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Website spring clean: How good is your content?

Updated: May 12, 2022

It's all too easy to get your website up and running and then never update it. We're always too busy, or just can't quite face it, but it's so important to keep your content fresh. Updating your site's content shows customers your business is active and engaged and it's also great for SEO.

Here's a short checklist of things to consider when writing new content for your business website, to ensure you are presenting your business as well as you can.

Use clear language and short sentences

Writing for the web is different from writing in an email, an article, or a brochure. On the internet, we have a very short attention span, and if we can't get the information we need from a page quickly, we'll look somewhere else.

Use clear language and always assume your reader does not know as much about your product or service as you do.

To ensure your customers stick around on your site, avoid long, rambling sentences and leave out any words you don't really need. Try to keep sentences short by going back over your copy and editing it down after you have written it. Remember, you are writing with a purpose: to generate leads, to sell your product. Always assume your reader does not know as much about your product or service as you do, and explain things simply.

Be transparent

We have moved on from a world where brands can blind customers with the science about their products and services and assume they will accept it at face value. Perhaps this still exists with some very famous brands, but for most small businesses, this simply isn't an option. Consumers today want all the information before they make a purchase, and they expect openness and honesty.

Explain products and services clearly on your site and don't hide behind jargon, unusual terms, or acronyms that no-one really understands. Make it really easy for people to get in touch at any point if they need to ask more questions.

Write from the customer's viewpoint

This sounds so obvious, yet it is surprising how many businesses don't do it. What is the first information your customer will want to know about your product? What are the benefits to them of using your product or service?

Always try to highlight benefits over features

Some loyal customers may care about your company, but most will care more about whether your product or service is going to fulfil their need. For this reason, and particularly for consumer-facing businesses, it's always good to write about benefits more than product features.

If your product has a lot of technology built into it, talk up the amazing advantages this tech provides, before listing the technical details themselves. If you offer training of some kind, focus on the potential career benefits first, and the nitty-gritty of the training second. If your service saves people time or makes their life easier, be sure to emphasise those points early on.

Write in a conversational style

When writing for the web, it really helps to write in first and second person for a more conversational style of language. By using 'our', 'we' and 'you' when you write, rather than 'they', 'them', and 'he/she', you instantly make what you're saying more personal. It will sound like you are talking directly with your customer. This allows you to put a bit of your brand's personality into your writing, and it's a great way to build trust with your customers.

Do a simple, free keyword search

SEO's role has somewhat changed in recent years, and Google now focuses on user experience as much as keyword relevance, but making sure you have relevant keywords and phrases in your content is still really important. You can research relevant keywords using a free site like Wordstream, to ensure you've got the latest, most searched-for terms relating to your product or service, in your website content. This will help to ensure your site appears in search engine results, when people search for your product or service.

What else can I do to refresh my website?

Aside from great copy, consider the images you use on your site. Great photos, illustrations, graphics and videos can make or break a website, so ensure your visuals are as good as your written content!

Also, think about the journey of your website visitor - is your website simple to navigate? Is it is easy for them to find what they need? Perhaps get some friends or family to test it. If you use an analytics package like Google Analytics, see which of your pages are busiest and which ones people leave straight away and use this information to improve the content on your site.

Stock image by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

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