Great website content attracts people to engage with your website, it shows that you are professional and knowledgeable. Bad content quickly tarnishes your brand, causes you to lose prospective clients, and sends them directly to your competitors.
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Why Great Website Content is so Important
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Excellent content is more than just words on the page, it is a vital ingredient of your marketing and brand strategy. There is a lot of truth to the saying that ‘content is king’.
What Makes Excellent Content?
The first thing is a bit of a no-brainer, it has to be well written. That means it should be well structured, read well, be grammatically correct and free from spelling errors. Secondly, it needs to be interesting and engaging. No one wants to read boring content.
You want people to enjoy reading your content, so avoid stuffing it full of keywords to impress Search Engines. Not only does that affect the readability, but too many occurrences of a keyword can actually penalise your website in search rankings. You want your written pieces to be persuasive and informative, so don’t try to please everyone. Your work should speak directly to your 'target client persona' so you prove your expertise and they can jump at the chance to work with you or buy your products.
In saying that, it is still extremely important to know which keywords you are targeting on each page, and to cleverly embroid these words into the content. The key is to get a balance between readability and engagement and these very necessary Search Engine keywords.
Here are some of the aspects you should focus on to create excellent web copy every time:
Less is More When it Comes to Web
When people land on your website, you only have a couple of seconds to grab their attention, if they are hit with a wall of boring text (a text wall as we call it), chances are you are going to lose them very quickly.
Instead, be concise. Use web design to your advantage. Tease them with a tidbit of information and encourage them to click through to a different page to learn more. We use a concept of using tidbits of information to discern what the customer is interested in, if they are interested in this information they can click through to more detailed information, and if they are really wanting more we can lead them to more specific information, or a downloadable PDF or get them in touch with an expert etc.
A great example of this is your Home Page. You don’t want to pack that full of large blocks of text. It will be overwhelming for your audience. Instead, you want little snippets of text that give your readers a taste of what to expect. Then if they are interested in knowing more of your story they can click through to your About Page, or if they want more information on a specific topic, they can read the epic blog you wrote on that very subject.
Layout and Design are so Important!
You might be wondering why we have mentioned design when talking about words. Words are words, right? It doesn’t matter what they look like.
The layout and design of your copy can be just as important as what you write. Often your readers are busy, they want their information quickly and they want it to be easily consumable. It is safe to assume that a lot will only scan the content on the page, only reading the sections that interest them.
It is hard to generate interest or make your piece scannable if it is not laid out well. Use short sentences and split your ideas into short paragraphs. Making each paragraph 3-5 lines long is an ideal length, ideally with no more than 2 sentences in each paragraph. Also, embrace the power of the sub-heading so that the key ideas of your post stand out to your readers. You can also use bold and italics within your content to create visual interest around key points.
The use of relevant imagery - specifically imagery that uses people to add personality, is an excellent way to create a more engaging layout. There are many different personality behaviour types, some will read through a lot of detail, some will never read more than a few sentences and are often more visually orientated, some will be a mix of both. So it's best to design your content to engage both visual and detailed personality types.
Compelling Content (the WIIFM)
It is no use making the content read well and look good if you have nothing interesting to say. Content is king, but only if you give it substance.
Don’t simply write for the sake of writing. Make sure you have something interesting to say with each piece that you craft and also have an objective for what you are trying to achieve with it. Are you educating your audience? Maybe you are introducing a product? Are you highlighting your point of difference? There are so many subtle marketing opportunities when it comes to good copy.
Choose a topic that you can really write about. Make sure it is well researched and that it is going to be of interest to your ideal client persona. The best way to do this is use what's called the WIIFM - "What's in it for me". People are coming to your website to solve a problem, and as much as you are compelled to write about how you are so much better than your competitors and how long you've been around etc, what they want to know is 'What's in it for me" - do you do what I need, can you solve my problems, do you come across as approachable, do I want to do business with your company?
If copy is not your strong point and you need some help creating some good content, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Fuel. We have some great copywriters within our Digital Directive who would love to create great content for your website.
African Books Collective commissioned fuel to refresh the design of our international online bookstore. They came back to us very quickly with a design which perfectly fit our brief and worked well with our existing developer. We were so impressed we returned to Fuel when we launched a second book promotional site: readafricanbooks.com this time using Fuel for both the development and design of this evolving site. Jason and the team know their stuff and I am sure we will be back for more as the site progresses!African Books Collective