One of the most important parts of a website is the content. How you say it is important, but you still have to have a message. If you have a website, you are selling something: a service, a philanthropic event, your skills, something.
As with any kind of salesmanship, websites have to attract the user.
Serious websites are primarily trying to convince the visitors of something. It could be to hire them, it could be to support their charity, it could be nothing more than trying to convince their visitors to simply learn more about them.
Either way, you’re selling something.
As with any kind of salesmanship, websites have to attract in the user. If you’re getting your website done by an agency, this is done in the design. The trained designers create something that will showcase your company as well as possible.
The content, however, is up to you. You know your business better than anyone else. This means that you should write the best content you can to sell your site to your audience. This also helps your traffic: good content makes the search engines happy, which makes your site rank higher.
You know your business better than anyone else.
Content Writing Tips
Always link your sources. Make sure that the sources that you’re using for your article are linked to, which is only polite. Search engines like this too, making you more prominent in search results.
Positive content is important. People like to be happy, they don’t want you to make them feel sad or guilty. Find a positive spin on what you’re doing, and give them that. It will make your content more engaging to the reader.
Don’t make your readers feel guilty or sad, this will discourage engagement with your brand.
Write in the active voice. Passive voice should be avoided, it can very easily bore the reader. How to tell if it’s active voice? If you can add ‘by zombies’ after the verb, it’s passive voice.
Link to other pages within your website as well. Don’t make pages too static, allow your website to flow so you can get from page to page easily.
Make sure the readers know why your content should be important to them. On the same note, make sure your content is important. Don’t let your readers get lost in information that’s not important to the sale you want to make. Additionally, make sure it’s easily applicable. They want to know how to use the information you just gave them.
Check your grammar! If you’re not sure about it, look it up. Grammar can be confusing sometimes, especially since wrong grammar can be made into colloquial language very easily. Good grammar makes you sound like you know your stuff.
Don’t use overly flowery language. It just confuses people, be concise and clear while giving people the information they need. Make sure that your content is at a reading level that will make it accessible to whoever needs it.
Let someone else edit your work. No matter how great of a writer you are, you can easily get lost in your own work and miss little errors such as “form” instead of “from.” Having a fresh set of eyes can make it easier. Don’t have an editor? Paste your work into Google Translate and listen to them read it.
Write a good headline. A good headline, or page title, brings readers in. If it’s a page title, make sure it explains what’s on the page without being too long. If it’s a headline or article title, make it short, sweet, and witty. Easy to remember.
Fact Check. If your blog gets really popular and all of a sudden someone points out inaccurate information, you lose all credibility. Do your research. Link to your research. It will make your life so much easier.
Add images and video. Every social media out there has made it clear that images and video are the way to engage people. On that subject, make sure that your images are not being stretched or squashed by your site. Size your images properly and it looks significantly more professional.
Update regularly. Don’t just leave it sitting there, post news from your company/nonprofit/life. Write articles to let people know how important what you’re doing is. People will forget about you if you don’t update. Fresh content is also an SEO boost.
Stay on topic. If you’re on a website, you want the information you searched for. You would probably be super annoyed at me if you were looking for information on how to write content and I suddenly started talking about kittens. But for real though, aren’t kittens great?
Write short paragraphs. As you can see from this article, the paragraphs tend to be short and start with the most important information, then move into explanations for the interested reader. You can get essentially everything you need from this article from the first sentences of each paragraph.
Do not use the exact same writing style you would for a print piece. A pamphlet is written differently than a paper, a newspaper article is written differently from a commercial on the radio. Doesn’t it make sense that writing for the internet is different as well?
So when your website is finished and you’re finally putting content in, make sure that you’re gearing it to your audience. Follow these guidelines, and listen to the advice of your agency. This is what they do for a living, let them help you.