When researching for this post, I found several excellent articles, each of which seemed to approach the question from a slightly different direction. They all added a bit more to the picture that formed, showing how to write awesome content for your website.
First, let’s look at your content as we might examine a body. Here are the comparisons:
- The Brain: This part of your website can educate. It needs to be informative and practical.
- The Skeleton: The whole article should be well-organized and should make sense.
- The Muscles: Are you pulled in by the post? Does it make you want to keep reading?
- The Heart: Does the information in the post resonate with you? Are you entertained?
Keep These Factors In Mind When Writing Content
1. What is the purpose of the content? Are you selling something? Attracting new people? Is it meant to build traffic?
2. Who are you writing for? Research to see who will be most likely to read. If you need tools to research your audience, you might check with Alexa. This site offers some useful tools, such as Audience Overlap. This one will show you other sites your visitors are likely to look at. Audience Interests will show topics that will appeal to them.
Here are some things you need to know:
- Are they experts or novices? This factor will influence how you write
- What questions are they really asking? If you can do a better job of answering these questions, you are more apt to win them as a customer.
- How did they reach your page? Learn where they are coming from.
- What are their interests? Knowing this information will help you add elements to your website to keep them interested.
3. Look at competing websites. You will also learn industry trends. You can spot strategic shifts or new tactics. These can be helpful. Get a sense of how traffic, backlinks, and keywords affect your competitors’ sites. Then you can set realistic goals on your own site.
Researching your competition will give you new ideas about topics you could write about.
4. Create a plan for how the content will fit together on your site. Sketch out a list of pages and the topics they will cover. Think of what pages you will need and each one’s purpose. Also, know how people will navigate to each page.
5. Write each page. First, decide the purpose the page will serve. Make sure the copy for the page meets the goals for that page.
For example, does your home page give people information about your most important ideas and does it help people find where to go next?
If you know what pages you will be competing against, you can find a way to create a better page.
Try integrating your keyword in Google and see which sites are showing on page one. Read them and note the following:
- The length of content on the page
- What topics are addressed?
- How is the information formatted?
Write an outline. You can gather ideas and resources to help formulate your outline
Write the content for each page. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing:
- Begin with the goal in mind. Create your content with the idea of driving your audience toward the action you wish them to take.
- Use the inverted pyramid. Give the most important information first and least toward the bottom. This style mimics how people read on the web.
- Focus on benefits, rather than failures. Explain how the features of the product benefit them.For example, when discussing a new bike, instead of talking about the gear system, talk about how smooth a ride they will have.
- Explain how the product will change their situation. What is life like without the product? How will it improve once they take action.
- Be clear and concise. Short sentences and paragraphs; simple language. Leave out unnecessary information. Include just what the reader needs to know.
- Keep terminology simple. Use the same language your audience uses when they speak.
- Use bullets and formatting. Back up the text by highlighting, using bullets, bold or italics, variations in font styles.
- Write like you are having a conversation. Your language should be the same as you’d use to speak to the reader in person.
- End the page using a strong call to action. The CTA should tell the reader exactly what you want them to do.
- Offer proof. Let the reader know why they can trust you. Back up claims with such means as testimonials, statistics, data, or mentions on social media.
- Overcome objections. Imagine what things are holding your reader back from taking action, and then address those concerns. You can provide options like free trials or money-back guarantees.
- Use action words.
Go Back To Your Headline
Perhaps you might be able to tweak your headline to make it more powerful, now that you have written the page. Here are headline guidelines.
- Make your meaning clear.
- Make the headline relevant to your content
- Make it desire-focused
6. Include elements that are non-copy. Insert images that show concepts, and break up the page to draw the reader’s eye. Here are a list of non-copy ideas from alexa.com:
- Text call-outs
- White space
- Charts and graphs
- Line breaks
- Variation in background colors and images
These will also help increase the chances that your visitors will be satisfied with your information.
7. Make edits
Set your content aside for a while, even if it’s just a few hours. Then do the following edits:
- Correct typos
- Improve word choices by changing to stronger ones
- Rewrite unclear sections
- Make the headline stronger
- Add links to other content on your site
8. Optimize for SEO
Make sure the keyword from your title is also found in your first paragraph. You can also use it in your meta title.
9. Plan on a later update
You might test different variations of your page so you can find out which creates the most conversions.
Here are some rules to follow when writing or updating content:
- What search terms will your audience use? Explore Google to get an idea of what your audience might be searching for. Be sure to include these terms in your headers and sub-headers. .
- Don’t forget the inverted pyramid model. Web readers will look at your first paragraph, and if it has information that catches their attention, they will read more. Therefore, put your most important information first, with the pertinent details. Less important information goes below. If you have what your readers search for, they will stay.
