Did you know that the majority of people do not read a web page in detail? People just scan to know if the page is of interest to them. In fact, only less than 20% of your perfectly crafted contents are read by the visitors of your site. If you have decided to make a website then you should be aware of the dos and don’ts of content writing for websites.
People’s minds are very selective. Capturing your prospect’s attention is a very challenging task. You need to give the right reason for your readers to pay attention to. Good content writing skills is the only way to achieve this. A website with relevant information written in a good format will never fail to impress your audience.
Already wondering how to achieve this? We are here to help. Below are some tips and tricks that you can use while working on content writing for websites.
Know the Purpose of your website:
It’s simple. You cannot write relevant and good content if you do not know the purpose of your website. Your website is an image of your brand on the internet. It is your “digital face”. It is the place where customers go to know more about your services or products. You need to have a purpose and a plan to better serve your audience. Website design and development starts with a proper plan. Any good website aims at producing valuable and relevant content to its audience.
To do this, you need to be sure about the goal of your website. Are you selling a service or do you sell products? What products or services do you want to be listed on the site? How do you want your users to find you? Once you have a goal set, you will be in a better position to write content that meets these goals.
Know your Audience:
Any website is created to target certain audiences. You need to know exactly which audience will read your content. Are they highly educated like doctors and lawyers? Will they understand the technical jargon you write? Or is your audience similar to an eighth-grade student? You need to be clear on this so that you can write content accordingly.
You should also be aware of how exactly people will find your website. People get the information they need either through social media, emails, links from other sites, or through search engines like Google, Bing, etc. If getting leads through organic search is your priority then your content should be optimized for search engines.
Plan Your Content:
Before you start content writing for websites, you need to do proper research and design all your pages and their interactions. You should have a clear idea of
- How many pages you need.
- What is the purpose of each page and what value will they add.
- How will users navigate from one page to another?
It is always advisable to also do some research on SEO before you start writing. Keywords are terms used by search engines to recognize your page. Identify the best keyword for each page to target.
How to find the right keywords?
- You can use tools like UberSuggest, Google Keyword Planner, Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty tool, etc.
- Just enter any term related to your page. These tools will give you a list of related keywords, Volume i.e., the number of searches for the keyword that occurs per month, and the SEO complexity of each word (Low, Medium, High).
- Choose keywords that are related to your page, have low complexity but higher search volume. These are the ones that will drive traffic to your site.
- Repeat the above steps and find keywords for all your pages and articles.
After keyword research, go for competition analysis. It’s always beneficial to understand your competitor’s strategy to help you do better in your business. Analysis of competition has the below benefits:
- Your competitor’s website might be attracting all your potential leads. Analyze their website to know their positives. You can come up with something different and unique than what your competitor is offering. This can make you stand out and get more leads.
- You can make your competitor your target or benchmark, especially when you are starting new. Analyze their backlinks, keywords, and other SEO related data which can help you improve your website performance.
- Healthy competition is always needed for growth. Learn from your competitor’s ideas and mistakes. Get inspiration from their articles and content topics.
Tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, UberSuggest, etc. can be used for competition analysis.
Start Content Writing for Websites:
After proper planning, now start writing content for your website. Follow a step by step procedure for each page.
Use headers wisely.
Divide your content into meaningful sections. For example, an article about content writing can be divided into sections like
- What is Content Writing?
- Types of Content Writing
- How to write various types of content
- Best Practices of content writing
- Learn content writing
Well formatted content is easy to read and gives an appealing look. Also use relevant headings (H1 tags) and subheadings (H2, H3, and other headers). Make sure to have only one H1 tag on one page. Try to incorporate keywords in headings wherever possible.
Use the Inverted Pyramid structure.
Any reader visiting your website will make an impression about your site in a very short span of time. So we need to provide the most important details at the very beginning of the page. Dig deeper as you move further and end with a call of action for that page.
Say you are providing a content writing for websites course at your site. Provide the most important details of the course like the content of the course, duration, fees, and benefits at the top of your page. Secondly, you may want to provide a search box at the top of the page, so that people can find what they need easily. This is especially important if you have a very long page with a lot of information.
This type of writing is called an inverted pyramid structure. You might have seen this everywhere on the web. News articles follow the same pattern. You will find the headlines and worthy information first before getting into the details and background. Just by a glimpse of the article, anyone can get to its gist.
It should be the same for your website too. Your clients have to know what you can do and your expertise before going into details of how you do and your sample works.
Make use of short and crisp sentences.
Do not show off your language skills through your content. Many people prefer short and simple sentences. Your content should be readable. Content for websites should be easy to read and highly accessible. Such content would reach wider audiences.
