People go to websites for information. Web copy has to help them find it. So, nav bar headings should make it clear what they'll find on the site. To help the visitor navigate you might need to use home and section intro pages to briefly explain where things are. Otherwise, just convey the key messages quickly - in the headline ideally - then go into more detail in the copy. Create sections for each page so the visitor can scroll or click to the bit they need.
Keep sentences short so they're easy to scan read. Use the imperative form: 'Go', 'Find, 'Click here', 'Discover', 'Learn'. Style and tone have to take a back seat on the web. If they're a big part of your brand, create a section where you can go to town. That's what blogs are for. Elsewhere though, information is king.
Scroll down for case studies:
- Housing & Property Law Partnership
“How can a new company, formed by the merger of three established players, create its own distinct identity?”
The brief: After a complex merger involving three firms, Russia’s largest seismic company wanted a website which presented the new conglomerate in its new form - a single entity. With an LSE floatation just months away, the need was particularly pressing. First of all, we had to provide different tonal options. Then, once agreed, we’d write the new website from an agency brief.
The solution: We settled on a voice snappily entitled, ‘Corporate tone, not corporate speak’. It was clear, informed and easily accessible for non-native English speakers. As for the content, we worked hard to explain IGSS’s specialist business in a way non-specialist investors could easily grasp.
Today, IGSS is not only the largest company in the Russian seismic industry, it is also the most dynamic and technologically advanced.
The result: Many overseas companies are let down by their English. With our help, IGSS weren’t one of them. The website went live with almost no changes to our copy, the flotation was successful and we continue to produce work for FTI Consulting’s other clients.
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Copywriter: Joseph Richardson and Barnaby Benson. Agency: FTI Consulting. Client: IGSS.
The challenge: FTSE 500 company SThree is a global leader in the recruitment industry with a stable of firms renowned in their respective sectors. However, their communications weren't befitting a company of this stature.
The brief: write a recruitment website which was. And that wasn’t all. Recruitment can be very rewarding. However, it’s challenging and training is expensive. SThree wanted to make long-term appointments – future managers, not just salespeople. We needed to attract young, international professionals with the right characteristics to succeed in this industry.
The solution: we produced copy which was both realistic and aspirational and headlines which were brash as well as intelligent and intriguing.
THE WORLD. ONLY THE AMBITIOUS NEED APPLY
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Agency: SAS. Client: SThree.
Housing & Property Law Partnership (HPLP)
The challenge: a law firm specialising in housing, HPLP generate a lot of business through their company website. Therefore, they wanted to develop their online content while maintaining a high position in the Google rankings – vital for the company in this crowded sector.
The brief: discover what sets HPLP apart from its competitors and communicate this difference while striking a balance between readability and hitting optimised keywords.
The solution: cleared our schedule, ordered some coffee and sat down with the HPLP top dogs to deduce the company’s key selling points. We then communicated this difference in easy to read but copy-heavy website pages. The length satisfied the Google algorithms while the readability and engaging style appealed to potential customers.
Why Choose HPLP?
"Our advice is not only practical, we are also commercially aware. For each new case, whichever side our solicitors act for, we address the most important issues: either maximising a landlord's assets or getting the tenant the best possible deal".
The result: two years on from this job I just typed ‘Property Law’ into Google and voila, HPLP are still listed on that lucrative first page.
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Client: Housing and Property Law Partnership
“How can we use our website to attract the best graduate recruits?”
The brief: Attract talented graduates to this leading management consultancy who, at the time, were being tempted away by burgeoning internet start-ups. To do this we needed to rewrite and re-energise Accenture’s website so that it captured their distinctive culture.
The solution: We thought about it from the point of view of the audience and then evoked the appeal of each element of Accenture's offer.
"You'd expect us to go further than the competition and we do. Salaries here are generous. So are pension contributions."
The result: Accenture attracted more entrepreneurial, digital savvy candidates who were persuaded to consider this consultancy as a place to follow their dreams.
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Copywriter: Barnaby Benson, Agency: Pauffley. Client: Accenture.