How To Write Website Content
Think about how you read a website page: if you’re like most people, you skim the page, scanning for the information you find important or useful. You might check the headline or read the first sentence of a paragraph to see if it has what you’re looking for.
Why did you visit that particular website? Most likely, you used your browser, and your search returned sites that used the terms you searched with. Those terms are keywords that have been carefully worked into the site’s content, to attract the browser’s attention and then point the reader to that site.
Website owners generally outsource their website copywriting. It’s a specialized skill that can return great financial rewards to your company. But done poorly, and without knowledge of how to write for the web, it’s a stressful and unfruitful waste of your time.
Some Tips for Great Website Content Writing
1. Never plagiarize. Not ever. Search engines can now identify plagiarized content and will punish you for using it. Your site might get penalized with poor rankings, or removed entirely from search. If you or a designated employee write your own website, take your time to create your own material. Aside from protecting the integrity of your site, this creates a “voice” for your business.
2. Keep your writing clear, simple and short. Sentences under 20 words and paragraphs no more than 5 or 6 lines. Say what you need to say and then stop. Make it easy to scan your page for the most important information for the viewer. (Good headlines can guide them along.)
3. Yes, you’re presenting business information, but keep your tone warm and friendly. Your site is like a salesman who never takes a vacation: customers can come visit anytime to learn about you. Keep them feeling comfortable while spending time on your site.
4. Remember your 8th grade grammar lessons? Use proper spelling and use of language. No run-on sentences or unnecessarily difficult words. Present one single idea per paragraph.
5. Write interesting, informative pages. Calls to action on a site are fine, but if you overdo it, readers can feel pressured. Have a designated Contact Us page, and direct them gently to that page to take the next step–calling you or filling in an email form.
5. You never know how much a visitor to your site knows about your products or services. Try to write to all levels of knowledge, from newcomers on up as you present the value of your product.
6. Images–photos, graphics or videos–are excellent tools for enhancing the look of a page, or for adding more information. Best photos are those you take yourself, of your staff, your facility, your products. You can buy stock photos, as well as graphic images,online. The crucial word is BUY. Never just download images from other sites or searches. Copyright law is tricky, and appropriating these materials can land you in a big vat of hot water. (Images also need to be sized properly for website use using a photo editor. Left large, they slow down your site.)
7. Write to both reader interest and for the search engines. This is not easy! It involves keyword research and lots of careful editing. (It’s at this point that a business owner may well decide to go with a professional web content writer and get back to doing those business tasks he really enjoys!
8. Don’t be afraid of bullet points and lists. They break up the page and add visual interest.
9. Be sure to reread and edit your pages!
10. When in doubt, let other members of your team read the pages and tell you if the writing is easy to read and communicates your message.
Keywords: Important, But Now Part of the Mix
Keywords have been king for years. Now, apparently, Google has a new way of looking at content. Where once keywords were the most important signals to Google about your site, now the search engines are looking for what is called “user intent.” This a slightly different focus than just inserting keywords, because now the content must include some keywords and keyword phrases, but also cover as much information as possible on the topic to answer all of the reader’s questions.
Informative content has always been important, but it now counts more towards Google’s quality assessment of your site.
However, writing good content still includes keywords. And keywords are discovered through research on the web. Keywords still help readers and search engines find you, and still have influence on where your rank in organic search. Web designers who require their clients to write their own copy are ignoring the fact that most business owners or their employees have neither the time nor the skills to do quality keyword research, and lack the time to write in-depth articles. And that means less viewers to your site, less customers and less sales.
At Siteguy.net, we write your web content and include basic Local SEO in our price. Contact Site Guy today to learn more about our content writing work. Let’s get started!