never know that it has!

Again, I’m not expecting you to leave your personal phone number in a public forum. But, if you have a website, you should, at the absolute minimum, have an email address. And if you don’t, then why on earth not? It doesn’t have to be anything super professional – even a free Gmail address will do!

Social Media links

As a small business, there’s a good chance you’re posting to social media to generate more traffic to your site. Well, what about the other way round? I have to admit, one of the first things I do when scoping out a new small business is take a look at their website, first and foremost, very swiftly followed by their social media accounts. This becomes a little hard to do when you have to manually go searching on social media yourself to find the account. So make life easier for your audience, friends. Let them know where you hang out online!

hands rest on laptop keyboard ready to type

A blog

Ok, ok, I know I’m totally biased here, being the self-professed lover of words and writing for a living. I get it, it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But having a blog on your website, in this day and age, is an absolute must, it really is! I explained why in this post recently, so go and take a read of it if you haven’t already. I’m not expecting you to churn out content daily… but get one on your site and watching your website clicks rise. I promise!

What you do… specifically

It’s all well and good telling people you’re a content marketer, or a social curator, or a copywriter and so on but, truthfully, you need to be more specific and tell people exactly what it is you do and how it is you’re going to help them.

People don’t necessarily know all the right jargon when they’re searching for a local business online so if you can explain what it is you do in simple language and terms, and in a variety of different ways, you stand a better chance of being found through search engines when people use a variety of different search terms to find what it is they’re looking for!

All about you

Nobody wants to know about the face behind large corporations but, in an age of wanting to shop locally and shop small, people are much more interested about the faces and stories behind small businesses just like yours.

An ‘About’ page becomes even more vital when what you provide is a service. A good ‘About’ page will help potential clients to connect with the person behind the business, it will give them a reason to choose your business over someone else’s if they find a common ground by finding out a bit more about you and, hell, it’ll build trust! I think we can all safely say we’d sooner trust a small business if we can see and hear exactly who that person is, right?

Actually, then, it’s not just about words here – because another thing I see missing a lot is a good headshot or photograph of you! Don’t all get shy now… you need your face somewhere on your website and your ‘About’ page is as good a place as any, so what are you waiting for?!

desk with laptop and notebook and pen while woman holds a cup of tea

So, then, I challenge you all to go and have a look at your websites now people and see if you’re committing any of these faux pas! And if you are… fix them! Use your words guys and get that information on your website for people to see. You’ll notice the benefits soon enough!