Why Website Copy is as Important as Design (and how to write it)

Sometimes, the job of writing copy takes a backseat to website design. 

Maybe it’s because they’re often completed by a different set of professionals. Or maybe it’s because website design feels like the structure and copy more like the decoration, to be hung and placed only after the site is built. 

But when it comes to the job of attracting visitors to your business and converting them to customers, copy is equally important as color schemes and button placement. 

That’s why we believe the best websites have considered copy and design in equal measure. (It’s also why we offer both design and copywriting services in-house). 

Here are five reasons why copy is as important as design and five tips you can apply to your own website copy.

Why website copy is as important as design

1. Copy Sells

Excellent design makes people look. It can divert precious attention from the thousand other things fighting for it. 

But it can rarely sell. 

At least not on it’s own. Copy will educate your audience. It will help them understand why they have the pain they do and tell them how you can fix it. 

2. Copy filters your audience

It would be great if every person attracted by an image on your site was an ideal customer ready to buy. 

Unfortunately, they are not. 

When done right, website copy will quickly tell your visitors that this is the place for them. Or that it’s not.

In short, your copy qualifies website traffic so only the right people enter your sales funnel. 

3. Copy converts

What do you want someone to do next? Set up a call? Read another article? Register for your webinar?

A call to action (CTA) directly invites your audience to take these steps. 

It might just be the most important part of any webpage. And it’s driven by good copy.

4. Copy explains your unique value

The value you provide your customers is unique. You solve their problems faster, or cheaper, or in ways they’ve never even dreamed of.

Copy is what exposes your superpowers to the people that benefit from them the most.  

5. Copy establishes your brand voice

Ever been to a website and just felt comfortable? Like, these are my people. 

When it’s written with the reader in mind, website copy will establish your brand voice. And your ideal customer will become part of your community.  

How to write website copy that converts

There are shelves of books and thousands of articles written on the topic of conversion copywriting. We can’t cover it all in one post.

But we can provide a five-point checklist. Run your copy through these action points and your site will be converting like crazy. 

1. Be clear. Then be concise. Then be clever. And then you’ll be persuasive.

It’s easy to get caught up writing alliterative three-word phrases that sound really cool. But if your landing page copy is clever at the expense of clarity, people won’t know what you do and you’ll lose sales.

When reviewing your copy, remember these rules:

  1. Copy should be clear
  2. Copy should be concise as long as it’s still clear
  3. Copy should be clever but only if it’s still concise and clear 

2. Increase conversions with a clear, safe call to action

Whether you’re selling paper towels or enterprise accounting software, your customers will go through a journey on your website.

Your CTAs are how you invite them to the next stage of that journey.

There are two things your customers need from those CTAs:

  • They need to know exactly what will happen when they take action
  • They need to know it’s safe to take the next step

Let’s say you sell that accounting software and you offer a free trial.

Your CTA copy could state ‘start your free trial now.’

But that’s not terribly specific nor does it satisfy the human requirement for safety.

Instead, you might try ‘start your 14-day trial now. No credit card needed.’

Now I know exactly what I’m getting and I feel safe taking the next step.

3. Make a strong first impression by answering these three questions immediately

Within a few seconds, a new visitor to your website should know:

  1. What you do
  2. Who you do it for
  3. What they’ll get

A very simple and effective way to do this on your landing page is with a statement like this:

We (what you do) for (who) so they (the emotional benefit)

Here’s an example:

We plan estates for high wealth investors so they know their families are cared for in any event.

4. To keep your reader’s attention, make it all about them

You’ve poured sweat and tears into creating a product that’s so much better than anything else on the market. You want to shout its features from the rooftops!

But there’s a harsh reality: your website visitors probably don’t care. 

What they do care about is how all your hard work will make their lives better. If your copy tells them that, they’ll buy.

5. Become super relevant to your ideal customer by following the ‘rule of one’ 

In copywriting, the ‘rule of one’ means you focus on:

  • One reader
  • One idea
  • One promise
  • One offer

This narrow focus may feel a bit weird at first. Afterall, you want to sell to a lot of people. The choice here is to be very relevant to one specific audience, or irrelevant to them all. 

If you have several diverse audiences, create landing pages and popups with copy that appeals to each. 

****

Your website copy keeps the attention your design has attracted. It qualifies site visitors and converts them to customers. And it tells your audience that you understand their pain and have a solution for it. 

Writing website copy is part art and part science and can take years to master. Even so, there are a few simple rules that will put you in front of most of your competitors.

