The Best Website Content Guide
When writing for your website, you can bust down the competition online by following some basic writing for website content guidelines. We have searched the internet far and wide for you to compile this list made up of the best professional SEO tips and tricks.
Start ranking today! Here’s how:
9 Tips on Writing Better Website Content
- Write in your own unique voice
- Write about the topic for the page you are on
- Make sure it’s not difficult to read
- Have bullet points to break up the content
- Find your unique angle to cover the topic
- Make the first sentence your best sentence
- Short paragraphs, short sentences, and easy words are the most readable. So don't try to win any writing awards.
- Digital content is not what you learned to write in English class.
- Shorter and simpler is your mantra for better readability.
Great Writing Never Happens On the 1st DRAFT!
The first draft is usually a good effort at figuring out how to put your ideas into words. As a result, they're almost always badly written. For all writers. Yes, even Shakespeare.
Great writing happens in the editing stage. So when you write:
- JUST GET YOUR IDEAS DOWN
- WRITE FAST SO YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH YOUR IDEAS
- THEN PUT YOUR BEST EFFORT INTO YOUR EDITING
And don't just settle for one round of edits. For high quality writing, you'll need to go through several rounds of review.
Web copy is scanned. Or glanced at. Not read.
How can you write for scanners? A check list:
- Does your headline communicate what you’re about?
- Does your image caption communicate a sales message?
- Do your sub headlines summarize your key points?
- Do easy-to-scan bullet points reduce wordiness?
Guess who your biggest scanner viewer is? That’s right – it’s Google herself. Google’s bots read your blog pages just like a human.
Google Reads Something Like This:
- Scans Meta Data (Title, Description, Keyword)
- Scans the headers (H2, H3, H4, etc.)
- Scans the rest of the article for important points and keyword phrases
Write for Lazy People
Just like the lazy panther looks for an easy catch for his dinner, your web visitor doesn’t want to make an effort to read your text. Here’s how to keep your readers engaged.
Make your copy easy to read:
- Use short paragraphs – four sentences max;
- Use short sentences – twelve on average;
- Skip unnecessary words;
- Avoid jargon and gobbledygook;
- Avoid the passive tense;
- Avoid needless repetition;
- Address your web visitors directly. Use the word you;
- Shorten your text
- Use cliffhangers to keep them reading. Ex: Read on…, Here’s the big secret:, Don’t miss out!
Web copy and web design should work together.
You can’t write your words, you can’t compose your sentences, you can create your bullet points, without considering how your web page will look.
- Each page should be easy to scan;
- Each page should clarify to people where they are; and what your site is about;
- Each page should have a call to action telling people where to go next – to read another blog post, sign up for your email newsletter, check out a detailed product description or testimonial, request a quote or add a product to a shopping cart.
Use Common Language
It’s essential for findability and SEO (search engine optimization) to use the same words and phrases your readers do. When creating page titles, headers, list items and links, choose keywords carefully. Additionally, be sure to use keywords consistently when creating web content. When used appropriately, this practice reinforces keyword relevancy for search engines, such as Google and your own internal search, thereby improving findability.
Search engines can use reading test scores to see if the average bear can easily understand your content. The exception: If you have a product that is very niche and your core audience of industry insiders knows what you are talking about then you are good if you have to write technical. However, no matter how technical the piece is, make sure to still use visual clues, headers, bullet points, and short sentences.
What are your website content goals?
The first step of the writing process is determining the goals of your website. This is so easy to overlook but is very important. What is the purpose of the website? What are your goals? More specifically, "What action do you want visitors to your website to take?" This may seem obvious at first but websites can specialize in many different things.
Who is my audience?
Think about who your typical customer is. How old are they? How computer savvy are they? What is their education level? These are good questions to ask. Remember that web users do not read words on a website, they scan them. Therefore you will want to write your content in a style somewhat similar to a newspaper. Short paragraphs, headlines and lists are the best way to allow your user to easily scan your pages.
A very common mistake made in content writing for websites is to make it too informal. While you don’t want to sound like a college textbook, you also want to sound professional. If you are a small business you want your website to appear "top of the line" to compete with the larger companies. A website is a way to enhance your image. Take advantage of that and make your web content as professional as you can without being stuffy. Know the tone of your website and what your audience wants. The tone should match the in person feeling you want to achieve and be mirrored online through your website, blog, social media, e-mail lists, and online presence.
- Be factual and accurate. Where appropriate, prove the verity of your information with links to trusted websites or by quoting trusted authorities.
- Include only content which conforms to the purpose of your website.
- Protect privacy and respect copyright.
- Keep your content up to date.
- Publish your contact details. Provide users with a sense of knowing who is behind the website.
- Spell-check your content.
- Invite people to report errors, then fix them.
Try Integrating Website Content Tips Gradually
You won’t become an expert writer overnight. Choose a few of these tips and start writing better website content today!