Content, content, content. Everybody is all abuzz about how important writing strong website content is these days. And let’s face it. They are right.
It’s imperative to the success of pretty much any organization that has an online presence to write powerful content that will engage, drive awareness and convert readers on their websites.
But how do you do that successfully? What are the steps?
Remember, this should not be all about you. Think. What does your reader really want? When they saw your headline and clicked, what did they expect to find?
Don’t lure them there with an enticing link and then launch right into unrelated marketing copy. Give them what they are looking for. Build a relationship with the reader. What would really benefit them most? Give it to them.
And back yourself up. Provide statistics and link to relevant references that support your key points. If you don’t cite professional, quality references, how do we know you’re not making all of this up?
Write a compelling headline right up front that isn’t overly creative and that simply tells the reader what they are going to read. A catchy clickable headline these days isn’t subtle. It communicates with the reader quite clearly what type of content they are clicking through to read.
Then once they start reading, tell them why they want to read to the very end up front. What’s in it for them? Why should they even care? That shouldn’t be buried five paragraphs down.
The old-school writing principles you learned in school often apply to writing content for the website. It’s often not a bad idea to summarize the key points you’re going to hit right upfront if you have a longer article.
The reader should be able to easily read or even scan the page to glean the most useful content.
Use subheads. Bold your subheads so they stand out.
Write very short paragraphs—realize the average reader reads 10-30% slower online due to the backlight on monitors and eye strain. Two-three sentences, maximum. Less is more.
Human attention span has now fallen from 12 to only 8 seconds...shorter than a goldfish. You need to write in a way that continues to keep people’s attention throughout the article if you want to keep them on your site (and you do want to keep them on your site…the longer a visitor stays on your site the higher their likelihood of conversion).
Write more casually than you typically would. Even if your audiences are highly educated, using a lot of corporate-speak and/or technical jargon on websites can be a turnoff even for sophisticated readers. Most online readers prefer content that is easier to digest. You can sound smart without using 9-letter words in every sentence. When you can avoid overcomplicating your content, do so.
When you can support your article with images, do so.
Readers who click through and then are confronted with long copy and no images are much more likely to bounce off your site and not finish reading.
Images make a post or content more engaging and appealing for readers. And they help to break up the content to the eye. Their eye can “breathe” visually, and it is less overwhelming.
Be sure to optimize your images for the web. Page load time is a huge factor in your bounce rate success. A 2017 Google study (stats for 2021 are still being compiled) showed that:
And don’t forget to include alt-tags on your images. That is important for your SEO!
You want to make your website content what we call in digital marketing “sticky.” The better it is crafted the longer it will keep readers on your site. Even if it’s good and useful content, if it isn’t sticky, it won’t draw the reader beyond that post and deeper into your site to continue reading additional pages or articles.
One way to accomplish this is through the use of internal site links (hyperlinks) to draw readers to other content on your website.
Provide strong anchor text to help the reader know what to expect when they click. If it’s an article about the key steps to creating a more powerful brand, say that. Don’t just say branding.
If you are writing strong website content that should drive some form of conversion (a purchase, a request for more info, a phone call, etc.), include a call to action at the end of your article, post or page. If they made it to the end of your page…bravo! You have engaged them. Provide them a way to engage with you further. And make it clear in your call to action what the reader is clicking through to do.
Ignorance is not bliss in this digital-savvy day and age. Stay abreast of your website statistics. Are certain pages experiencing higher than normal bounce rates? If so, be sure you check through all of the items I have listed above to ensure your content is best serving you and your site visitors.
Do you find the idea of writing strong website content for your own company and mastering these tips incredibly overwhelming? You’re not alone. Many of our clients came to us because they’ve tried their hand at content marketing (why wouldn’t they…it’s free marketing!) but then found that all the nuances and time commitment were more than they had time to master.
If you are considering hiring outside help to craft a content strategy for your company, then let’s talk. We’d be happy to chat with you about your marketing goals and needs. Sometimes an outsourced marketing department might be just what you need.