For most people, writing web content can be a daunting process. Not only must your content be written with search engine optimization in mind so that potential customers can find you, but it needs to captivate your audience when they arrive on your website. It also needs to keep them there as long as possible.
Your web content needs to engage your audience within 5–15 seconds to avoid them leaving your website before finding out what you offer and how your services will benefit them.
Once you've gained their attention how do you keep them there?
You could hire a web content writer (we know a few who can help) but, if you don't have the budget and need to write your own content, below are some useful tips that should make writing your content a little easier. (PS: Kaz Design Works recommends that you at least hire an editor or proof reader to check for grammar and spelling errors. Contact us for a referral.)
- Key Phrases
- Write Concisely
Know your website's goals and the goals of your target audience
When planning your website, you defined your website's goals and now have a clear understanding of what your target audience needs. This knowledge will help you a great deal in deciding what information you should include in your web content.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors.
- Think about what they want to achieve and focus on how you can help them achieve their goal(s).
- Give them some of the answers they're looking for but leave them wanting to know more.
- Always provide a means for them to contact you for more information.
Need more help determining your website (or your company's) goals? Do a S.W.O.T. analysis. Read more »
When writing your content think A.I.D.A.
The first thing your content must do is grab your visitors' attention. It must then arouse their interest and curiosity. It needs to create the desire to learn more and finally it must contain a clear "call-to-action".
A. I. D. A. stands for attention, interest, desire and action.
- Attention: Use strong, effective headlines to grab your visitors' attention
- Interest: Identify with their problems and/or goals to gain their interest
- Desire: Focus on benefits and provide clear promises so that they want what you have to offer
- Action: Make it absolutely clear what actions they need to take to achieve the desired outcome.
Use strong key phrases in your headlines to facilitate scanning and also aid SEO
Use key phrases in your headings so that your visitors can scan the page quickly and get the gist of its content. The use of strong key phrases will also aid search engine optimization.
- Know your web site's goals and choose key phrases that you think potential visitors will type into search engines to find your site.
- Each page of your website should have one or two key phrases which repeated with slight variations several times within the content (but be careful not to over do it).
- Conclude each page with a call-to-action that includes the key phrase.
Your key phrases should be followed by clear, concise content
Each page in your website should contain around 400-600 words of well-written content. This is enough to aid in search engine optimiziation (S.E.O.) but not so much that it will bore your visitors silly.
- Content should be written in clear, concise sentences, and paragraphs should be kept short with lots of white space between them so that your content is easy to read.
- Use sub-headings or paragraph spacing to break up long paragraphs and use bullet points and bold text to add emphasis key points.
Add key phrases to your page titles and meta descriptions
Search engine robots also "read" the background coding (the source code) of your web page. Your web page title and the content contained in special tags called meta tags help search engines identify the key phrase(s) for your page.
The page title as well as the content from the meta description also appear on a SERP (search engine results page) and should be written with the soul purpose of attracting potential visitors to your website to read more.
Again, when writing your meta description content, put yourself in the shoes of your potential visitor, and focus on the best way to entice them to your website.
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- How can you solve that problem?
Add images and videos to enhance your content but use text for important messages
A picture tells a thousand words and visitors can learn a lot from the images you include on your website, particularly if you sell products or want to showcase past work. Videos or flash animations that contain images will also encourage visitors to stay on your website longer. However, don't substitute written content with image and video files.
Text in flash presentations, videos and images is not searchable. Be sure to include image captions and a transcript of your videos that include key phrases so that search engines can find your web page.
Large images, flash and video files are also slow to load and may result in your visitors leaving before they finish loading, particularly on mobile devices. Be sure to optimize any images and videos before uploading, do not set them to auto-play and remove them from mobile versions of your website.
Use images, videos and flash for aesthetic, emphasis and demonstration purposes only. Use text-based content for all your important information, particularly your key phrases.