Even better, schedule a call with us before you start your next website design, or redesign, project. Our in-house copywriters will help you turn vision to voice and concept to conversions. Whether we’re designing your website or not.

Here are 5 Reasons Your B2B SEO Strategy Needs a Blog

You’ve just launched your new website. It’s a beauty! Responsive, mobile-friendly, clear calls to action.

And boy is it set up for SEO. The site maps are up, tags in place, and keywords thoughtfully peppered through each title. Your work is done.

Or is it?

The reality is that technical SEO on your website is just step one if you hope to rank high in search results.

Step two is launching your blog. Why? Because many of the factors Google considers most important for page ranking are influenced by a blog more than by technical SEO.

Consider this chart of Google ranking factor influence from Quick Sprout:

Links and fresh content alone account for over 50%. These are things you’ll be chasing long after your website is launched.

They’re also things a blog is really good at. Actually, there are several ranking factors a blog can help with. We’ve gathered up five ways a blog will help your new website land high up on search engine results pages.

But before we get into how a blog helps with SEO, let’s get two things straight:

  1. Google will probably never buy anything from you.
  2. Google’s aim is to make sure its users find good answers quickly and efficiently.

What’s this mean to us?

Any SEO strategy, including blogging, should be done first and foremost for the humans that use Google, not for an algorithm. If you’re helping Google help their users, they’ll reward you with higher search page placement.

With that in mind, let’s look at five ways a blog can help you achieve better rankings on Google.

1. A blog increases backlink and internal link potential

According to the chart we shared, links to your site have a huge influence over page ranking.

There are two kinds of links to consider. Just in case these terms are new to you:

  • Internal links are when you link from one page of your website to another page of your website.
  • Backlinks are inbound links from other websites to yours.

Google loves both.

Internal links help the Google bot understand your site structure and how pieces of content are related. They show your authority on a particular topic.

Some internal links are considered more valuable by Google, and the whole internal link strategy can get pretty deep. Generally speaking, though, more links are good. And publishing new blog content gives you lots of opportunities to link to pages throughout your site.

Backlinks are even more powerful. When Google sees backlinks to your site, especially from a popular, high-authority website, it assumes your site is also trustworthy.

“Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO because they represent a ‘vote of confidence’ from one site to another.”
Moz.com

Getting those high-authority sites backlinking to yours can be tough. But publish a great article about an important topic and those site owners gladly do it (kind of like the Moz article we just linked to).

2. A blog keeps your website fresh

Google wants to make sure its users are getting up-to-date answers to their questions. So they give priority to websites that are updated often.

It would be awkward, and unwise, to change your landing page copy twice a week. Publishing fresh content to your blog is a much better way to show Google your website is tended to and updated.

Publishing new content is also a trigger for Google’s web crawlers to index your site more often. This doesn’t help you climb the rankings on its own. Your content has to be good, as judged by your audience.

3. Good content improves traffic and dwell time on your site

This one is pretty simple.

Google wants to know that your site is good at answering questions.

How do they know? By how your audience interacts with your website.

If lots of people visit your site (traffic), stick around awhile (dwell time), and continue past the first page they hit (bounce rate), Google will know that your site is useful to its users.

When you publish great blog posts that answer questions well, all that will happen.

“Focus on ‘dwell time’ (how long site visitors spend with your content), rather than vanity metrics like pageviews. Creating quality content is extremely important because Google cares about how deep people navigate into your site, whether they hit the back button, and worst of all, whether they return to the search results page because they didn’t find the information they were looking for.”
John Lister, Strategist at Elite SEM

4. A blog helps you rank for keywords

When many people think SEO, this is often what comes to mind. Having words on your site that match what people search for on Google increases your chance of ranking high on search pages.

No dirty tricks, though.

Gone are the days of adding hidden pages full of keywords you want to rank for (also called ‘keyword stuffing’). Google is hip to that trick, and most other ‘black hat’ SEO tactics.

But there are only so many opportunities to organically use keywords on your landing pages. So how do you increase the frequency of keywords on your site without being shady?

Content!

Yep, publish content on the topics you want to rank for. Let’s say you run a staffing business and are launching a new employee retention and training product for small businesses. You want to show up on searches like “How can I reduce employee churn?”

So you publish an article called “Reduce Employee Churn with these 10 tips.”

Then, use that term organically throughout the post— especially in your headers and first and last paragraphs.

5. A blog improves your website’s social signals

Like bounce rate and traffic, Google uses social signals to decide if your site is valuable to its users.

Social signals are likes, shares, retweets, and comments on your social media posts.

