Does a good challenge make your adrenaline flow? How to Do Content Writing for Websites – Tips and Challenges includes several exciting challenges. Try this one on. Most users judge website content in a fraction of a second. Wow! The typical toddler has a longer attention span!
If that one isn’t tough enough for you, how about this. I hope you weren’t expecting someone to actually read that post you sweated and slaved over. By all indications, almost no one reads webpages! They scan pages in search of appealing nuggets. So, how do you entice visitors to at least browse the “stuff” encountered on your website?
Make Your Most Important Points First
It might be as simple as clearly stating exactly what you do. If your webpage contains a product review, cut to the chase and tell them your conclusion right up front. Your readers are not looking for prose; they’re looking for answers. If they don’t immediately spot answers on your site, they will move on and search elsewhere. Even visitors who love a good mystery novel generally hate “mystery websites” 🙂 .
The Inverted Pyramid
This practice of presenting your conclusions and most important points first, followed by some details and background information, has come to be called “the inverted pyramid”. It can take some getting used to. I know I’m still struggling with it.
Let’s face it, those of us who are at or near retirement age tend to be somewhat stuck in our ways. Most of us learned to write differently, but you’re not in Mrs. Miller’s high school English class anymore. The upshot is, your first draft may require some ruthless editing! Hopefully, it gets easier with practice.
11 Additional Tips to Make Your Content More Appealing
1. Use keyword phrases people are searching for. Then ensure that all of your content including text, photos, images and videos contributes to addressing and answering the queries in a thorough fashion. Keywords will draw traffic to your site. Answers will keep visitors on your site and encourage return visits
2. Develop your own voice, writing style and unique perspective. Is your niche of choice intensely competitive? If so, what distinguishes your content from that of a myriad of other similar websites? Search engines do not look kindly on thin or duplicate content with good reason. Thus, it becomes imperative to differentiate your site in some fashion. I think personalizing your information-rich site may be particularly essential.
3. Use “chunking” to create short, distinct pieces of content. Paragraphs should not typically be longer than four sentences with lots of white space in between. Most sentences, maybe not all, should be relatively short. Some variability is good to prevent your text from appearing too choppy and dull. Users are more likely to remember information that’s packed into short, meaningful chunks.
4. Each page or post should focus narrowly on one key topic. As a general rule, somewhere between 500 and 1,500 words is a good length for a webpage or blog article. You can then include links to other pages on your site where related but broader information is available. Links may encourage further exploration of your site which is a very positive outcome. Links are also desirable from a Search Engine Optimization perspective because they indicate a more substantial website overall.
5. Pages should be easily scannable and achieve a clean, uncluttered look. Elements like headings and subheadings that employ larger font sizes, highlighted keywords, and bulleted, or numbered lists work well. Formatting features such as bolding, underlining and colors can be incorporated to draw the reader’s eye to critical points you don’t want them to miss.
6. Users like photos and images that seem relevant to the rest of the content. Most studies show that readers ignore the “decorative” images that are unrelated to their question. Visual appeal is important but you might want to ask yourself if there’s a more topically relevant image you could use instead of your current image.
7. Include an author photo to encourage readers to relate to you. A photo makes you seem real and more trustworthy. You want to be viewed as a credible source of information and a photo is known to help with this objective.
8. Highlight user benefits for all products and services you promote. Sometimes we get caught up in a list of features. Ask yourself why each feature is important to the user. How will it help the user? Then talk about the benefit rather than just the feature. A discussion of benefits can also include gentle pushes that encourage conversion.
9. Take steps to engage your readers. Posing questions can be beneficial. If readers are thinking about your questions, they’re not hitting the back button to exit your site. They may continue reading to see if their answer agrees with yours. Adding a call to action may persuade readers to post a comment to provide their answer to a question. Google loves to see comments as evidence of user engagement.
10. Proofread your post before you publish. It’s good practice to create your document in a program like Word first to use the spelling and grammar checking features. You can then copy the document into your CMS software. Using a thesaurus to find synonyms can also help to create more enticing content. Obviously, you don’t want anyone to have to pull out a dictionary to read your webpage. But using the same words over and over can also get pretty bland and boring.
11. Continually review and improve your existing content. Regularly going back and revisiting your previously published website content can often be a great source of fresh ideas. If some time has elapsed, you may very well have learned or read something new on the topic. Or perhaps another aspect has occurred to you with benefit of hindsight. Google rewards frequently updated websites with higher rankings. Expanding on a previous post is often easier than finding a brand new topic.
I hope you found these content writing tips helpful. You might keep it handy for evaluating both new and existing blog pages. Over time, they should become second nature. If this is an area where you feel you could use more help, you might also contemplate joining the same online training community, called Wealthy Affiliate, of which I am a member.
Tutorials are available that focus on the topic of how to do content writing for websites. Constructive feedback is also available from thousands of other participants which can be invaluable in developing skills and confidence in this area. Please see my Getting Started Online page for information about a free Starter Membership.
If you have additional content writing tips to share, or any questions on this blog, please post a comment below. Thanks for sharing!