Is your website pulling its weight? As an essential element of your marketing efforts, your site needs to attract prospects, and keep them around long enough to see what you offer. Ideally, the site would give them a reason to return, and to share their email address with you too.

Let’s look at the steps you can take right now to improve the copy on your website.

6a00d8345169c669e2017d3c5caca8970c-120wiBe sure you know what the goal of your site is, as well as the aim for each section or page.

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking, “Isn’t it obvious what the goal of my site is? To get more business!” Sorry, but you need to be more precise. Are you trying to generate leads, create awareness of your company and its products and services, build relationships, or actually sell from the site? Make sure you understand the purpose of your site overall, as well as each page or section. Try to look at your site with the fresh eyes of a stranger, and not as someone with a vested interest.

Determine whether your copy is customer-centric.
Is your copy geared toward your needs or the needs of your clients and prospects? Make sure your site is not focused on “ME ME ME,” but instead speaks to “YOU YOU YOU.”

Check for grammatical and spelling errors, as well as random capitalization.
Some people (like me, I confess) will indeed judge your professionalism if they see its and it’s used incorrectly, or random words awarded an initial cap, or other errors. If you’re unsure of the rules of modern grammar, or if your spelling is a bit shaky, hire a copy editor or proofreader.

Link to your social media accounts.
Don’t hide your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media platforms. Be sure to include links to all your social media accounts. (Wait a minute: You’re not using social media? Let’s talk!)

Always be clear.
Because people often skim websites and don’t read word for word, be sure your copy is crystal clear. Don’t use a big word when a small one will suffice do. While you’re working on being clear, be sure you’re not offering way too much information. Remember that most visitors don’t want to read reams of facts and figures. Keep your story short and sweet; leave them wanting more.

6a00d8345169c669e2017d3c9a070f970c-800wiShare your story.
Sure, we’re in business, but we relate to each other as human beings first. Use your site to convey a sense of what your company is all about, as well as your passion for solving customer problems. Numbers and data are not enough. We think we act rationally, but most humans are swayed by emotion, so be sure to incorporate emotion into your story.

Use visuals and multimedia.
We live in the age of visual communication. Think about adding images to your site that attract people and tell your story. Audio and video can help you achieve this goal too.
6a00d8345169c669e2017ee3d20e1d970d-piBe sure your copy is fresh and inviting, not boring and out of date.
If your last “news” was posted in 2012, your site is out of date. Stale information doesn’t make you look professional, and search engines disfavor infrequently updated sites. By adding a blog to your site, you can keep the search engines and your prospects and customers happy. In fact, a frequently updated blog is one of the best ways to boost your rankings. Don’t worry: maintaining a blog doesn’t need to be an onerous task. Write posts about the topics your audience cares about. Include tips, frequently asked questions, links to relevant news items, product offerings, advice on how to use your products and services, plus curated links to content by others. Oh, and be sure to fix any dead links that might be lurking around your site.

Write your copy for both humans and search engines.
A website written just for search engines is unlikely to be very interesting to real people. Write for humans, but do keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Be sure you know what your keywords are, and use them in a way that does not violate Google’s rules, lest you taint your rankings in its search engine.

Add a clear, strong call to action.
What do you want visitors to do when they visit your site? Check out your latest products? Subscribe to your newsletter? Watch your how-to videos? Buy your book?
Be sure you have clear calls to action, and make it easy for people to follow through. For example, if your call to action is to subscribe to your fascinating and useful e-newsletter, don’t ask for too much information; stick to first and last name and email address. I don’t want to offer my mother’s maiden name to get your news!

Want to learn more about content marketing? Check out my workshop: Get known, get remembered and get business with content marketing, in Toronto on April 1, 2016.