So, how do I post things that will get more of these social signals?

Before you post anything, consider people’s intent, or mindset, while they’re on social media. It’s different than when they’re using a search engine.

Here’s what we mean.

On search engines, people are looking for information to solve problems and make decisions.

On social media, they’re hanging out with friends, catching up with relatives, and watching funny videos. In short, they’re avoiding making decisions.

Think of it this way. You’re having a drink with your friends at your favorite watering hole, talking about cars. A salesperson walks up, interrupts your conversation, and starts telling you how awesome his car dealership is and why you should buy a new Toyota.

Yuck! (no offence to Toyotas. They’re fine cars)

That’s how an overabundance of product ads can feel on social media.

Instead of interrupting the conversation, join it.

Your blog posts, the ones that offered really helpful information, are the perfect way to do it. Target people that love cars who live in Denver and publish a paid post to Facebook about the 10 best auto shows in Colorado.

Not only will you gather social signals, but you’ll establish your business as a helpful resource to your target audience.


Great website design is a critical first step in ranking well on search engine results pages. But the work doesn’t stop there.

A B2B blog is the next best step in a successful SEO strategy. Its benefits for the most influential search engine ranking factors are long-term and compounding.

But for it to work, that content needs to be good.

Great news! We can help. You can start by downloading our guide on content that converts.

Even better, contact us and we’ll help you launch a blog that drives traffic, generates leads, and grows sales. Yep, we do that!

A Behind the Scenes Look at Creating Our Own Website

We are excited to reveal a new Bellaworks website!  You can take a look at the creativity our designer uses when building website graphics by clicking on our video below.  Here you’ll see him building our homepage graphic step-by-step.  It’s a cool process and amazing to see all of the little tweaks that go into bringing an image to life.  Contact us to see how we can spice up your website with some creativity!

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips for Local Business Owners

As the owner of a local business, your best customers likely live among your community in your hometown. While your business may be local, many of your potential customers likely find you by first going out on the web and conducting a quick search online. With so many people starting their search for products and services on the web, businesses with carefully planned marketing strategies are the ones that quite literally will rise to the top, being returned at the top of online search results.

One of the most important digital strategies to address is your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The goal of your SEO is to help ensure that your business appears in front of potential customers at the time when they are searching for your product or service. A well-developed and implemented SEO strategy will help boost your visibility with potential customers and drive business to your company. As a local business, it is important to craft your SEO so that your company not only appears within your products or industry but also as a top local option for customers.

The success your users have on your site and your growing online presence will add to your website’s ranking over time. The most effective SEO techniques are a work in progress, so as you build your SEO be sure to add tools that will allow you to measure and assess results. This way you can continue to refine your techniques and boost your presence online.

There are countless numbers of digital strategies and SEO tools that can get your site noticed. To give you a sense of the techniques available, we have described a few key ones below. We can put a plan together to fit your needs and to help you reach your goals.

Some key local SEO strategies to consider-

  1. Check your listings
    • Google My Business Profile
      It is important to have a complete and relevant Google My Business Profile. Once you set up your listing, the business categories you choose give Google an indication of who you are and what your business is about. Clearly determining your business categories and integrating them into your Google profile and business listings can speed up the process of gaining a good search engine position.
    • Name, Address, Phone (NAP) listings around the web
      Check your business listing around the web to make sure that you have a complete and accurate listing on authoritative sites such as Yelp and the Yellow Pages. Make sure your NAP is consistent, matching exactly across all sites including your own. For example, a phone number should match – (704) 555-5555 should not be mixed with 704-555-5555.
  2. Build quality and compelling content
    • On your site
      Search engines used to favor key word density, leading writers to stuff their sites with words but not content. These days search engines favors writing for readers. Content should address questions your readers could have and answer them as thoroughly, accurately and definitively as possible. When readers find good information on our site and stay instead of back clicking, the search engines read your site as having authority on your topic area and this enhances your position.
    • On sites pointing back to yours
      Another way to build your website’s authority is to have other websites offering links back to your site. When other sites direct visitors to your sites, it tells the search engines that people find your information valuable. In addition to links, authentic reviews of your business and products can increase your SEO rankings.
  3. Check your specs
    • Website speed optimization, URL structure, heading tags, image optimization…
      These and other technical details can interfere with the best performance of your website. A fully optimized site will be read more easily by the search engines and will be favored over sites with technical issues that could present problems for users

Track Your Results
By installing analytics or tracking programs, you can collect information about your website’s visitors so you can learn more about their experience – how they got to you, where they went on your site, etc. The data on your visitors can provide valuable information about your customers and the products and services that in which they are most interested. Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are two tools that can provide helpful tracking information on how your business and your website are performing on the web.

