No matter what your small business offers, it’s essential to have a web site to attract and inform your prospects, because most people go to the Web first to find products and services. Ergo, small business owners should put their best foot forward with a well-written web site. And, it’s not enough to slap together a static “brochure-ware” site; you need to refresh it regularly, so that search engines notice your site.
Why does it matter?
- Believe it or not, some of your prospects do notice grammar and style. You could turn off prospects because your web site is written with awkward language or poor grammar. Or, if your web copy doesn’t convey the right message about your company, product and service, you’re missing an opportunity to convert a prospect into a customer. Either way, it’s just not good for your brand image or business.
- On-page content matters to search engines. You need to make sure that the words you publish online about your business accurately reflect what your business offers. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines have algorithms that automatically assess your web site copy and determine how to place your web site in organic search results. So if you want to be known as a business that specializes in photography equipment, you’d better publish pages that contain several references to your type of photography equipment.
Unfortunately, small business owners often neglect their web sites because they are too busy providing their product or service. Even if they do write web copy, they sometimes lack the skills to write concisely and creatively, with good grammar. In terms of managing their web sites, many business owners fall into three categories:
- They have writing skills, but don’t have time.
- They have time, but no writing skills.
- They think their web copy is good, but in reality it’s not.
Ask yourself: do you fall into one of these buckets? Although small business owners may be experts in the service or products they provide, they aren’t always great writers or proofreaders. Let’s face it, not everyone was an English major in college. (Nor should they be; everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.) Have you had someone critique your web site lately? If you wrote your own copy, then at least have someone proofread it. Heck, even professional writers like me benefit from a fresh set of eyes to edit copy.
If you are a small business owner who doesn’t have time or expertise to write or review your web site content, it makes sense to bring in a professional marketer (like yours truly) to write and/or edit your web copy. I’m not talking major commitment here; for relatively little expense you can spruce up your web site by occasionally hiring a freelance copywriter. That way, you’ll at least have well-written, persuasive content. Furthermore, by updating your content you might also boost your search engine rankings.