Creating a rich user experience through website content can be exhausting. Take a step back and relax.
Now, breath in
A bit more
Using text alone to prompt action from a reader (which is the foundation of website content) is a rare skill; fortunately, it can be done and, most importantly, learned.
On that premise, creating high-quality content is one of the most demanding jobs on earth. You're in competition with millions of websites, at constant war with search engine algorithms, managing armies of creative writers, and trying to fit this into a business strategy while at it.
Does it get any harder?
Not Sure How to Create Crispy, Intuitive Website Content? Try These Strategies
Creating outstanding website content doesn't have to be the nightmare it is. Neither should it have content strategists staring at their ceilings at 2 am in the morning.
You deserve quality sleep, and you should be dreaming about puppies, not search engine rankings. However, the bad wrap quality content writing gets is not because of its difficulty but because of the lack of an effective content strategy.
The following steps will help you demystify quality content creation and develop an actionable step-by-step process that brings your view of compelling content to life.
These 15 steps are your structured content starter pack; they include:
1. Consider The Customer's Point Of View
There is a thin line between what you want to say and what your customers want to hear, a line that many websites often miss.
Of course, who wouldn't want the name of their business at the top, in bold, uppercase, and underlined? Then lower down, the CEO probably wants his picture beside the few trophies she's won along with a few paragraphs of her "view of the future " and whatnot.
However, is that what your reader wants?
Your readers come to your website with a different goal in mind. They want to read about the services you offer. Above that, they’re also hoping for a few reviews from previous users, and since they’re going out soon and don't have enough time, they want it to be brief.
Some of the strategies that will help with adapting customer centricity include:
Creating and using buyer personas
Leveraging Google analytics to discover audience preferences
Taking customer feedback and reviews seriously
Migrating from outbound marketing to inbound marketing
2. Engage Your Visitors With Conversational Language
Despite what your professors may have insinuated, jargon doesn't make anyone look smarter. In fact, it's one of the easiest ways to look like you're trying too hard, which is worse than not trying at all.
The language you use should be conversational. Picture a discussion your audience would have with a knowledgeable friend, not one between a professor and an undergraduate student.
That said, words above an 8th Grade Level such as vaunt, rodomontade, and gasconade shouldn't be part of your content.
In layman terms, use layman terms.
Other than that, conversational English goes a long way. Many people will take that "Hey, Let's Fix Your Content Marketing" instead of "Contact Us Today for Marketing" any day.
3. If You're Not Doing Search Engine Optimization, You’re Already Late
The importance of search engine optimization can't be further overstated. A website without everything else on this page but well optimized for SEO will always do better than one with everything but it.
The basics of SEO are the foundations of some of the most successful websites out there. Simple practices like Keyword research get you closer to that first page on Google.
Others like breaking down the text using subheadings, backlinking, and hyperlinking are literal no-brainers; you'll be shocked at the number of websites that still fumble on these simple steps.
Since your goal is to be visible on search engine rankings, most of your efforts should revolve around ranking for the specific keywords your target audience will be searching for.
4. Don't Oversell, Provide Value
We know. You're the best marketing firm north of the Rio Grande, your prices are dollar-store competitive, your product is impeccable, and the value you offer is unmatched.
First of all, congratulations. Second, best believe your customer doesn't want to hear that, and they won't believe it by the mere fact that you mentioned it.
A better approach is to focus on the value you provide your reader. They're just like you, they have pain points and uncertainties that have them staring at the ceiling at midnight.
On that note, your website content should revolve around providing solutions to those pain points and satisfying their search intent.
The temptation to oversell can be overwhelming; given the natural inclination everybody has to believe the best in themselves and prioritize their perspectives, it's just not worth it.
5. Skip The Foreplay Already and Get To That Call to Action
Attention spans are shortening across the world. Nowadays, it only takes about 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion about a website.
That said, It's a statistical miracle that you made it this far reading this blog (that is if you read everything).
Three words. Keep everything brief.
With that in mind, the longer your online content, the more blocks of text, and the further down your call to action, the fewer your conversations.
But there's a catch, since you've probably read that long-form content has the most conversions, something must give.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure brevity without writing short-form content. Ensure to:
Use subheadings to ensure that your content is easily scannable
Write out an outline to direct your clients to precisely what they want
Use images to break down your text into chunks of content
6. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Bucks
You've probably heard of the great wall of text. It's any browser's nightmare and should probably be classified as cyberbullying.
Anybody who's ever logged into a blog from 2004 that is 1000 words of non-broken text owes you a story about trauma.
Well, graphic images play a crucial role in your website, and it's something you should probably consider adding. Photos will:
Break up your text, making it more readable
Create an aesthetic appeal for your website content
Some images like those of greenery and plants lower stress levels
Create a sense of brevity and directness
That said, in your website content, don't be afraid to use images. Depending on your audience, you can also go as far as incorporating memes and GIFs.
7. Build Trust
Nobody is willing to do business with an organization they don't trust. Given a chance, people would rather go for an inferior reputable product than a superior one from a start-up.
The amount of reputation you build with your website content plays a huge role in conversions. Some of the ways you can use your website content to build trust with your potential buyers are to:
Tell your story- if your business was handed down from generations or is something that your parents started, be sure to dedicate a section or page to it.
Include a picture of the founder- One of the best ways to build trust is to show a photo of the founder of the business owner.