- Keep your sentences short and simple. The average American adult reads at a 7th to 9th grade level, so if your content is easy to read, it will reach a larger audience. Focus on using more nouns and verbs and fewer adverbs and adjectives.
- Write in active voice. Verbs should be active, not passive, and specify the subject of the sentence. Instead of saying, “The coffee was ordered” write “The man ordered a coffee.” Active voice helps create reader-friendly sentences. It’s also more direct, like you are speaking to them.
- Show, rather than tell. Give a visual message with your prose. Put in enough details to paint a picture for your reader. More specific information helps your website’s SEO, giving your customer the information they want.
- Don’t use tech jargon. Make sure your material is understandable for non-specialists as well as experts.
- Mix up words — don’t just use favorites. Variety is the spice of your content. To hold readers’ interest, variety is important. If you use the same word over and over it will make your content uninteresting. Find new synonyms.
- Make sure text is easy to skim. Think about how you read a web page that you haven’t seen before. Chances are, you are skimming the information, looking for the answers you want. Use bulleted or numerical lists to make skimming easier.
- Always use white space. This important space around paragraphs, images, and other page elements makes your text more legible and more enjoyable to read.
10. Use multimedia. Can you find a YouTube video that describes perfectly the information you are trying to convey? Embed it.
How about a chart or graph? If you want to make up one yourself, try Canva. They can help.
11. Layer your content. Find other related posts on your website and supply a link to them. This technique will keep your visitor on your site longer. It also helps your SEO. However, don’t overload the page with links. A few go a long way.
12. Keep them wanting more. If you end each page with a strong CTA (call to action), these can help direct your reader to other areas of your website. It can also encourage them to promote your content to their friends.
Keep you CTAs to the point and start them with action verbs. (Examples: Download, Share, Join, Sign up, Learn more, and Watch.) Make sure you add the hyperlink that will allow the reader to take the action you desire of them.
One article I read had a list of do’s and don’ts for website writing. As I thought they might be helpful, I’m including them here.
Do not plagiarize. Though it might be tempting to copy content from other sites, your site could be penalized or even removed from search engines. When using copy ideas from other posts, be sure to rewrite them in your own words.
Avoid run-on sentences. Make your sentences short and sweet. If the sentence is too long, try breaking it up into smaller chunks.
Keep your content simple, not complicated. Make sure your text is understandable for the average person.
Paragraph length is best if kept to 80 words, with no more than four to five lines. When I write posts for my Wealthy Affiliate sites, I try to keep paragraphs to no more than three lines. Now I find myself wanting to rewrite paragraphs in books I read to make them shorter. Add elements that break up the text; this will make your post easier to skim
Don’t repeat yourself over and over. Keep bringing in new material instead of repeating the same things over and over.
Don’t oversell. Even though the purpose of your website is to promote what you are offering, your reader does not want constant reminders to buy or sign up. Provide them with valuable content first, and then they will be more interested in what you have to offer.
Remember your target audience. Though you may have a great deal of knowledge about your subject, remember that your customer may not be so well-informed. Make sure that what you write is at the visitor’s level.
Make sure you use images to which you have a legal right. Using any random image without permission could get you sued. Be careful!
Use a good anchor text. Don’t just write “click here.” Be creative by using anchor text that is both descriptive and inviting.
Use original content. Write your own content. Take the time to be original, instead of having your material removed because it isn’t original.
There is also a “Do” list. Here goes:
Know your page goal. Write your content so that it points your readers to a specific product. Then write material to convince them that the product is just what they want.
Use CTAs (Calls to action). Your CTA could be a button, link, image, or some sort of graphic. The purpose is to convince visitors to become participants or a customer.
Use an outline. Using one will keep your ideas strong and organized.
Sound like you are a friend. Site visitors appreciate this personal connection.
Break up text with bullet points, numbered lists, headers, etc.
Provide the answers your visitor is seeking.
Organize your paragraphs. One idea per paragraph, please. Keep each paragraph on the same subject.
Remember, most important information first. This practice will ensure that your content can be scanned quickly.
Review what you have written. Look for errors or missing information. In my writer’s group, we read our selections aloud to other members. This practice helps ensure that your material flows well and that you have expressed your idea in an understandable way.
Meet your deadlines. Ah, yes, I am struggling with this one right now, as this post is due to go up today. It’s good to be consistent with how often you post.
Make Sure You Cover Your Subject Thoroughly
If you give tips, go from the most important to the least important.
If you are doing a guide, you should include step-by-step instructions.
As you write, stay benefit-focused.
It is important that you reference and link to high-quality sources. The following is an example: Below is a list of the posts I used for references for this article, with a link to each so you can read them in full if you wish:
Content is king. I hope this post on writing your important content will be helpful to you.
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