Have you looked at your website lately? I mean really looked at it, not from the whole “this is my baby and I’ve poured my whole entire self into it” point of view, but looked at it from the casual website visitors’ point of view? Well, now is the time to take that good look, because there is no sense in spending money on advertising if your site isn’t ready.
First you need to look at the basics. Does everything load correctly and look right? Or is there “stray” text that kind of floats in the margins or anything else weird going on? Take a visual inventory of your website and make sure your page links and other links all work properly.
There are many ways to evaluate web copy. There are professionals available for hire to read and critique web copy, a trusted friend or colleague may be able to give their opinion, and of course you can evaluate your web copy yourself. The best method would be a combination of these three.
In evaluating web copy there are several things to look for, including:
Grammar and Punctuation: Every website should adhere to at least basic grammar and punctuation rules. However, you don’t have to be an English major to have good copy. Also, depending on the topic and tone of your website, you may be able to have a bit of leeway, and even use some internet jargon without offending your visitors.
Relevant to Your Topic:
Web content should be relevant to the topic of your website. While you can simply add a “general interest” category, it is best if your web copy is all relevant and related to your website topic to start.
Your web copy should not only be unique to your website (as in not copied and pasted from your favorite websites) it should also contain your unique voice. Your unique voice is what will make your visitors want to come back.
If your web copy sounds like a sales pitch or some impersonal drivel, then you may want to go back and let your unique personality shine through. Although there may some cases where it is more appropriate to keep things on an impersonal level, for most blogs, the more your voice shines through, the more loyal your visitors will be.
Make sure that your web pages are organized in a logical manner. Your visitor won’t want to read through all 20 pages of your web copy just to find information on basketweaving if your website is on crafts.
For the craft example, categories may include weaving crafts, painting crafts, crafts with glass, etc. It will make it easier for your reader to find the information they are looking for, and more likely to come back when they need something else.
Easy to Read:
Paragraph after paragraph of web copy isn’t interesting to most readers. Make sure that your web page isn’t just a bunch of text. It’s important to have graphics and even video on your web page to enhance your copy.
Lists and bulleted items are a great way to break the line of text copy, making it easier for the reader to follow your points and continue reading to the end of your copy.
Heading and sub-headings also are a great way to make your text more visually appealing and easier to read.