We read a lot of web content. Some of it’s good, and most of it is not so good. And, trust us, we’ve written some pretty bad web content too! But, in today’s digital age, you have to have a strong online presence to be successful as a business. And to do this, you need to be writing great web content that drives traffic to your website.
If you’re not sure what this entails, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a few basic tips and tricks to help you get started:
Who Are You Writing Content For?
One of the most important factors in writing great web content is knowing your audience. You’ll want to speak directly to your target demographic so that your readers get the most out of it.
This means understanding audience attributes such as:
Geographic location (and time zone)
Level of education
Ethnic background/primary languages
If you can put yourself in the mindset of your average reader, the better you’ll be able to communicate with them.
Imagine that your reader lives near the beach, and enjoys surfing and outdoor activities. You’ll want to write content that appeals to their sense of adventure and fun, and refrain from using overly formal or professional language.
Let your audience guide your tone.
Build a Foundation for Success
Looking at a blank screen is daunting. We’ve been there! Start by picking a topic that is relevant to your consumer and related to your services. Then outline that topic.
Divide your information into different chunks. Then write them down as section headers. If your outline starts getting too long, you have enough information to write multiple articles. Alternatively, if you can’t think of more than a few section headers, you may need to broaden your topic.
Once you have an outline you are happy with, you can start filling in your content. A strong foundation is the best way to build upwards!
Keep It Scannable
Believe it or not, the average person has an attention span shorter than a goldfish. They are unlikely to read through large blocks of text without becoming disinterested.
Keep people reading by breaking your content into bite-size chunks. Use formatting, such as the appropriate headers to distinguish different sections of the page. When necessary, use italics or bold text to emphasize a particular statement or sentiment.
Someone should be able to skim your article, and still take away the main elements of it.
Provide Useful Information
If you’re not providing something useful to your audience, you’re not accomplishing anything other than wasting their time.
It’s essential that you only post content that your audience can gain something from. Fortunately, you have plenty of options at your disposal. You are the expert in your field. You can share your knowledge in the form of user guides, notifications of upcoming sales, product benefits, or market analyses.
If your content is useful to your target audience, it is worth their time to read.
Make it Readable and Accessible
It may surprise you to learn that 50% of adults cannot read a book written at the 8th grade level!
Even if your audience is highly educated, it doesn’t mean they want to read over-complicated blogs. Web content should be simple and accessible to all.
Use an on-site tool like Yoast or an off-site tool to gauge whether your web content is readable and accessible.
Our favorite readability tool is the Hemmingway App. Paste your content directly into the site. Then edit it right there, using their suggestions to improve readability.
(In case you were wondering, this article is at a 6th grade level!)
Include a Strong Call to Action
Once you’ve got your audience’s attention, you’ll want them to take action on your site. Depending on your goals, this could be something as simple as having them sign up for a newsletter.
In other scenarios, you want them to navigate to a product page or create an account on your website. Regardless of what you intend for them to do, your reader will likely need a nudge in the right direction.
Your calls to action should be straightforward, clear, and easy to do. Let the user know what will happen when they click. For instance, use text like ‘download my e-book’, instead of ‘click here’ on a button.
If the call to action is a link in the body of the text, make sure it stands out by using an easy to see link color. It can also have an underline or change color on hover.
Usability and accessibility are key.
Writing Great Web Content Doesn’t Have to be Hard
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way toward writing content that people want to read!
But, these are only the beginning steps for writing great web content. Ready to take the next step to grow your website? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do to make great online content for you and your business.