Show Feedback Form Previous Users- Client testimonials from other users usually seal the deal for many potential buyers who still had doubts about your business.
Show The Logos Of The Firms You Work With- With permission, you can display the logos of all the firms you've partnered with
Create A Schedule- Using a content schedule to create periodic updates to your website content also helps create routine, something which increases levels of trust.
Overall, the illusion of trust and reputation is more important than the reputation itself. Regardless of the age of your business, trust can be built.
8. Up-to-date content always Wins
Having an up-to-date website and its subsequent content will always be better than having stale content.
Those blog posts and news pieces from 2007 belong in the library, not your homepage.
Following trends as a website can be rewarding and is sometimes a solid conversion strategy.
However, trends can only last so long before people shift their attention to something else.
If having up-to-date content seems complicated, another approach you can take is creating evergreen content.
By avoiding trends and dates, you can come up with timeless content that will still be relevant way into the future.
9. There’s Only One Person That Loves Clutter: Your Competitors
"Simplicity boils down to two things; identifying the essentials and eliminating the rest " Leo Babauta.
You started your website with a few things in mind. A title tag here, a few definitions there, and some call to actions in between, it was simple.
Before you realized, you could hardly find some space for your search bar.
Welcome, you just had your first experience with clutter.
Clutter doesn't necessarily mean having a home page that looks like the classifieds section of your local daily (they exist). Any website, regardless of its quantity of content, can be cluttered.
Just mess up on the logical flow of information and the overall organization of a website, and your target audience will soon be looking for needles in a haystack.
10. Don't Be Stingy With The Contact Information
It's already hard for internet user's to find contact information, don't make it harder.
Many internet users wouldn't locate that "contact us today" to save humanity.
That said, you have to make it as obvious as possible, it should always be right there.
This sad scenario is way too common. It necessitates that all pages of your website should have contact information.
You want to be there when the customer makes up their mind; a few seconds always equals a few second thoughts.
11. Nobody Likes Filling Long Forms
The last two people on earth who loved filling long forms died, the other 80% that’s left abandon them the moment they start filling them.
Convenience is the name of the game. When it comes to website content, you want to ensure that your forms offer the path of least resistance.
You can still have long forms, but ensure that you:
Asterisk (*) the parts that are necessary and make everything else optional.
Align the labels horizontally ( beside the gap instead of above the gap) to give illusion of brevity
Use place holder text in the place of labels to create an illusion of brevity
You don't have to stop there; you can also go the extra mile and invest in automated form filling. This way, your target audience won't have to fill their forms every time they require a quote or a newsletter.
12. We’re All Getting Calls To Action For Christmas
Call to action are your avenues for sealing the deal, and it's crazy the number of websites out there in operation without a single call to action.
In addition to landing pages, your website content should be punctuated with calls to action where necessary.
The rule of thumb is to have at least one call to action on each page. That said, it doesn't have to be something salesy.
A simple "click here for more information" or, better yet, a backlink every time you highlight one of your services also counts as a solid and compelling call to action.
13. Perfect Grammar Is Not An Option
Nothing kills the mood on a website more than grammatical and spelling errors. A prospective customer will forget everything positive about your website the moment they see that "15 Years Experiance."
Readers will miss everything else, that call to action, landing page, but spelling errors is where they will always draw the line.
It's bad, probably up there next to puking on your prom dates dress, and it's something any website owner or runner should be well aware of.
Fortunately, there's a lot you can do about terrible grammar in addition to hiring an army of editors. First, there is grammar correction software like Grammarly that you can procure on behalf of your writers.
Second is always ensuring quality control, and reading your website content long after posting it into the website. The more eyes your content goes through and the fewer chances you'll have for errors.
14. Cite Your Sources
Using statistics, especially when describing a client's pain points, is one of the most critical ways to garner client interest.
Well, the average American has 30 teeth. That's obviously a lie, but since I now have your attention, let's get back to citing sources.
You should cite sources for several reasons, including
Citing sources is SEO-friendly
The Google Algorithm rewards websites that cite reputable sources.
Think of it this way, an article with COVID as the keyword is more likely to be reputable if it cites and links to the CDC and .gov websites.
On the other hand, an article about Covid without any links is most likely to be seen as miss-information.
Build trust and authenticity
Moreover, links and citations give the reader a sense of authenticity. Most of your readers will not click these links for confirmation but will feel better seeing the sources there.
Statistics are an excellent way to draw attention. That's why they make great opening lines in blogs and websites. Throwing a statistic in there takes a reader out of their daydream back to the article.
15. Long Live Landing Pages
The landing pages are probably the most crucial part of your website content. This is where most conversions take place.
Take time to build landing pages that communicate with your audience. Depending on their level in the marketing funnel, you can choose the landing page that speaks most to your customers.
For top-of-the-funnel customers, you can offer them a newsletter through your landing page.
For middle-of-the-funnel customers, you can offer them a value proposition. For those in your audience that make it to the bottom of the funnel, feel free to offer them a quote.
That’s A Lot Of Work, a Copywriter Can Help
There’s a thousand places out there to begin your journey to outstanding website content, and I believe a professional copywriter is your best bet.
I’ve spent the last few years building and perfecting strategies with the experience to bring clients content marketing dreams to life.
For more information, feel free to hit that contact button to get no-fluff, character rich website content that oozes with personality!