How to develop voice and tone on your website

Ask yourself some questions

What is the voice and tone of your BRAND?  Are you playful and fresh, or traditional and informative?  Every brand has its own voice. If you are a healthcare organization, how would you want to talk to your patients?  If you are a retailer that caters to teens, how would you speak to them?   This is when you would want to set out your guide for all content, such as funny but not silly, or educational but not condescending. Knowing what you are and what you ARE NOT is important to layout to everyone on your team.

Who are you trying to attract? Think about about your audience.Who is your ideal customer? How would you talk to them in person? How do they want to be spoken to? Market your brand around that person.  If you have a professional organization you will tend to be on the more traditional side of tone and voice.  

For example, here at Standard Beagle, we are kind of quirky, but never over the top or too-out there. We are experts in software and development, but our style is friendly and helpful, never rude or condescending.  

Another example would be if you owned a clothing retailer, and wanted to cater to the 13-18 year old girls.  Your tone would be fun, carefree and use a lot of current slang.  You wouldn’t select words like “luxury” or “refined”, instead would use words like “relaxed” or “trendy”.  Your voice would reflect the teenagers not their parents.  

One of the best style guides comes from MailChimp.  They have outlined exactly what their brand is, and even more important what they are not.  Check out their online branding guidelines.

The biggest piece of advice is knowing your brand.  Know what your personality is and what you want to convey to your customers.