The content you publish on your website is important. It’s often the difference between the success and failure of your website.
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If you don’t put much thought into what you’re writing or you’re always pushing a sales angle, there’s a chance your current content isn’t very good.
You can’t just throw any old thing up on a website and expect it to create conversions. Even the most loyal of customers will see through these transparent attempts to keep them interested.
In the writing world, there’s a phrase that many people create content by: show, don’t tell. Don’t write about what you do best, and don’t just mention all the things you’ve achieved as a company so far.
In the way you write you can show people just how high quality your services or products are.
Of course, writing for the online world can be difficult and the change is rarely made overnight. It can be especially hard to find a balance between performing for the algorithm and talking to the people who make your business a success.
You should always keep one thing in mind
You’re writing to build a connection
You need to show the people who visit your site that you understand them. Make them feel like you’re talking specifically to them.
They need to feel that they belong on the site they’ve landed on, and that you can help them with the problem they’re experiencing.
You don’t want them reading a few lines, thinking they’re a bit shabby, and then clicking off to one of your competitors.
You need to grab them there and then, and to do that, you’ve got to pull off just one little thing:
Write for real people
It’s easy to stuff your website content to the brim with keywords and phrases that are Google friendly. It’s also very easy to confuse and annoy people with this tactic.
When you take this idea to the extreme, even the search engines you’re trying to rank on will score you very low.
You need to be writing to show value.
It’s all about capturing the right psychology. The average internet user knows how things work online, and they’re not going to mind your attempts to rank here and there. But within this you need to have the right tone that the reader can relate to and want to read more of.
You need to have a chat with the potential customers that come your way. Make it a nice place to be and people will stick around.
If you’re not sure how to approach writing in such a way, we’ve constructed a guide below that you’ll find very helpful.
General tips on how to write website content
Writing content for your website can be hard to get used to. Maybe you don’t feel like much of a writer and are already doubting your ability to put a high quality landing page or blog post out there.
As long as you know why you’re writing and who you’re writing for, you’ll be able to come up with some solid ideas that’ll pay dividends.
Before you start to write:
The first thing to do is focus on your customers a.k.a., the people you’re speaking to. You’re trying to get inside their heads here, for want of a better term.
You need to understand who they are and where they’re coming from and how you can solve the problem they’re shopping for.
To manage this, it’s best to create some user personas. These are character sheets you create that represent the average customers that click through to your website.
While the personas themselves don’t exist, the demographic, attitudes, and habits you assign to them do.
You can create a range of these to fully represent the diversity of your customer base. You can create a persona for both the single parent and the office secretary, if you experience this kind of overlap.
You’ll also need to choose a tone of voice
When you write for your customers, how do you want to sound? Creating the right tone of voice can be tricky at first – after all you’re a business who needs to make money – but various factors will come into this.
- What kind of business are you?
- What style would you like to write in?
- Are you more of a formal, serious brand, or do you like to stay light hearted and chatty?
You’re looking to build trust via communication here and that can’t be done when you’re not sure how you need to sound.
And now that you’ve identified your purpose, your tone, and you understand your audience, here’s a step by step of what it takes to write good content for your website:
Focus on what pages you want to write
Start with your overall goal:
What pages does your website need? And what pages do you want them to be able to read through?
To find the answer to these questions you need to think about your purpose.
- Why are you writing?
- What are you selling?
- What does your customer base not already know about you?
For each page think about what your customers will want to know
It’s not just the details of your business or the products you sell that you need to talk about (but more on that below). It’s also the meaning behind the page.
This is where your tone of voice and user personas come in handy again.
You’re going to need to relate to your customer before you can sell them something.
List out what points you need to discuss on each page
You’ll then have to note down the content list for each page. Most online web pages follow this structure:
- Page name / catchy title
- Intro / setting the scene – purpose of the page
- Content’s main body – digging deeper into the topic
- Call to action for reader – Contact information
Take some time to think about what you’ll need to include in each of these sections on your page.
For example, if you’re writing an ecommerce page the customer will need to know the function and features of each product as well as the price they have to pay for them.
Start your first draft!
Now it’s time to sit down and write!
Don’t be intimidated to write. You can write whatever you want here as it’s only the first draft. A chance to get your ideas down on paper… or Word Doc.
It can be long or short or relevant or long-winded – you can edit it all to fit better once you’ve gotten something down.
Now it’s time to edit
Editing a piece of content requires you to be ruthless.
Sure you’ve just sat down and poured your heart into something but now you need to go back with a red pen and use it liberally.
What’s relevant to the page? What could sound better if you worded it differently?
Don’t be afraid to cross things out and come back to them later.
Think about your SEO
During the editing stage you’ll also think about your SEO. Have you incorporated your keywords into your writing? Have you used them too often, or too little? And could you reword a few things to make them sound more natural?
