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Your website is an extension of your business and apart from functionality (online shop, signup or contact forms, booking capabilities) it should also be written well. Did you know that on average a user spends only 45 seconds on a website? This is why it’s so important to hook your visitors as soon as they land on your site – and you do this with your content.
What you want to achieve is content that holds the reader’s attention, while being easily scannable and which incorporates SEO techniques for better search engine results. Sounds like a lot? Well, we’ve compiled some tips to help you get your website the engagement it deserves!
(And don’t worry – you don’t need to know how to code to create high quality content!)
1. Write for your audience
This is such a simple principle, but you’d be surprised how many businesses still get this wrong! Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that your website content is interesting and relevant for your audience:
- Who is my primary audience?
- What questions are they likely to have about my business?
- What tone of voice should I write in?
- What emotions do I want to evoke in my readers?
- What is my audience’s level of technical know-how?
For example, if you’re looking for a law firm you’ll likely choose the website that’s written in a professional, friendly and reassuring tone of voice and not one that uses slang and cheesy catchphrases.
2. Importance takes precedence
Write the most important information at the top of the page, so that people who are scanning can immediately find what they are looking for. As you move down the web page, you can start including supporting details and information. Right at the bottom of the page would be the best place to add links to related information to guide the reader to other pages on your website.
End off each page with a “call-to-action” – these are buttons or links that the reader can click to interact with your website, be it signing up for a newsletter, contacting you or downloading a document.
3. Website copy should be scannable
When writing content for your website, you should consider how people read content online. Browsing the internet or searching for specific information is very different from reading a novel. Keep in mind that when someone is searching for specific information, they are actively scanning through irrelevant content to find what they need. Most importantly, they want to do this with the least amount of effort.
Consider doing the following to ensure that your copy is easy to scan:
- Organise related content into bulleted or numerical lists (like this one!)
- Include white space around blocks of content, so that the page is comfortable to read
- Section your content with sub-headings
- Add some images or videos! Infographics are a great way to convey information in a visual and interesting way and might even explain your message better than a long paragraph.
4. Write short sentences without jargon
Unless your website is about poetry, there’s no reason to go all “Paradise Lost” on your content! According to Yoast, the popular SEO plugin for WordPress, sentences should not exceed 20 words.
Also, please leave the technical acronyms at the office! Even if you are in a very technical industry, your website content should be understandable to non-experts. Remember, you’re writing for your potential customers, not your colleagues.
Unsure of whether your content is readable enough? Use Readable to check the readability of your content.
5. Write SEO-friendly content
Writing for search engines is not as difficult or confusing as it seems! It’s definitely worth spending some extra time to make sure that your website content is optimised for search engines. Your website will end up higher in search engine results, which leads to more people seeing your site, more clicks, shares, likes and engagement!
Get started by doing the following:
- Firstly, choose keywords that describe your business and that people will use to search for you in Google. Use these keywords throughout your website – in the title, headings, descriptions, ALT tags and main copy.
- Make use of headings and sub-headings (H1 – H6 tags) so that search engine bots can recognise what your website is about, and which parts are important. Also, use keywords in your headings to increase your site’s keyword relevance.
- Add links to different pages on your website, these internal links will not only guide your reader, but will help search engines find your articles.
- Add links to other sites on your website – links to reputable websites will increase the validity of your site, so don’t be afraid to quote or reference others when writing content.
- Blog posts should be 1,500+ words since Google gives higher priority to longer, high-quality content. The aim of blog posts should be to educate and generate engagement!
- Optimise images by adding alternative text/descriptions for each and making sure the images are compressed in size without losing quality.
- Add shareable links to posts and pages so that your readers can easily share your content on social media – this will increase your reputation and backlinks to your site!
This post was aimed to help you get started with writing content for your website and is not exhaustive in the least. However, if you follow these tips you’re bound to have content that leads to more engagement. Even if you are using a copywriter, you can use this list to check whether your content is up to scratch!
We’re passionate about high-quality website content, so if you feel that you’re struggling with your business website, give us a call! From website design to development and integration with social media marketing channels, we’ve got you covered.