Content Creation Tips: How to Write for the Web
by Jenn DePiero on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 08:00
One of the most challenging aspects of building and maintaining a website is creating compelling web content that not only satisfies your visitors’ needs but also helps drive leads and sales. One common misconception is that once your website is launched, your content writing comes to an end. That could not be further from the truth. Content, in the form of blog posts, new website pages, etc., will need to be a major focus if you want a successful website that generates business and meets your company’s goals.
There is no need to be overwhelmed about all of the content that needs to be written. Here I will share some tips on how to write for the web. These tips will help you develop content that:
- Is indexed and found by the major search engines
- Answers your visitors’ questions and provides what they are looking for
- Helps visitors convert into leads and eventually customers
15 Tips for Writing Website Content
1. Have a plan & goal in place prior to writing any content.
Know what you want to accomplish before developing any content. Create concrete goals to track progress. This is a simple concept but one that often gets forgotten.
2. All content should relate to your overall message.
Focus on the big picture of your business and ensure all of your content aligns with this overall image. Don’t be afraid to show your personality!
3. Don’t simply copy from your print materials.
Writing for a website is very different than writing a brochure or sell sheet. Your visitors will not read every word that you write, but will scan each page of your site. Make sure your content is organized and easy to browse.
4. Focus on the benefits that your products/services offer to your users.
Yes, I know you want to talk about how awesome your company is and the features of your products but instead make sure to explain how you can help your visitors. Answer their questions and relieve their “pain”.
5. Remember the 80/20 rule.
While writing content, 80% of what you write should be educational while only 20% should be sales related and focused on your products/services. Offer your visitors the advice they seek.
6. Write for your visitors not the search engines.
While ranking in search engines is important, write specifically for your users. If done correctly, the search traffic will follow. Feel free to include your important keywords where appropriate and optimize your content but don’t keyword stuff.
7. Make sure your headline is strong and draws interest.
Write a headline that is to the point and will generate attention from users. Make it compelling!
8. Proper formatting and structure of content is essential.
Web-friendly content consists of headings, short paragraphs & sentences, bullet points, lists, etc. Break up your content so it is easy to scan. Only 16% of people read web content word for word. Keep it organized and add links to other related pages on our website where appropriate.
9. Enhance content with visually appealing images and photos.
Drive home your point by including images that relate to your content and goals.
10. Speak to your users and use language they understand.
Avoid using technical jargon or industry terms that your everyday visitors may not know. Keep it simple and use verbs & action words to entice users to take the next step.
11. Back up your content with examples & data.
Don’t simply make claims or promises; use concrete examples and proven data to solidify what you are saying to your visitors.
12. Make it clear to your users what their next step should be.
Based on the type of content you are writing, your buyer personas and where they are at in the buyer’s journey, include clear CTAs (Calls To Action) when appropriate. The goal is to move these visitors from this stage into a lead. Make sure your CTAs lead users to a concise and focused landing page.
13. Include social sharing buttons.
Make it simple for visitors to share your content with others via their social media networks. Implement an inbound marketing strategy to make your content work harder for your business.
14) Have a list of topics ready to go.
Always be prepared with topics. Plan ahead and the process will go much more smoothly. Some popular content ideas include: FAQs, support/sales information, recent industry news, lists, how-tos, videos, etc. Look at the stats for your existing content to see what has been working and develop content around those types of topics.
15) Make writing new content and building your website a priority.
Work with your team to develop a plan and strategy for content. Share the responsibility, take your time and proof all of your work before adding it to your website.
Content development does not have to be a stressful or overwhelming task for your team. Use these tips to create website content that is useful and informative for your visitors. Focus on the benefits of your products and services and use this content to motivate your anonymous visitors into becoming qualified leads for your business. What content creation tips have you found useful for your company? We’d love to hear!