When you go to a website, if something’s off, you leave right away, don’t you? That could mean there are annoying flashing ads, the site design is cluttered, or the web copy is hard to understand. Having the right wording on your site can mean the difference between sending away visitors and potential customers and engaging them and converting them to sales.

Start By Knowing Your Audience

Before you can write effective web copy for your small business, you have to know who you’re writing it to. Different demographics will require different tones and levels of language. For example, if your audience is teenage girls, you wouldn’t write your copy the way you would to an audience of PhDs. Use words that your audience will understand. You can always use the rule of thumb of writing to an 8th grade audience to make sure you don’t talk over the heads of your readers.

Research Keywords

You want search engines to find your website, and they do that through the copy you have there. Focus on including keywords that describe your products or services. Be as specific as possible: if you sell certain kinds of women’s dresses (say, vintage style) use words that are less generic than “women’s dresses” so that the right audience can find you and search engines can better categorize you.

I recommend using Google’s Keyword Tool to find the words that people are searching for. Use them on every page of web copy as well as in each page’s description and title. Don’t stuff them in, though! Use them naturally. In other words, if it sounds funny to read out loud (“Our San Diego pool spa services are ideal for your San Diego pool spa.”), take some of them out.

Have the “Right Writer”

If you’re not proficient at writing, hire someone who is. If you don’t have a staff that includes a writer, consider hiring a marketing firm or freelancer to help you. It’s a one-time project that shouldn’t cost much, and with someone who knows how to drive traffic to your site, it’s an investment you can’t afford not to make!

Changing it Up

Don’t be afraid to update your copy as often as necessary. Search engines like fresh content, so changing a paragraph or two can actually help you. Make sure the information stays current, and that your contact information and services offered are never out of date.

The choice of words you use on your website is your introduction to potential customers. Make sure it’s a positive one by investing time and energy in crafting your copy.

Once you’ve got your web copy polished, why not take a look at your business structure? CorpNet.com’s small business advisors can provide you with a free business consultation to help you determine which business entity is best for your company’s needs.