If you’re confused about how to get started with SEO, check out the section below:
Writing SEO content comes quite naturally when you already know and understand the audience you’re serving.
You’ve already got a niche of people to directly target and you’ll be naturally slipping related keywords and phrases into your content. But to do this with greater success, you may have to tweak your writing style a little.
For example, you might need to embed your SEO keywords into longer, more content rich paragraphs. It’s easy to just throw a relevant term in there and call it a day, but you’re trying to write for people here. The content needs to make sense!
You also need to think about the structure of your content when you’re writing for SEO purposes. Using heading tags (h1, h2, h3) is important in content writing – it makes it a lot easier for Google to understand your content and rank your website for relevant searches, while it also helps make your content easy to skim read for people browsing your website.
Tagging headlines in such a way catches the eye and allows you to rank your keywords in order of importance.
And because you need to keep up with the theme, your SEO efforts will be seen all across your website.
Tips for writing different page types common on websites
Here are a few tips on how to optimise the content on your most important website pages:
How to write content for your website homepage
The homepage is the first place the majority of your users land on. You need them to get a good impression whilst they’re here so your content really needs to stand out.
The content itself doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does need to be clear and attractive.
Your business’ name and logo are on the homepage, so you need a similarly snappy headline that easily says everything about your business, its values and offering.
Underneath this you need to inform the audience about your company and what you do. Remember, try to position this as speaking to the customer and resonating with them. Don’t speak about yourself.
Other talking points to mention:
What makes you different? Why should they choose you? Your branding messages need to go here as well.
Make good use of your SEO keywords within these blocks of information and always end on a Call to Action. Where can someone go to find out more? How can they contact you? And why should they?
Keep it short and sweet but it has to pack a punch.
How to write content for an ecommerce website
This is your online sales portal and that means you need to speak directly to your customers.
You need to showcase your products or services. The content should make it easy to understand and offer value to the reader. Your content must show readers why they need this product/service you offer and how it will benefit them.
If your readers don’t know what the product is, or worse, they don’t understand how the product or service helps them, you’ve failed.
Whenever you input a new product description, you’ll want to write something unique. Search engines tend to screen out content that’s been repeated across a website and you may lose all ranking power if you decide to just copy and paste.
It’s also a good idea to post testimonials here. Customers that have left winning feedback in the past can increase your sales by up to 20% so let them speak in their own words!
How to write content for an ‘About Us’ page
This is where you get to emotionally connect to your readers. Here you can talk about yourself. Make sure to talk about your passion and why you do what you do.
You can write all about where you came from and why you wanted to start a business. You can also write in plain terms about how much experience you have in your sector and why that matters so much.
Talk about the customers you want to serve and why you’ve made it your mission to do so. Talk about the way you design and manufacture your products and why you’ve chosen these methods specifically.
An ‘About Us’ page is your chance to expand and really make an impact on your customers’ psyche. Be sure to include some images of you and your team to ensure there’s a friendly face waiting for whoever clicks through to find out more.
How much does it cost to write website content?
Considering how impactful website content is, the cost to write it can vary. If you stay in house and decide to write it yourself, it’ll cost next to nothing, just your time.
The final charge will depend on the volume of content and what you want it to say.
If you work with a content agency you’ll most likely be looking at a flat rate cost that’s bespoke for your company.
At TJ Creative we always take a client’s unique needs into account and determine the cost based on the experience and effort needed. You can expect to pay us by the hour at £50, or per website page at £100 per page.
If a professional website content writer may be out of your budget
We get it, if you’re a startup or small business you may be tight on budget. You need content but equally you also need money for other important things for your business.
You could go to a ‘cheap’ writer to get your content, but the quality of that content would reflect that.
Here’s a better solution – you can write the content yourself with the process and considerations a copywriter would use.
How you ask? Through our Website content writing cheat sheet.
Coming up with website content ideas
It’s not easy to come up with interesting and original ideas for your website content on your own. Don’t worry, many businesses struggle with idea generation.
Be creative, don’t say no to any ideas around your content, take your time, think about your unique selling points, and always put your customers first.
It’s crucial to scope out the landscape every now and then. What are other websites talking about?
Be sure to consider the brand behind the website. If you want to write your own spin on a topic, the subject itself needs to have worth in it.
Big names such as Monzo and Slack, for example, are two great examples of websites that have a nice design but also content that is clever, concise and effective.
Your website content matters
It’s how you communicate with your customers and draw them in. It’s likely the first point of contact your brand has with your potential customers. It’s the difference in taking them from potential to paying customer.
You need to invest your attention and time into producing high quality content that stands the test of time.
Follow the step by step guide above to come up with some drafts to be proud of.
We’re here to help you create content that will own it and help you grow your business.
Got a question for us?
We’re just an email, call, text or social message away!