Many of my copywriting projects are website renovations where businesses have an existing website but find that it isn’t converting lookers to clients. Or they may have a website that isn’t performing well in the search engines, which means that potential clients can’t find them.
Quality copy on the page is definitely a big part of improving your results, but there are also things you can do yourself that don’t take a lot of time or effort – assuming you have access to your website through a content management system.
- Typos – These pesky things sneak through onto websites of even the strongest professional copywriter. They not only make you look bad, but they can affect your search engine results. The quickest way to pick up typos is to copy and paste the words on your page into WORD and run a spell check to find the mistakes before fixing them in your site. WORD won’t pick up everything, but it will be an improvement.
- A Call to Action – Your phone number or a way to contact you needs to be glaringly obvious at the top and bottom of every page. Don’t make people search for your contact details. Add your number to your page header and a clear call to action at the base of every page.
- Currency of Information – Is everything on your website current or do you have people that no longer work with you, or include services that you no longer offer? Delete any content that is out of date.
- Headlines & Subheadlines – Breaking up your text with clear keyword rich headlines and subheadlines not only makes it easier to read, it can help your search engine results (if you use headline tags). Check and add in headlines and subheadlines on every page.
- Page Titles – Every web page needs a unique title. This is one of the most important SEO factors and shouldn’t be more than 60 characters. Think about the words people type into Google to find you. For example, they don’t type in “About Us” and expect to find a painter. Your page title needs to reflect what the page is about, as well as help people find your particular goods or services. Ensure every page has a unique page title.
- Images Titles – Every image needs an “alt” tag. Search engines don’t necessarily “see” images or pictures. Similarly, people who are vision impaired or who use text only computers can’t see your image. Alt tags not only describe the image, but when used carefully with your keywords they can help your SEO. Don’t just use one word across all your images and add unique alt tag descriptions to every image.
- Page Descriptions – Search engines when delivering your pages in results will generally simply take a couple of lines from your page which may or may not be useful. By thinking of your page description as mini ads you can write up to about 25 words enticing people to click on your URL in the search results. Not all search engines deliver your nicely crafted page descriptions in their returns, but when they do, strong descriptions increase your click through rates. Add a quality page description to every page.
- Broken Links – Links within your site get broken over the years as you move or delete content or images. They can also happen when people who have commented on your site no longer have a website, or they have moved their URL. If you have loads of broken links within your site, then Google interprets that your site is old and poorly maintained (and therefore poor quality). Periodically check and fix broken links within your pages using plug-ins such as Broken Link Checker if your site is on WordPress. This sort of plug-in doesn’t need any coding knowledge or skills. Regularly check your site for broken links. For example, one of my newer clients just ran his report – 143 within site broken links and 9232 404 errors (mainly from moved pages within his site) – and he wondered by his site was dropping in the rankings!
- Crank up your Website Security – Attempts to hack websites are on the increase. If your site is full of malware after a hack it will not only create problems with your clients, it will affect your search engine rankings. Regularly change your passwords, ensure you have regular site back-ups and ensure your web developer has strong security processes protecting your site. There are numerous plug-ins available if you use a WordPress site to help with this. I prefer Better WP Security as it has most of what you need in the one place.
Of course, if you need help improving the quality of your copy on your website, contact us for a web copy renovation quote.