When companies are designing their websites, the focus is often on the look and functionality of the site, meaning that written content can fall by the wayside. But having minimal or low-quality written content on your site (or both!) can really limit the success of your site – or even have an actively negative impact. Here’s what the content on your site says about you.

Who you are

They say first impressions are everything, and this counts for your website as well. Your written content is a way of introducing yourself, so having hardly anything on it is the virtual equivalent of an unsmiling nod or a gruff one-word response. You wouldn’t greet a potential customer like that in real life would you? So ensure you don’t make this error online.

Tone of voice is really important too. It’s not just what you say: it’s the way you say it. Marketing is an emotive discipline, so it’s all about how you want your customers to feel when they are on your site, as well as communicating your brand and getting people to identify with it. A lighter, informal, jovial tone of voice will send the message to customers that your company is pleasant and easy to deal with. Using the youth vocabulary will help younger customers identify with your brand, for example, if this is your target market. Or on the other hand, more formal wording and sentence formulations create an air of seriousness and reliability, if that is what you want to focus on and emphasise about your business.

Whatever the tone of voice used, well-curated content creates an impression of professionalism and gives customers a clear idea of who you are as a business.

What you do

You know what your company does like the back of your hand—you’re part of making it happen, day in, day out. Visitors to your website, however, may have absolutely no idea, so you need to make it clear to them when they visit your site. This includes complete information about all of the services and product types that you offer. If they visit your site and can’t find what they’re looking for or aren’t sure quite what you sell, they will leave again. This means lower conversion rates and higher bounce rates. So make sure you have plenty of information, alongside Call to Actions to get those all-important sales.

It’s not just customers who need to know what you do – it’s search engines as well. Written content is paramount to making sure that Google et al can identify what your site is about and that you therefore rank higher when people search for the key words that are relevant to your business. And a few bullet points with the keywords in won’t cut it – Google favours good-quality, paragraphed text of a sufficient length (at least 500 words).

Whether you can be trusted

Quite rightly, internet users are often very cautious about who they give personal and payment details to. Essentially, online customers will only make purchases from sites they think they can trust. Here again, your written content can help to create a trustworthy, professional impression, alongside other factors such as the look of your site, certified secure payment etc. Writing about the background and ethos of your company, as well as any quality and security certifications you possess, will give customers even more peace of mind, making them more likely to buy. Leave no questions unanswered—explain all of your shipping, payment and returns policies and make them easily viewable so that people don’t give up trying to find them and leave the site.

Conclusion

The overall message here: don’t underestimate the power of written content. It sends a clear message to human users and to search engines about your business—and it’s up to you to make sure it’s a positive one!