Written content is for decades now part of our virtual world. In fact, I can’t recall a day that I haven’t visited the web to read something – news, an eBook, product info or a blog. Indeed, buyers that are seeking product info online usually ends up reading content on a company’s website or social media page.
So, if you’re a business owner with some online presence, you would enjoy buyers end up at your site and reading your content. Even better if they make a purchase thereafter…
Sadly, the written word has not benefitted much with the advances in digital communication technology. As a result, the winners here are mostly visual, voice and interactive content formats.
However, despite the exponential growth and use of alternative content, such as online videos, voice and interactive content, the use of written content is still relevant today. Notwithstanding, the success of the others, written content that is well planned and presented may render good results.
Indeed, you should make written content part of your digital marketing campaign.
To taste success with your website or Facebook page, you need to write good web content. In fact, writing good web content requires special writing skills as well as a knack of telling fascinating stories for your online audience.
You need to publish high quality content so that the consumer has no other choice but to subscribe to your site and so becoming a loyal returning visitor. That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
So, let’s unlock the secrets of writing good web content…
The secrets of writing good web content
Know who you are writing for
The audience that you write for can influence your topic, tone, complexity and many other content issues. Therefore, you need to ask the following questions 1:
How old are your readers?
What is their gender?
How much education do they have?
Are they mainly urban, rural or suburban?
How much is known about their culture and heritage?
What is their socio-economic status?
How much does the audience already know about the topic?
How do they feel about the topic? Will they be neutral, opposing? Or will this be more like preaching to the choir?
Use the “inverted pyramid” model
The inverted pyramid is a metaphor used by journalists and other writers to illustrate how information should be prioritized and structured in a text (Wikipedia).
Here, writers place the most important elements of the story at the beginning (see image). In other words, they start with the conclusion of the story, followed by the most important supporting information, and end with the background.
Write short, simple sentences
Remember, website content that’s accessible and easy to read will reach a wider audience. For that reason, short sentences help to maintain the right tone of your page (an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience, Literary Devices).
Indeed, you should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: they’re easier to read and understand.
Use active voice
Speak directly to your audience by using the active voice. The active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb (Your Dictionary). So, why is writing active voice so important on the web? 2
Sentences are usually shorter.
The communication style is more direct.
Actions are brought to life.
Strong verbs help the reader know who is acting and what is being acted upon.
The content is less ambiguous than the passive voice.
Show, don’t tell when writing good web content
Intrigue your audience by making them part of your story. For instance, use specific, real-world examples to help readers better understand and visualize your messages. Indeed, you can achieve this by using strong verbs…
Furthermore, strong verbs will convey your thoughts in the most descriptive and efficient way. In fact, strong verbs, more than any other part of speech, give prose vitality. Conversely, weak verbs make sentences mushy (SA Writers College).
Drop the jargon
Don’t be too smart for your audience. It’s very easy to use technical terms, or big words that only a small number of people can understand and pronounce, especially if you write for a niche. Best is to use words that most of us can understand.
Make you text so that it can easily be scanned
Make sure text is easy to skim. After all, most web readers will scan the page to find the specific piece of information they’re looking for, and, if they don’t find it easily, they’ll move on.
Noel Hooban writing for Internal Results mentions the following tips to make your text easier to scan:
Create Sections and Subheadings – break up your longer article into at least three to five key points or sections when possible;
Use Plenty of White Space – adequate white space is essential to helping a person’s eyeballs focus on the copy and images on the computer, tablet or smartphone screen;
Keep Everything Short – crisp, concise content flows more efficiently and allows a reader to transition from one item to the next;
Provide Lists and Bullet Points – reading straight-line copy from beginning to end is challenging;
Incorporate Visual Features – They not only amplify copy, but images and other visual items help break up the copy as well;
Highlight Key Words and Sentences with Bold – Bold words stand out in contrast to regular text as a reader scan.
Many times a picture is worth a thousand words. Furthermore, images help us learn, images grab attention, they explain tough concepts, and inspire (BMC). Indeed, we process images at an alarming speed. When we see a picture, we analyse it within a very short snippet of time, knowing the meaning and scenario within it immediately.
So, start of collect images that you can later use in your blog posts. Please remember to credit the owners of the images you use on some of your pages…
Layer website content
Getting easily around on your website is what all the users want. In fact, the great thing about a website is that it’s easy to direct readers from one page to another. Therefore you should help readers to find more great content.
How? By hyperlinking certain words or phrases to other relevant resources, especially those on your own website. And this will help keep people engaged with your content and moving through your site.
Leave them wanting more
At the end of the day we need to earn some money with our website. Therefore good websites will end each page with a strong call-to-action (or CTA for short).
For example the following CTAs: “Please Subscribe to our Newsletter” or “Visit our Shop now!”
Writing good web content is one thing that you can do to get your website or Facebook page higher up in the search engine rankings. Also, users will start to see you as an expert, hence you’ll get more visit, more leads and more sales.