You can use readability tools to know where your content ranks. It’s always better to write content that is readable to a 7th to 9th-grade level person. If you are using WordPress for your website, then you can install the Yoast plugin. It provides both SEO and readability scores. Else there are many free readability tools available online which you can use on your content. I have listed some below.
Use bullet points to help readers find crucial information. Also, highlight and bold the text wherever needed. Make use of active voice rather than passive voice. Active voice is more direct and engaging to a reader.
Beware of Plagiarism.
Let your content be as unique as your website. Do not copy content from other sources. Search engines may penalize your site or completely remove it if your content is a copy of someone else’s. If by any chance you need to mention someone’s content make sure to quote them.
In order to avoid plagiarism, you should:
- Do thorough research on your topic.
- Consult from various sources of information like websites, journals, articles, social media, blogs, experts.
- Write your own content and use plagiarism tools to recheck your content.
- Below are some of the well-known tools
Violating copywriting rules and regulations is a crime. Make sure you knowingly or unknowingly do not make one.
Visuals are always better than words.
Use as many visuals as possible to make your text look appealing while also providing useful content. Add appropriate images, infographics, charts, facts, and figures and other visuals wherever applicable. A picture can effectively describe a very complex topic easily when compared to words. Human brains also grasp more through visuals than texts.
Make sure to use legal images that have no copyright issues. Also, use appropriate images file names. You can include your keywords or their synonyms in the ALT text of images. As search engines cannot read images, alt text has a very important significance for SEO. Relevant alt texts with the right use of keywords can help in SEO. Images also make your content more readable and can also hold your readers’ attention.
You can use tools like Canva, Freepik, Pexels, and various other sites to get good images for your content.
Include Call to Action Details.
You might want readers to do some action after reading your page. You need to be very clear about what you want your users to do once they read your content. Make sure you make a very strong appeal that will compel your visitors to take action.
What kinds of calls to action can you include?
- Download an ebook or pdf – you can include a simple form with user details and a download button to get a free ebook or pdf or other resources.
- Subscribe and like – include a subscribe and like buttons to make visitors subscribe to your newsletters, blog, etc.
- Buy a product/service – Get details from users in a simple form and make them buy your product or service.
- Share content – include social media share buttons and encourage visitors to share your page on their social media profiles.
- Free Demos – you can include a form to collect details about the visitor and offer them a free demo of your services.
How to attract users to take action?
- Give enough proof of your services and products. Make them trust you. You can provide screenshots of your previous work, genuine customer reviews and client feedback, count of the clients you have served, and their details, etc.
- Think like an end-user and find out reasons for selecting your service. Find out the unique features of your company and highlight them.
- Provide a clear call to action. Don’t give misleading or confusing commands.
Every website is designed with an aim of achieving something. Use a clear call of action at the end of every page to make it easy for your readers to act.
Use Internal and External Links.
A page should be well connected to other pages, blocks, or sections within your site. This helps navigation and also interlinks your content. Use internal links wherever possible. As you write new posts or update your website, make sure to find all older related content and link to your new post. Over a period of time, you will have a good network of internal links available.
Backlinks, one of the major SEO factors, refers to linking to the content of other domains. It is a good practice to provide a link to the source of your content. The sites you link may link back to you out of courtesy which will increase your backlinks.
Although linking, both internal and external, is a good practice, keep in mind that all your links should be relevant to your topic. Also, keep the number of links on a page to a limited number. Do not overstuff your content with links.
Review and make changes.
Once ready, do a thorough review of the content and improve it. Look for areas of improvement.
- Check for grammar mistakes.
- Revisit your headings and subheadings.
- Check if paragraphs are framed properly.
- See if keywords are incorporated at appropriate points.
- Verify the keyword density and ensure its within limits (0.5-0.7%)
- Optimize for SEO.
Do search engine optimization
If you are expecting traffic through search engines, then you need to optimize your content for it.
Search Engine Optimization is a vast topic and a number of rules that you need to follow. Even after this, it takes time for content to show up at the top. One most important aspect of SEO is that you need to provide relevant and useful content. Write for the readers and not for search engines. Some easy tasks to do for SEO:
- Include keyword-rich, relevant Title Tags for each page.
- Provide meta descriptions. Include keywords in here too.
- Give useful image descriptions using Image Alt tags.
- Write appropriate page Titles, Headings, and subheadings.
- Check your readability score.
- Do not overstuff keywords.
Use free SEO analysis tools and check your website SEO score. Follow the suggestions given by these websites and improve your SEO. You can use the below analyzers:
Content writing for websites is not an easy task. But you can follow the best practices and make efforts to make it perfect. Once your content is live, you can make periodic changes and improve its overall efficiency. If you still feel it’s a challenging task, you can hire content writers who can do the task for you. Or even better take a professional course on content writing for websites to understand more. Happy writing!