As you settle into your autumn reading list, I bet you’re eager to devour pages upon pages of checking account prose. Few things burst creatively as a share account description, or grip you with the suspense of a credit card application how-to guide. You certainly appreciate the subtle character differences between a home equity loan and a HELOC.
No? Well, let’s face it. As much as we love them, credit union products and services don’t automatically lend themselves to exciting written content. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be turned into engaging and informative content, if you take a disciplined approach.
First, let’s dispel the notion that writing is glamorous and easy. It’s a grind that requires focus on the craft if you want a successful outcome, especially when you’re revamping your credit union’s website and implementing a consistent tone and voice throughout.
You’ll need to determine the proper tone to match your credit union’s personality. Then you’ll need to conduct the proper search engine optimization research to meld your new content with popular search terms that are related to your credit union. This inbound marketing component is vital to the success of your rewritten website. Without it, your website won’t attract the amount of traffic that a well-conceived and well-executed SEO plan can achieve.
Now that you’re ready to tackle your content, take a page-by-page approach to maintain the integrity of your credit union’s website. You can’t assume that any visitor will read more than one page during any visit, so give each page your attention.
Tips on Writing Stronger Web Copy
- Use energetic and descriptive words as much as possible. Active writing engages your audience more effectively.
- Compel your audience to take action by transferring them smoothly from one page to another, either to learn more or to contact your company.
- Don’t misspell words. Your credibility takes a hit when you publish typos on your website.
- Use your analytics tool to research the topics people are searching through your site search tool or through search engine referrals, and then write more about those topics (on a blog, for example) to cater to them. As the adage goes, “Know your audience.”
- Give visitors valuable, concise information and provide a clear, trackable mechanism (e.g., contact form) to learn more about your products and services.
- Write more. You can’t take one writing course and expect to be a good writer. Improvement is an ongoing process that requires many hours and many projects.
- Know when to get out of the visitors’ way and provide the straight-forward info they need to take action.
To that last point, let’s imagine you’re a credit union that portrays a witty or slightly quirky personality that you’ve determined helps attract and retain members. When you’re writing your website, keep in mind there’s a line between entertaining your visitors and bludgeoning them with your tone.
When a visitor is ready to take the next step toward a purchase, you don’t want to slow down the momentum with buttons or calls-to-action that are too cute. At this point, they’re committed to whatever it is you’re selling them, so keep things simple and clear.
The same theory applies to your navigation, forms, and pages where you publish disclosures and other no-nonsense information. You can easily annoy your audience and neuter your tone’s effectiveness if you overuse it.
While we’re on the subject of this microcopy, keep in mind that some of the most important content relates to your SEO strategy, the header (H1) tags, title tags and meta descriptions included on the page. If you’re responsible for writing this content, focus on keywords that are specific to the topic and content of each unique page. This will help search engines determine that your page is relevant.
Nothing about a website rewrite is easy. But you’ll reap the rewards when you focus on writing compelling content that guides, informs and entertains in the appropriate locations.