Sometimes, web content can be a real horror story. One night you get a chilling call from your web designer. He wants 20 pages of content by next week or there’s no website. He says he’s waited long enough and your site really needs to go live. Have a look at these ten tips on writing web content to help you wake up from your business nightmare.
# 1. Write down your main marketing message
This should be emphasised right throughout your content. It might be ‘the best value’, ‘lowest prices’, …USP.
- Your USP (unique selling proposition/point) is what makes you stand out from the crowd and is something that is truly unique to you and your business/brand.
- This is going to help convince people to buy your product / service.
# 2. Make a note of your intended audience
Remember no-one targers the general public, you need to be really specific on who you are targeting.
- Break it down by location, gender, age, social status if necessary but be as spscific as you can when defining who your audience is.
- Once you know who they are, now write down what they expect to see on your site and what your product or service can do to help them.
# 3. Decide on a tone or personality for your web content and make it consistent throughout
If your home page is friendly and fun, your ‘about us’ page should not be stern and serious. Find a tone and stick to it. A lot of businesses are relaxing their tone in line with their social media activity but remember the tone you use should reflect your business, brand personality and ethos.
# 4. Get your initial message across in the first few lines and expand on it
If you don’t grab the readers attention in the first few lines you may loose them to a competitor. They should know what you do, what’s in it for them and what you want them to do.
# 5. Remember, web pages are usually scanned and seldom read
Use headings to get across your main messages.
For example, if your website is product driven then create specific heading like Product Description, Size/Dimensions, Colours, Reviews etc. This allows the customer to quickly identify the content they need and will give you a great starting point when describing your products
# 6. When you are writing for the web should ensure that you optimise the copy for search engines
The first step is choosing your target search terms. Use the Google keywords tool to do up a list of 3 key phrases per page. If you don’t have time to use the tool, just talk to your web designer and they should be able to give you a hand.
# 7. Weave the keywords into your content
Some should fall into place easily, other may need a little nudge. Do your best, but no crowbars. The important thing to remember is that you are writing for people and NOT search engines.
# 8. Stop looking at a blank page
Just write something down. Anything at all. Then start to edit and rewrite.
# 9. Speak directly to your customer or website visitor
Use plenty of ‘you s’ ‘yours’ and write, just like you’d talk to them over the phone or in person.
# 10. Ask your web developers to give you access to your website Content Management System
This will allow you to edit your website copy. What you write today may read dreadful tomorrow so having a CMS will enable you to make changes as needed.
If you’ve got the need for web content and are just too busy to get it done – outsource it to an expert.