Writing perfect website texts - Guideline
This is what numerous Internet users ask themselves every day when they visit a company's website. Because often neither the company's purpose nor the addressed target group is clear at first (or second) glance. This is especially (but not only) true for companies that sell software and services. Because here, product photos cannot simply be inserted next to the website texts that explain the company.
Therefore, it is important that website texts are well planned in advance. The basis of this planning are the individual writing guidelines of a company. A Tone of Voice can also be part of the website content planning.
Of course, you can also choose the simple variant and have website texts written. There are numerous ways to outsource copywriting. Content marketing agencies and freelance copywriters write website texts.
But even if you outsource website copywriting to external service providers, you need to be clear about the message. This is the only way that a content marketing agency can respond precisely to you, your customers and your company and contribute its entire expertise.
Tone of Voice for website texts
The Tone of Voice of a company determines how company members communicate externally. It describes the tone of textual and verbal communication. When creating this guideline, it's not about what you say, but how you communicate it.
The tone of voice should be consistent for the company, as the writing style conveys unspoken messages. Thus, a tone of voice can convey the company's values and vision to the reader in addition to its purpose. The right use of language and tonality touches the reader emotionally and stimulates him to action.
Each company should find its individual linguistic style that matches its brand identity.
Develop the Tone of Voice
The basis of the Tone of Voice is always the company's self-image. It contains the vision and values and conveys the unique selling proposition. When developing your Tone of Voice, you should therefore first ask yourself the following questions.
1) Who is our target audience?
Website texts must always reach the target group first and foremost. Personas are a good first step here to understand the questions and problems of the target group. This way, the texts can be precisely tailored to the target grou
The defined target group has a significant influence on the tone of voice. The language changes greatly depending on whether you are communicating with professionals in your industry or with end consumers.
Questions you can answer to define the target audience include the following:
- How does my target audience tick?
- What does my target audience want and need?
- How does my target audience think: Conservative or relaxed
- Is the target group already familiar with the topic? Does it understand technical terms?
Make notes on the appropriate persona. Then you already have a good basis for the address in your website texts.
2) What is our vision?
The vision of the company bundles all company goals and summarizes them in one or a few sentences. This vision forms the basis of all website texts and should be consulted by every employee who writes texts for the company.
Examples of good visions include the following:
Google: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and usable.
Google: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and usable.
SAP: Our vision at SAP is to improve the world and people's lives. Our promise is to drive innovation so that companies in our customer base can realize their full potential.
3) How do we describe ourselves?
For example, the Tone of Voice can include adjectives that copywriters can refer to again and again as they write. The following adjectives can be the basis of a good Tone of Voice.
- Passionate and inspiring
- Visionary and groundbreaking
- Fresh and different
- Creative and imaginative
With every sentence you write, you should ask yourself if you are conveying the emotions that define your company. For example, if you describe yourself as passionate and inspiring, your language should always be positive and encouraging.
Using the Tone of Voice in website texts
If your company has defined the Tone of Voice, it should be used for all website texts.
Every employee who writes copy must follow the guidelines to keep corporate communications consistent.
Particularly important for text writing is the vision defined above. Figuratively speaking: Print out a sheet of paper with your vision and hang it on the wall. Every time you write a website text, look at the paper and align your text with it.
Unlike the Tone of Voice, which can also be more extensive, the Vision should be as short as possible. That's why it's perfect to have constantly at hand, and to skim over on occasion.
The formulated adjectives describing the company may as well be printed out and consulted again and again.
The persona you have defined in advance can also be visualized well. For example, in a real person. If you regularly write website texts, then keep all three components of the Tone of Voice handy.
Writing Guidelines for Website Texts
In addition to the Tone of Voice, the Writing Guidelines form the most important basis for good brand communication. These guidelines lay down stylistic and grammatical rules. Copywriters must adhere to these rules when writing website texts. This ensures a consistent style.
1. technical terms
Industry-specific terms, especially abbreviations, should be explained. Readers need to understand the texts, even if they are not familiar with the industry. For this reason, it makes sense for most companies to include explanations of technical terms in the Writing Guidelines.
2. concise or playful
The number of adjectives used determines the style of website texts. The more concise the text should be, the fewer adjectives it may contain. More adjectives, however, seem more personal, more approachable and charge the company with more emotions.
3. active language
Generally, the active language is more suitable for website texts. How much you want to commit here depends on your business.
4. colloquial language
Depending on the focus and target group, certain buzzwords and colloquialisms should be used or omitted. This strongly depends on the industry and professionalism of the company.
5. exclamation point and superlative
Exclamation points and the use of the superlative ("best", "greatest") should be used sparingly in B2B. In other cases, however, they can be important stylistic devices.
As a general rule, formulate positively. This is especially true for companies that describe themselves as visionary and passionate. Because in a passionate environment, you don't use negatives.
What else is needed for a good website text?
In addition to a consistent style, good website texts also require other prerequisites. The Tone of Voice and the Writing Guidelines ensure that the linguistic style fits the company. But to be successful on the web, you need more.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is very relevant for online texts. You should optimize your website not only for website visitors, but also for search engines.
Of course, (potential) customers and your target group are always the focus of the texts. But to inspire users, the page must first be found via Google. Therefore, website operators should use SEO.
Optimizing SEO texts involves more than just adding a few keywords to the text. Therefore, it is often advisable to outsource SEO website texts to an agency. They will create unique content for you that perfectly matches the self-image of your company.
Skills and passion for writing
An important point when writing website texts is the passion for writing. Because only those who like to write a lot can properly deal with the company's writing guidelines and also follow them. This requires a certain amount of linguistic skill.
Good readability and comprehensibility
Readability is very important for two key reasons.
1. not everyone who visits your website has a university degree. Therefore, short, concise sentences are very important. Long words and paragraphs should also be modified to ensure a good reading flow.
2. Google likes easy to read content. Because website texts with a good readability are relevant for a broader target group than texts with many complex technical terms.
Graphics, videos and photos
For a good text, it is not enough if it consists only of words. The overall picture of a website always includes graphic elements. These support the message of the text and loosen up the content.
Conclusion: Have website texts written or do it yourself
The development of the Writing Guidelines and the Tone of Voice is a good basis for appealing website texts. And basically every employee of your company can write more or less good texts on this basis. In many cases, however, it makes sense to consider outsourcing the text creation.
When you have your website texts written, you don't have to worry about the factors described above, such as search engine optimization, readability and skills. All this is provided by the agency.
An external view of your company can also be very valuable. A content creation agency can, of course, also help you establish your writing guidelines. Content Creation Agency can, of course, assist you in establishing your Writing Guidelines.