For many of your prospective customers, your website is the first impression that they will have of your business. It’s safe to say that you may win or lose your prospect based – at least in part – on the strength of your web content writing.
So whether you are doing your own writing in-house, or whether you are hiring a freelance writer, here are a few content strategies that can really help your website to sing.
Strategy 1: Write content that is easy to read in electronic format
When writing for a website – you have to remember that you are “screen writing” – no, you are not writing a Hollywood movie script, but you are writing content that is intended to be read on the screen of a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Anyone who reads often will tell you that reading a print book or magazine is not the same as reading from an electronic device. For one, screens are harder on the eyes. According to a study by Neilson Norman Group, we actually read screens 25% more slowly than we do print.
So when “screen writing”, we need to use strategies that make our content easier and more efficient to read.
- Break up your content with short paragraphs and sub-headings
- Avoid being overly wordy – get to the point
- Use bullet points for lists
Strategy 2: Write efficiently
When people read website copy, it’s usually because they are looking to do something such as research a product, make a purchase, or find an answer to a question.
The same descriptive language that might draw a reader into a novel and make them fall in love with the central character, might only serve to annoy the reader who is browsing your site to purchase a product or learn whether the service that you offer can help them with their problem.
Write your content more efficiently by:
- Getting to the point – tell your reader who you are and what you can offer them.
- Use plain language.
- Have a clear call to action – indicate how your visitor can make a purchase or get more information.
Strategy 3: Write for SEO
That’s right – as much as you have to write for your reader, you also have to write for the search engine spiders. The reason why SEO (search engine optimization) is so important is that 93% of web traffic comes through search engines.
And if people can’t find your content, they clearly can’t read it.
To write effectively for SEO, use the following tips:
- Use keywords – do a bit of research to find out what keywords your potential customers are searching and make sure you incorporate those words in your headings and content.
- Don’t overuse keywords – keyword stuffing used to be an effective technique for giving your website a good ranking in the search engines, but now it can get you penalized.
- Make your content sharable – when others share your writing on social media or it is linked back to in blogs and professional articles, it helps your SEO.
- Write often – new content in the form of regular articles and blogs will let Google and the other search engines know that you are still relevant.
Strategy 4: Write for People
In addition to writing for SEO, you also need to remember that you are writing for people. But not any and all people – you are writing for your customers and prospective customers. Your writing should be targeted to them.
- Write quality, useful content – If visitors to your website find what you write helpful – even if they are not ready to buy today — they will be more likely to return to your site when they are. Writing helpful and relevant blogs and articles is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
- Structure your writing in a way that makes sense – just as your website’s link navigation should be easy to follow, it should be easy to follow your writing from one point to the next. Clear headings and subheading are a way to accomplish this.
- Keep your content up to date – don’t let your readers think you have gone out of business or simply don’t care because you have old, irrelevant content.
- Be action oriented – make it simple for your reader to find and follow your call to action.
Writing compelling and effective web content does take some time, but your readers will appreciate content that has been written with them in mind – and your efforts will pay off if you keep at it.