Tips and Techniques for Writing Great Website Content
“We don’t have a choice on whether we create content. The question is how well will we do it?“
There is a lot of information out there on how to write content for your website. In fact, writing content for your website can be the toughest part about creating or updating a website.
Writing takes intense focus and commitment. If you find yourself stuck, here are some helpful ways to help you plan out writing content.
What is your goal?
It’s important, before you begin writing, to define what your goal will be in writing for a specific page on your site.
But let’s take it back a step and understand why we have a website to begin with. Is the main purpose of your site to communicate with an untapped potential customer base? Is your site there to simply be educational, or do you sell products and services? Or is its purpose to be a lead generator?
Many common responses when asked why a company has a website are:
“Because my competition has one.”
“Because I should have one in today’s digital world.”
While these answers are legitimate, they don’t have a key focus that relates to the purpose of having the business with the strategy to carry out that purpose. Once you have defined why you have a website, you can move into creating goals for specific pages.
After defining why you have a website, you can look to define page-specific goals. Different pages on your site will serve different purposes.
When someone lands on your homepage, where do you want them to go?
If someone goes to a product page, what do you want them to do?
When someone visits your contact page, what action do you want them to take?
Let’s take a product page for example and let’s say it’s on an e-commerce website. If someone visits a product page, the ultimate goal is likely for them to make a purchase. But we have to do more than just add a “buy now” button next to the product.
We have to understand what compels your targeted user to buy that product, and more specifically, your product.
Nearly 90% of consumers do online research before purchasing a product. What compels them to buy? Here are some top influencers:
- Online reviews– what are people saying about this product?
- Pricing– many shoppers evaluate and compare pricing before making a purchase
- Value– when the product’s perception exceeds the price
- Brand– many shoppers look for brand-recognition when making a purchase
- Trust– when consumers trust the product and the site it’s purchased from
- Meets a need– we all have needs as humans
- Convenience– consumers look for the easiest path to get something they want or need
There are many other purchasing factors, but these are some of the main ones.
We know that different pages on your site will have different goals. When you want a potential customer to take action, how do you want them to do it? Do you want the user to subscribe, fill out a contact form, or call you? Do you want the user to buy something? Or do you want the user to take some other action?
Once you define the page-specific goal and what action you’d like the user to take, you can begin writing content that compels the user to make a decision and take an action.
Additional tips for strong website content
1. The title of your web page is really important
Titles help tell the user what they are about to read. If your title is not interesting or compelling, your readers won’t connect and may choose to read elsewhere. It’s important to understand user intent and know how they are searching.
If you’re writing a blog post, you can be even more creative with page titles. Some examples of titles that are intriguing or compelling are:
- Secrets of [something we want to know]
- How to [do something useful or interesting]
- Top # [list of something]
- # or % of [something useful or interesting]
- Why [something] Is [the way it is]
- [Power term such as: powerful, learn, basic, improved, best] of [type of category]
2. Make your first sentence strong
People only read word-by-word on a website if they are really interested in the content. Most people, approximately 50-60%, usually skim the article looking for bolded words, lists, meaningful headings, and short paragraphs (6 lines maximum). And just like newspaper headlines, your content needs to grab the user’s attention first before they decide to keep on reading.
3. Stay focused
It’s easy to go off on tangents–especially when you’re free-writing. It can be helpful to write out an outline of the topic and sub-categories you want to write about. Also, ask yourself, “what is the point I’m trying to make?” Write this point down and keep it close to you while writing your content.
4. The structure of your content is important
Just as your content needs to attract the targeted user to read, so does the design and usability of your webpage. Today, websites need to be responsive and provide a good user experience. Generally, if your content is longer, people will look for shorter paragraphs, bolded and meaningful headings, and lists.
Define your voice throughout your content
How do you want your company to be perceived? Are you trying to be helpful, informative, humorous, professional, influential, etc? It’s important to be unique and use your brand’s culture to help define the voice and tone of your content.
What is your call to action?
After you’ve spent time writing great content, you will need to guide the user to take action. This is known as a “call to action” or “CTA.”
There are several types of call to actions. From a contact form, to a lead generation form to making a phone call or purchase, and more. Remember each page will have different goals.
Here are some helpful tips after you decide what you want your call-to-action (CTA) to be:
Create a call-to-action that stands out and grabs the user’s attention. Deciding a color will depend on the structure of your web page and its color scheme. You can test call to actions with A/B testing to compare performance, which can help immensely with your conversion rate. Visual Website Optimizer is a great tool to perform conversion testing.
You have likely heard the phrase “less is more” and this definitely applies when it comes to creating your CTAs. While you want your CTA to standout, you will want to avoid “design frills” which may create clutter. The design of the CTA should be simplistic along with the copy.
3. Invite your user to take action
Users need to be guided to do something. So, why not invite them to take action? You will want to make sure your CTA looks clickable. If the CTA is a link, make sure the link is working. Having white space around your Call To Action can help the CTA stand out. And lastly, be sure to use power and action oriented wording. Some examples include:
- Get your free quote! It only takes two minutes.
- Find Out If You Qualify
- Join For Free
- Get Started
- View Our Work
- Claim Your Coupon
Don’t leave your user asking “now what?” Be sure to provide an action for them to take with a Call To Action.
There must be strategy and planning involved throughout your content writing process. Having a strategy can help ensure your content is successful along with being useful to your target audience. A web designer, SEO and a copy-writer should be involved in this writing process. These specialists can help you define your target audience, create a strategy, and deliver amazing content that converts on your website.
Have something to add? Share it with us in the comment section below!