Writing content is usually the most time-consuming process in developing and maintaining a website. What’s even more surprising to most people is that most of the time, your web developer doesn’t write your content for you. While the company or agency you’re working with might have someone on staff who can write your copy for you, it will be at an additional charge.
The fact is you know your business the best. Providing great content is key when designing your website, and maintaining quality content is just as important. Here are several things to consider in the writing process.
1. What are your goals?
The purpose of your website is extremely important. You have to know what action you want visitors to take on your website. Websites can have multiple goals, but remember to keep these in mind as you write your copy.
2. Who is my audience?
Think about your typical customer. Are they computer savvy? What’s their age and education level? Remember users don’t read words on a website, they scan them. Write in short paragraphs or in list form. Make sure you sound professional. While you don’t want to write in technical terms, make sure you sound professional without being too stuffy. Skip unnecessary words, avoid jargon and needless repetition and address your web visitors directly. Use the word “you” and shorten your text.
3. What information do I want on my website?
When writing content for your website, it’s important to create a sitemap. If you are working with a company or agency, they should sit down with you and go through a discovery process. In this process, a sitemap will evolve. A sitemap usually consists of five to seven main categories that represent a single webpage. Underneath these main categories, sub-categories sometimes fall underneath. This will organize your content so it’s easy for web users to quickly navigate your site to find the information they are searching for.
4. Put your most important information first.
Information that’s most important to your visitors is often a simple statement of what you do. Once they understand what you do, they might want to know some other important details. Then, they might further read some background information.
5. Simple statements often work best.
Clever statements require people to think. When people are searching the web for something specific, they don’t want to take the time to slow down and think. When you’re writing, make the copy easy to follow and use familiar words. No-one searches for cost-effective flights — they search for cheap flights. Keep this in mind when writing your copy.
6. Expect people to arrive anywhere on your website.
People usually read a book from the beginning to end — but on the web, most visitors will not start reading at your home page. They may arrive at any of your pages. Each page should be easy to scan and clarify to people where they are and what your site is about. Each page should also have a call-to-action telling people where to go next. Do not solely rely on your navigation to tell people what to do next. Include buttons or links to guide people on each page.
7. Make it easy for people to find you.
Lure people to your website by providing useful information. Answer the questions that potential customers are asking and discuss at least one key topic on each page. Provide links relevant to pages on your website or to other websites and use phrases and words your customers are looking for. Be helpful. This is the key to writing for SEO.
8. Don’t try to be everything to everybody.
Know who you are and what you do. Be creative and bold. Own your brand and educate potential customers about why you are the best choice for them. If you do that, you’ll have a successful site that will fulfill your customer needs and drive traffic to your door.