Let’s Talk
Bellaworks is a full-service digital strategy company. We can custom design a website optimization plan that can help you meet your business goals.

Posted in SEO

viaDirect Solutions

Healthcare Intelligence Delivered.

viaDirect is a healthcare market intelligence and data analytics company. Nothing is more powerful than data. And nobody provides better access to market data, referral trending activity and healthcare industry benchmarks like viaDirect. Utilizing our analytics web portals, viaDirect empowers clients with the analytical benchmarks and market intelligence needed to improve gross margins, develop smarter marketing strategies, and analyze acquisition opportunities.

Ever-Changing Industry

With the ever-changing healthcare industry, solutions offered by viaDirect are more critical than ever. It’s a challenging time for the healthcare industry and the more information you have access to, the deeper your understanding will be of the market and how you need to adapt. The deliverables from viaDirect are customizable to your needs and easy to use and understand. Their services put you one step ahead of the competition.

Help businesses succeed – that’s what we do

Just like viaDirect, Bellworks works with your business to help you succeed and grow. Working with viaDirect, we provided a range of services from logo, branding and custom web design to ongoing SEO and marketing techniques to help get their word out. We enjoyed working with viaDirect and we’re happy to announce their website launch! Go check it out.

Effortless Entertaining

Often times we build business solutions in stages. Effortless Entertaining is a vision by DeeDee Dalrymple that helps her clients in the often overwhelming and stressful process of entertaining. The first stage is to get her ideas and presence online. The next stage will focus on integrating the Effortless Entertaining guide into something she can offer through her website. In addition to the guide, you can also join the Effortless community to serve as a reference for inspiration and ideas to entertaining.

We are happy to work with DeeDee and help build a website that will grow her community of entertainers. Give Effortless Entertaining a look!

The Packhouse restaurant is coming to Charlotte

Exciting times for Treehouse Kitchen as they roll out another Charlotte-based restaurant location. The Packhouse will serve up classic Southern food in its unique rustic atmosphere. Designed to feel like the old barns used to dry tobacco leaves, the restaurant features classic barn wood and tin from top to bottom.

The Packhouse is a new addition to Treehouse Kitchen’s restaurants that include, The Mayobird and the Summit Room. All sites designed by Bellaworks.

We have launched another site – Bistany Design

Based in Charlotte, NC, Bistany Design is an award-winning design center that focuses mainly on kitchen and bath remodeling but also works on other living areas within the home. They cater to a wide range of expertise such as cabinetry design, architecture design and millwork. Caren Bistany, the founder and principal at Bistany Design, has over 25 years of experience in the field and together with her design associate, Tracy Gales. They have been remodeling the South East for many years.

Caren first came to us wanting a redesign of her whole website. She wanted to showcase her work and the people she works with in Charlotte, mainly the cabinetry. We worked closely on the “Our Work”, “Cabinetry & Showroom” and “Before & After” sections of the website to reflect Bistany’s style and attention to detail. We showcased the other companies and products that Bistany works with and made sure that everything was easily accessible for visitors to her website.

Working with Caren and Bistany Design was great! We love supporting small local businesses and help them to succeed by creating a website that not only reflects their company but is also easy for customers to navigate.

Stewart Cooper Newell Architects

Gastonia’s own Stewart Cooper Newell Architects came to us to help revamp their website which included fire stations, law enforcement, and corporate. With such unique clientele, Stewart Cooper Newell Architects wanted their websites to not only emulate their work but also showcase their sleek design skills and attention to detail.

Accomplishments

SCN Architects have had many accomplishments since 1971 and thus a lot of portfolio items and pages scattered throughout. With so much information, it’s easy to get lost in the confusion and pass over information intended to be front and center. Fire stations and law enforcement units are their main projects and they wanted to figure out a way to highlight their great work.

Our Approach

We thought that with so much content the solution should be simple! We divided up their work into three separate websites – Fire Stations, Law Enforcement, and Corporate. Their sites are now easy to navigate and locate whatever it is you’re looking for. We highlighted their achievements, their sustainability commitment and much much more.

We used Flexbox to create the static left sidebar on all pages throughout the websites. Flexbox allowed us to style the left sidebar the same way throughout the websites, whether in tablet mode, on a mobile device or on a desktop, the design will stay the same. Take a look and let us know what you think.