Creating a website is essential for any business or person looking to share information, so what is the backbone of those websites? The answer should be: amazing web content, or web copy. Web content is the amalgam of all headings, paragraphs, graphics, images, videos and other information that is a part of your website. During the web design process, either a team or singular web developer is tasked with gathering information from you, the owner, to begin the writing process. The goal is to take the requirements from the website owner and translate them into readable, searchable and helpful paragraphs and layouts that will be beneficial to all who visit the website. Whether you are building a website with a developer, or are a developer yourself wanting to glean great web content writing tips, read below for the most up-to-date advice on writing killer content for websites.
Know your goals
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if you do not know the specific end goals of your website, your web copy will be ineffective. Every single word or graphic is purposeful and should point to the greater accomplishment of the piece. Practically, it may be a good idea to write down your top 3 goals before you begin writing content. Some examples of goals could include: educate my audience on my product, explain my company backstory, provide contact information, or define my brand’s values. While your overall website is created with a goal in mind, like putting a professional face for your business on the Internet, it would be wise to break down the goal of each web page or even subsection that way when you proofread your written content, you’ll know whether or not the content is helpful. Goals, too, can assist you in picking words or phrases. Once you know your general theme, say contact information, you know that there needs to be names, phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses. The same would apply to web content about selling your product; what is it? Why do they need it? How is it made? What makes it special?
Know your audience and competition
Writing web content accurately is a sure way to actually target the audience you intend to reach (hopefully the same audience of your direct competitors!). First, research your competition’s web content to know whether it would be beneficial to you to write in a similar way or offer something completely different and unexpected from your page. The sites that rank the highest on Google for your specific search term you’d like to target are getting the most visitors (and return visitors), so making a bulleted list of ways you can embody what makes them successful in your web content would be good to keep in mind as you write. Your audience, too, is more specific than just “general users of the web”. By defining what you know about them, you can cater your web content to them best: are they more casual or professional? Do they need overhead views or in-depth explanations?
Write with the intention to scan
From a technical perspective, the Internet constantly scans and categorizes all content on each web page of your website. It wants to see your content in categories, which means creating headings to paragraphs and naming images allows a computer to most accurately group information together. For the audience or readers of your site, they came to answer a question they have about you or your business. There is nothing worse than having a hard time searching for the answer you need. As well, the average amount of time anyone spends on a single web page, across all industries, is less than one minute (or 54 seconds, to be exact). That is not a lot of time to deeply read every last word on a page, so being able to scan headings, paragraphs and images quickly is what will deliver the best experience for a user of your site.
Write with a casual voice
Remember that nowadays everyone is accustomed to using the Internet as an integral part of their daily life; it is no longer strictly an academic or governmental project full of complex language. People use the Internet for everything from researching a local restaurant’s menu, to scheduling a dog grooming appointment, to researching a particular interior design style. Therefore, write in a way that is easy to understand. There is no benefit to using 50 cent words or explaining something about yourself or your business more in depth than the average person needs to know. On the same coin, try to keep your length of text down. If you can say it in 50 words or less, do not stretch the word count just to meet a specific goal. In fact, the goal is to be personable, casual and easy to understand!
Use images, graphics or other visuals
Researchers say that visuals with color increase willingness to read by 80%. In our daily lives, as many of us read from screens all day for work, communication, entertainment, and just about every other aspect of life, coming across information that truly sticks with us can be hard. Making sure to include appropriate photos and videos, if not also going the extra mile by creating a graphic to help describe your purpose better, gives readers of your web content a way to visualize what you’ve said and will make it more likely for them to remember.
Use proper search engine optimization techniques
One of the most simple ways to improve your search engine optimization is the use of keywords throughout your web content. Make sure your keywords are mentioned overtly but avoid pitfalls like keyword stuffing. Your key phrase or one of its synonyms should at least be mentioned in one or two H2s or H3s down the page. As mentioned about writing with the intention to scan, adding headings is a great way to show the main point of sections of larger amounts of text. Linking to other pages in your website and webpages outside your site with relevant information easy for your users to find is a great way to improve search engine optimization as well. Make sure all of your images have a description for accessibility sake and that your keywords are included in those, too!
If you are personally looking for some guidance in writing web content, improving your search engine optimization, or creating a website for you or your small business, please reach out to HostGo and their team of professionals providing outstanding customer service since 1999.