Non-writers often think that writing is a casual hobby or something people are just naturally good at. It’s not. Writing effectively, so that you get results, is an exacting craft. Strong writing, writing that specifically targets your business’ target base, truly makes a big, measurable difference.
Write to your target audience
It’s imperative the writing on your website is geared towards your target audience.
If you operate a wood and metal design shop like my friend (and client) at Blake Clotia and your ideal customers are contractors who specialize in building casinos, hotels, or assisted living centers, then write in a language that contractors understand. It doesn’t matter that only a small percentage of the population understand what Commercial Casework and Architectural Millwork means–his customers do—and that’s what matters
Surfers don’t read as much as they scan
Visitors to your website don’t “read” your content like they read the newspaper or a book. They scan the page, quickly reviewing headlines, titles, and links to help them very quickly get the gist of the page. Long, dense blocks of text turn off website visitors and do not get read.
When a visitor comes to your website, you only have a few precious seconds to grab their attention and help them understand they have reached a page worth staying on. That is the challenge of design (and great writing) and the first step we address with all our new clients – how do we quickly and clearly communicate trust to your website visitors?
16 tips for great website content
- Briefly and efficiently tell your visitors what you do.
- Make it interesting and down-to-earth. If it isn’t, get some help—dry, boring content doesn’t inspire action. But, that doesn’t mean you should fill your pages with hot air, hype and crazy adjectives—take a conversational tone that shows respect for your reader.
- Use the word ‘you’ much more than ‘I’ or ‘we’ or ‘customers.’
- Keep your website current with fresh content. This gives visitors a reason to come back, and search engines love this!
- Only one idea per paragraph—simple, easy to digest is the goal.
- Use words that inspire action. Run some of adjectives to describe your product through a thesaurus for a fresh take.
- Use visuals for emphasis!
- Write so people can scan pages quickly and easily. Bullet points and short lists are best. If the content is excellent but lengthy, write a brief summary and link to the larger, downloadable file.
- Delete content that isn’t relevant to what your visitors are looking for. Likewise, re-read what you’ve written several times and delete words or sentences that aren’t necessary.
- Use lists instead of paragraphs whenever possible.
- Give them a reason to trust you.
- Make links part of your copy. They stand out and help readers stay interested so they know what the page is about.
- Make it as easy as possible for visitors to buy / subscribe / download / enroll / unsubscribe.
- Always include a ‘home’ and ‘contact us’ link on every page of your site.
- Use correct grammar and spelling. —Very important.
- Re-read what you’ve written, or better yet, have someone else read it, to make sure that it’s clear and unambiguous. Try reading it outloud!
Helpful articles we found on writing solid content:
Does the writing on your website need improvement? We have writers on staff at Saw Web Marketing who would love to help kick it up a notch (or give it a whole new take). Give us a shout if we can help!
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