But, I hear you ask, just how do I write web content that will do that?
Let’s start by clarifying just what we mean by ‘web content’ – it’s your website and blog.
In simple terms, the answer to your question is to focus on your readers.
What can you do to make it easy for them to hang around to find out more, and become a customer?
Consider these aspects of you content to keep your message clear: your words, how they sit on the page, and the topics you write about.
Before writing, make sure you know two vitally important things:
- Who will be reading your website? Yes, your present and potential customers – picture your ‘ideal client’, and how you would speak to them.
- What is your message? What exactly do you want your readers to understand or do?
So as you write
- Use everyday language.
- It’s okay to use informal constructions like ‘we’re’ rather than ‘we are’.
- Limit your use of jargon and technical terms.
- Include only one topic in each paragraph.
- Keep sentences shorter rather than longer.
- Try to avoid clichés (saying something the same way everyone else does).
- Instead of saying ‘If you want to find out more, go to our services page’, try ‘Interested? Read more about what we can do to help you on our services page’.
- State your message clearly. If you want them to contact you, say it – and make sure your contact details are right there.
How your words sit on the page
Most visitors to your website will skim the pages to decide if they will read in more detail.Your job is to make it easy for them to get a good idea about your content and entice them to stay.
- Use headings and sub-headings.
- Use lists.
- Use bold or coloured text sparingly – the point of these devices is to highlight important information: too many and you lose their impact.
- Use a simple, easy-to-read font.
- Align text to the left. Centred or fully justified text slows your reader down.
- Use non-text elements.
- A photo of your latest product is more enlightening than a description.
- A video clip is a friendly, easy way to share your information.
- Remember to leave a clear margin around non-text elements.
Be consistent. Throughout each page and your entire website, use the same:
- heading and subheading styles
- paragraph spacing
- list format
- spelling and acronyms.
- What are your website visitors looking for?
- answers to their questions
- solutions to their problems
- insights into how your service or product can help them
- why they should choose you rather than your competitors
- reviews, testimonials, case studies from delighted customers
- understanding of how your business works
- real people, not just a ‘business’
- an easy-to-find way to contact you.
As you write your web content, keep your readers as your center of attention.
What do you want them to know or do?
How can you make it as easy as possible to read and understand your message?
Try these techniques and you’ll soon be on your way to solving your dilemma
– web content that keeps your readers engaged.