DESIGN: Get Your Copy Right

Good, clear writing for your website says as much about you as good design. It tells people who you are, what you do and what you offer. Correct writing demonstrates attention to detail which your customers will expect when they buy your services. Good writing also shows that you put your customer first.
Here are some tips when writing for your website from BDS Digital.

Keep it brief.

Always put yourself in the position of your customer when writing. Remember that you understand your business but your customer doesn’t.

Avoid jargon and acronyms that relate to your industry. Spell things out clearly for your reader.

Talk up to your reader to make them feel valued; never talk down from a superior position.

Keep sentences short. Check if one long sentence can be broken into two.

Keep paragraphs short and state the important point at the start of the paragraph.

Use bullet points and lists sparingly and try to keep them to three, four or five points.

Never use writing or “copy” from other websites.

If they are needed, place long explanations of a process or situation deeper in the website.

Ensure consistency of the names of services, products or offers and people’s job titles, especially if you are importing text from various sources.

Run a spell check and then check your text yourself and get someone you trust to look over what you have written. Make sure you set your word processor to UK English and not American English.

Common errors – what to look out for:

• Incorrect use of the apostrophe e.g. it’s or its. Also, if there is more than one of something it is plural and doesn’t take an apostrophe before the s.

• Incorrect capitalisation: we all tend to put capital letters at the start of words we think are important but names take capitals, not common nouns.

• Misspelling words that sound the same but are written differently e.g. peak / peek; their / there; right / write. Spell or grammar checks will not always pick these up.

• Poor, sloppy or inconsistent use of punctuation such as quotation marks, brackets, question marks and, worst of all, too many exclamation marks.

• “Typos” or mistyped words. These can make you look silly and certain examples will not be picked up by spell checks e.g. glove for globe, dome for done, tome for time, hid for his.

Most importantly: be prepared to ask an expert if you are unsure about writing for your website.

BDS Digital works with experts in this field and will be happy to advise and help. Just give us a call on 01387 733060 or email sales@bdslive.com.