Websites need to have a focus and a clear definition from all parties that are involved so that the branding remains in tact. Objectives may include, product advertising, promotion, sales, fulfillment, service, data collection, relationship building, investor relations, public relations, press relations, recruiting, product development and more. Think of your site as a direct mail package. Use it to get a customers attention by promising a benefit (not feature). Intrigue them to read on by anticipating needs. You need to let them know what they can do (which is what we in marketing want them to do) and give them action devices to help them get to where they want to go (PURL’s – personal URL’s with microsites within your site can help with this on a small scale and allow for your cost to be minimal). You also need to encourage responses and provide an easy route to do it.
Copy for a website should include:
Why your site exists, whom it is for, what can be accomplished, why they should be there now and provide power/control over a process they’ve responded to or initiated. (this means have controls for the end user like turn on/off sound, increased/decrease font size, offer language change)
Online Copywriting should eliminate the implied “I” and focus on the “you”. What that means is people reading online for products are looking for the “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me) not why you think your company is so great. Always lead a user into your site or ad with WIIFM. You need to be consistent with your language within your site. For instance, if you ask people to log in, you need to ask them to log out as well. Do not overwhelm visitors with a tidal wave of words. Use “rollovers” to create inviting white space and use pull down menus listing options to make it easier for visitors to move on.