How to Use Conversations to Craft Website Copy
Very often we talk with clients that view their website as separate from the rest of their business. They see it as a place to showcase everything they do and almost a choose your own adventure for visitors. This mindset can lead to a website that exists but doesn’t provide value to your team, donors, community, etc.
Instead, what if your website could:
- help you reduce the number of emails you get.
- bring in donations while you sleep.
- encourage people to reach out to you for partnerships, sponsorships and collaborations.
- increase your impact on your community.
Having a website that is running parallel to your offline and online marketing and fundraising strategies will support your efforts and make it easier for you to do your job. It will support you in building better relationships, and most importantly, building trust.
The key is using the every day conversations you’re having to craft the language, topics and impact stories featured on your website.
Website Copy Gone Wrong
It is very common that website’s are written to talk about the organization instead of engaging with the visitors of that site. It’s time to meet them where they are and address their pain points.
Review your website copy as if you were a potential donor. Is it a bunch of jargon that they don’t understand? Does it highlight all the things you do without really sharing stories or impact?
Here are a couple of examples!
Adopt a dog today!
Bring home a furry companion for the whole family
Afterschool care for kids 5-12.
Find peace with a safe, STEAM driven, afterschool program your child will love.
How do you start writing copy?
Looking at a blank page with a blinking cursor can be daunting. And yes, you could go straight to AI if you wanted, but it probably wouldn’t truly connect with your voice and your audience.
The best place to go is to the conversations you’re already having. The way people in your community talk and feel about your organization is very telling. I mean perception is reality right!
Why do people say yes?
There is nothing better than when you get a yes from a donor. While that’s all well and good, it’s not just about the $$$ that’s beneficial to your organization. It’s also about WHY they said yes.
Ask donors why they have chosen to give to your organization. Make note of the exact words they use. Those words are how they personally connect to you and your cause.
What one donor says shouldn’t be what you replace all your website copy with. But pay attention to things that multiple donors say.
Why do people say no!
While hearing no isn’t the best feeling in the world, it doesn’t mean no forever. There is also much to learn when it comes to a no.
Are you not communicating the work you do in a way they can understand?
Are you not addressing their motivations for giving?
Is it not the right fit for them?
Nos give you great information that might be missing from your website. They let you know what isn’t abundantly clear.
What questions do people ask often?
Think about when you were out at a coffee shop or at a networking event talking to a complete stranger. When you shared the organization you’re with what their inital reaction? What questions did they ask you about the work you do for the community?
The questions you get asked often will give you a clue to the clarity you are sharing about your impact to the community at large. It will also tell you what part of your program or service is most visible or is most exciting to the public.
These things don’t always align with what you’re spending the most time on, but it’s important to understand how the public is viewing you, your work, and your impact.
If it’s in alignment with what you’re doing then great! If not, that’s ok too. It just means you have some work to do with your messaging and communication.
Where do you use this information on your website?
Now that you’ve gathered this information, it’s time to think about how we can use our website to best communicate it. Here are a few ways!
Create a Frequently Asked Questions page. This is a great resource for people needing more information, as well as great for search engines to understand what your website is all about.
To populate this start with the common questions you get asked, go to your team and have them help populate questions, and think about the emails and phone calls you get to pull common questions as well. BONUS: by having a well curated FAQ page you can start to minimize the questions coming in via email and phone calls that take staff time!
Ensure your about page is clear and prioritizes your organizational goals. Don’t confuse people with everything you do, but let people know what your mission is and what you’re doing to make it happen.
Review Your Services Page
Ensure you aren’t using a lot of jargon. People don’t take the time to fully read what you write (I know, 😂). Keep the language easy for people to understand to they can process more of the information quickly.
Again, make sure you’re highglighting the biggest priorities near the top and add the lesser priorities farther down on the page.
You know sharing impact is critical on your donation page. Here it is really important to have your messaging clear and reflecting what work you’re doing RIGHT NOW!
You may need to change some of these statements over the year, but this is a great place to reinforce where you need support right now and to reinforce the offline conversations you’re having with donors and potential donors.
The questions you’re getting asked over and over make incredible blog content. If you’re getting a questions 2-3 times then you probably have 10-15 people in the community thinking the same thing. Having blog posts that can help you and your team provide additional resources to answer those questions saves you time, but it also builds trust and help you with your profesionalism.
Also – if they’re asking you they are probably also asking search engines!
Communication face-to-face and digitally shouldn’t be siloed. Those conversations can be used to reinforce each other and help you spread the same messages regardless of how people find you.
Start keeping track of these conversations and using the to reinforce your brand!