Effective website content relies on the science behind users browsing a website.
You may or may not be aware that website content is a process that needs to be carefully thought about. It’s words and so much more.
It’s your sales pitch, it’s your brand’s voice, and most importantly, it’s your means of communicating with your customers.
Many people believe that anyone can write content for a website. It’s just writing some words to sell yourself right? That’s the wrong mindset to what your content should be about.
Sure, you will have a great deal of knowledge about your industry. You’re the expert after all. But what you won’t have is the knowledge of how to write website content.
Your web content should be about your users and their needs. You must show your users who you are, but most importantly, how you will help them.
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Just because you have content it doesn’t mean people will read it.
This is a really, really key point. The way in which users read content online is very different to how they would read a newspaper or book.
We don’t read all the words on a website, which is why you must write content in a certain way – to ensure people take the time to read your words.
In fact, people will judge your website and make a decision about it in seconds.
Sweor actually say that users take just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion on your site. This is why the design, performance and content on your website needs to be on point.
What needs to be considered for all website copy.
Not just website content, but any piece of website copy needs to be carefully considered before jumping in with writing it.
Just so we’re on the same page, website content is the words that appear on the main site pages (like a home page, about page, service page etc.), whilst website copy is main site content as well as other pages (like blogs, articles, infographics etc.).
Effective web content combines art and science.
Creativity and industry knowledge are required for quality content. But you also need an understanding of the psychology of a user on a website.
So let’s take a look at some of the ways to produce the best website copy.
1. Consider your tone of voice.
The way in which you articulate yourself will help to build credibility for your business and trust with your users/customers.
Your tone of voice will help you to form and maintain the identity of your business online. The way someone speaks is how we identify them and it’s the same for your brand.
Tone of voice will have a huge impact on your users’ opinion of your brand. How you communicate is just as important as what you’re communicating.
We recommend that you create a guideline for your tone of voice to ensure that you write like your brand consistently across all marketing.
I recommend that you check out my blog, 4 Steps to Establish Your Content Strategy to find out more about defining your overall content strategy.
2. Define who you are talking to.
Considering your tone of voice will require you to think about who you are talking to. After all, your tone of voice needs to appeal to them.
The way in which you communicate is key, but you need to define who it is you’re speaking to in order to appeal to them.
To understand who you are speaking to, you should conduct some of your own research into your customer base and create user personas. It will become something you refer back to in all of your marketing.
Take the time to consider who you’re talking to and their needs. Understand exactly how your products or services are a solution for your users. You’ll need to know what topics resonate with them, what they’re interested in and most importantly, where they’re spending their time online.
User personas are vital for your website – especially for the content and design.
3. Always write for real life people.
When it comes to writing website content, many people can get caught up in writing with SEO in mind. Little do people know that to write with SEO in mind you actually need to write to your users.
You MUST always write for real people. Your content must appeal to your users, not Google. Sure, there are ways to optimise your content to help with SEO, but let me tell you now, the overall user experience of your website is a much bigger ranking factor than optimising your content to rank for a few keywords.
If people don’t like what they see or read, they will not hesitate to leave your website. It’s up to you to ensure they’re interested by what they’re reading.
4. Make it easy for your users.
This runs in line with our point about user experience above. Your website users need to enjoy their experience on your site. The best way to ensure they enjoy their experience is by making your website easy to read and use.
Website content is a different kettle of fish to other forms of writing. It needs to be concise, succinct and most importantly, easy and enjoyable to read. If it isn’t, people won’t take any notice of it.
5. Structure your content. Consider the user journey.
All effective website content is well structured. It takes the user on a journey and helps them to make a decision.
I am going to write a separate blog about website content – how best to write and structure it, because this deserves its own blog. There is a lot to talk about.
As some quick fire tips to writing website content, this is what I recommend:
- Create a clear structure/journey – have a clear hierarchy (introduction, details, call to action).
- Use headings – this will help to structure your content.
- Ensure key information stands out – through headings and bolding.
- Write simple and short paragraphs – users want answers in plain english and written simply.
- Use simple words – don’t overcomplicate your content. Ensure every user understands your words.
- Break up your text – this is called content chunking, it will help to improve the readability of your website’s content. It will allow people to scan read.
- Think mobile first – more and more people are using mobile to browse websites. Your sentences and paragraphs need to be kept to a minimum so that your site isn’t just bulks of content.
If you need it, we’re here to support you.
Whether you need someone to talk to about your website and its content, or you would like to work with one of our content writers, get in touch with us. We have supported many businesses in building their online presence with a high quality website.
Whenever we work with someone on producing content for their website, it’s very much a collaborative process. We work with the client on their website content – mixing their expertise with ours.To find out a little bit more about our process with website content writing, check out our web content writing page.
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