prepare content for your website
As well as a plan, you will need images and text to build your website.
Developing your content is an ongoing task to refine your marketing message. For this reason it is beneficial to know how to add text and images to your website yourself.
It is not essential to have your own images to build a website in our 8 hour training course, but if you do you will be closer to having a finished site. We will provide guidance to prepare this content in our first hour meeting. Then you can be ready, for the two 3 hour parts of the training, where we will be building your site.
The images you show on your website give your audience an impression of who you are. They are your “sell”. If customers feel aligned with the images you show on your homepage, they will be more likely to go further into your site. You may decide to choose images to give your site a corporate feel, or you could opt for a more personal down-to-earth touch. Either way you are going to need high quality, convincing images.
Sourcing free images
To access high quality free images of all kinds, search the databases of the following websites;
Another great place to find free images is Flickr.
You will need to sign up (you get a Yahoo account) to access this database. Once you are signed in, type Advanced Search in the search box. Then select Creative Commons/Commerical Use Allowed. This will generate thousands of images.
If you cannot find what you need amongst the free images websites, the next step is to go online and purchase images from websites such as
Creating your own images
This 8 hour training does not cover creating your own photography of products or services. There are thousands of resources, including workshops and videos online which explain how to make product or hero images. Try googling youtube/product photography workshops.
When downloading images to your desktop folder, make sure you download the highest possible resolution (up to approx 3000 x 3000 px is a good place to start).
The the next step is converting each image to the correct dimension and pixel size for use on your website or webstore. To do this, go to fotor.com and sign up for free. Fotor allows you to resize and manipulate images. At Fotor you can also add text to your images. If you need to remove a back- ground, go to clippingmagic.com. This site makes it easy to do advanced manipulation of images.
Have you written copy for your marketing "by line", "call to actions", "about" page, product descriptions and policies?
Writing web copy
Web copy is scanned. Or glanced at. Not read. Your web visitors are hunting for information or products. They make quick decisions without thinking.
Your web visitors consider two things: Does your website offer what they’re looking for? And can they find it easily? Web visitors quickly glance at your web page, before guessing whether they’re in the right place or not. They don’t need to know for sure. They just want to make a quick decision. If your web visitors only glance at your website, how do you get your message across?
Writing for the web is completely different than writing an essay or a paper.
Your most important points always come first.
Information that’s most important to your web visitors is often a simple statement of what you do. Once they understand what you do, they might want to know some important details. And then – maybe they’d like to know some background information.
Your customers want to know the big picture first. Basically: What do you do? Or what can you do for them?
Simple statements often work best.
Clever phrasing requires people to think. And asking people to think, doesn’t work on the web because web visitors are hunting – they don’t have time to think. So keep your web copy as simple as possible. Research suggests that only 16% of people read web pages word-for-word. Most people scan.
• Does your headline communicate what you’re about?
• Does your image caption communicate a sales message?
• Do your sub headlines summarize your key points?
• Do easy-to-scan bullet points reduce wordiness?
Web visitors glance at pages
Your web visitor is hunting for information or products. Ensure he can understand your most important information by just glancing at your web page.
Use familiar words. Familiar words are the words people are looking for. e.g. “cheap flights”, not “cost effective flights” We often like to make ourselves sound better than we are. We try to embellish what we do. We try to sound scientific, fancy or special. But your web visitor is looking for familiar words because they’re the scent trail that tells him he’s in the right place.
Make your copy easy to read
• Use short paragraphs – four sentences at most.
• Use short sentences – twelve words on average;
• Skip unnecessary words;
• Avoid jargon and gobbledygook;
• Avoid the passive tense;
• Avoid needless repetition;
• Address your web visitors directly. Use the word you.
• Shorten your text.
How short should your text be? Get rid of half the words on each page, and then get rid of half of what’s left. That maybe an overly demanding target, but give it a go. Set yourself a challenge and make your text as short as possible.
Most web visitors will not start reading at your home page.
They may arrive on any of your web pages.
If each web page can be an entry page what does that mean?
• Each page should be easy to scan;
• Each page should clarify to people where they are; and what your site is about;
• Each page should have a call to action telling people where to go next – to read another blog post, sign up for your email newsletter, check out a detailed product description or testimonial, request a quote or add a product to a shopping cart.
Don’t rely on your navigation bar to tell people what to do next. Include a button or link to guide people to take the next step. On each page.
Potential customers are hunting for information or products.
How can you help them find you?
Lure potential customers to your website by providing useful information. That’s how writing for SEO basically works:
• Answer the questions potential customers are asking;
• Discuss one key topic for each page;
• Include links to relevant pages on your own website or to other websites;
• Use phrases and words your potential customers are looking for.
Above all: Be helpful.
Web copy and web design should work together.
You can’t write your words, you can’t compose your sentences, you can't create your bullet points, without considering how your web page will look.
The visual appeal of your website impacts the readability of your text; and influences whether web visitors can quickly get what you’re about.
How to increase the visual appeal of your web copy:
• Replace text by photographs or videos;
• Consider different font sizes – think about people scanning large text first;
• Emphasize quotes of customers (or experts) to add credibility;
• Play around with highlights, bold text, CAPS, or italics;
• Break a long headline into a headline with a sub headline;
• Change paragraphs into bullet points.
Most importantly: de-clutter. Reduce noise and add white space. Not only will it make your website easier to read, it will also increase your perceived trust.