Website Copy – Formal or Informal?

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Getting the right tone of your website copy is so important. It varies greatly on the your business and how you want to pitch your services to prospective customers and clients. So, what is the best approach when it comes to your website copy? Should it be formal or informal?

Whilst I do all the heavy lifting when it comes to the design and build of a website, the website  copy usually comes directly from the client.

However, one of the most common questions I get asked is about how to pitch the tone of the website copy. Should it be formal, or informal?

As an example, a dental practice, solicitor or mortgage broker will probably take a more formal approach to their website copy. These are professional services where the content needs to communicate to prospective customers confidence, knowledge and trust. As the business is dealing with very specific customer needs, usually of an important nature, the tone of the website copy needs to reflect this. As such, a light-hearted approach to the copy of the website may make customers feel that the business is not taking them seriously.

On the other hand, a fitness coach may want to make people feel more at ease about the services they offer. Whilst fitness is no joking matter, the website copy can reflect a sense of fun. If the fitness revolves around group activities, then the copy can be lighter to entice people to use the fitness coach’s services to keep fit whilst still having fun.

Of course, not everybody is a wordsmith. Some people will feel daunted about getting their website copy correct. This is never truer when the website is new, and the website copy is also new. We’ve all suffered from writer’s block – looking at a blank Word document trying to think what it is we want to convey to our customers. So, in those circumstances I would recommend engaging the services of a dedicated copywriter. They will ask you about your business, get to understand what it is you want to convey, and then provide the copy for the website. Not only does this make the website look far more professional, but in most cases will be a good basis for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If you’re looking to go down the copywriting route, I suggest getting in contact with Matt Brito at Sneezer Media. He’s written for the likes of the BBC, Discovery Inc and Fitness First. Matt will be able to provide you with the copy you need for your website, which I can then use.

As a web designer, I will, in part, take my cues on the styling of the website from the website copy. I will create a design, layout and choice of images that reflect the tone of the copy to use on the website. Imagery and website copy always go hand-in-hand and striking the right balance are critical to getting the correct message to the person viewing the website.

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