6 Simple Tips for Creating Great Website Content
Your website’s content is more than just words on a page. It’s an investment — a powerful marketing tool that adds permanent value to your website the moment you click the “publish” button.
Just as every pixel matters to a web designer, so does every letter to a content marketer. Great content works all day, every day, to help your website reach its true potential.
- Does your website look and feel great but lack a strong and engaging message?
- Does your website imagery grab attention while your words simply fill up space?
- Does your content leave your audience uncertain, unclear and unimpressed?
When the competition is always just one click away, great content can mean the difference between standing out and blending into a crowd of mediocre marketing pitches.
So, what exactly is great content — and how do we create it?
Great Content Creates a Strong Message
Great content begins with the right message: a compelling reason for customers to choose you over the competition. More than just the right message, great content delivers a strong message: one that builds, reinforces and strengthens the emotional connections that lead to profitable business relationships.
Your target audience demands a great product or service. But more than anything, your potential customers want to make the right choice. A strong message tied to an emotional connection reassures your audience their decision was a smart, easy one. Always start with a strong message. Otherwise, you’re simply reassuring them to search somewhere else.
Great Content Boosts Search Engine Rankings
Is your website missing out on hot leads from Google? Perhaps there are no potential customers actively searching for your products and services. Or maybe — and far more likely — people are searching for your products and services right this very minute. The problem? They’re simply finding your competitor’s website first.
Quality content earns brands prime search engine real estate. In our new era of web design, quality content is anything interesting, beneficial or purposeful, something people will read, share, like and link to. More than ever, today’s shares, likes and links add up to big things: a first page Google ranking, for example.
Great Content Engages Your Audience
There’s a two-step process to engaging your audience in our cruel and competitive world of content: capture their attention, and keep it. Both are necessary to add incremental value to your website.
Engaged audiences tend to stick around for longer. Your goal is to keep them around long enough to deliver more value and convert them into customers. The best way to get the job done: create an emotional hook, entice your target audience to read more, and guide them towards the more relevant and valuable content.
How to Create Great Website Content
Creating great content is like any other skill: the more you practice, the more you can develop, sharpen and perfect the process. Although some of us are born with the ability to write, the rest of us can learn. Our guide is here to help.
Here are six simple tips for creating great website content.
1. Trim the Fat
From communication to design, brevity is your website’s best friend. Consider the advantages of trimming the fat:
- Ditch the needless words and your messages become more potent.
- Punch up the content and valuable screen real estate emerges.
- Invigorate clunky and exhaustive text with crisp, vigorous energy and your website takes on a whole new life.
This is the golden rule of creating great content. It’s more crucial for web design than any other endeavor. Every piece of content benefits from brevity — including your buttons, navigations, microcopy and more. Trim the fat. Make every word count.
2. Place Key Words in Logical Sequence
What’s the difference between “Edit & View” and “View & Edit”? Quite a lot. Great content follows the same flow of actions. If you want your target audience to view first, and edit later — it’s your job to make it clear.
A similar rule applies to your website’s key words. If you write in complete sentences, then place the key words at the end of the sentence. Prefer to write in fragments? Put the key words at the beginning. Whatever your style, put key words in the right places to create great content.
3. Swap the Passive Voice for Active
From short stories to websites, the active voice packs a more powerful punch than the passive voice. Consider the following two examples:
- Passive voice: The content was reviewed for spelling mistakes.
- Active voice: He reviewed the content for spelling mistakes.
While the active voice makes messages clear, the passive voice makes sentences complicated and wordy. This simple tip for creating great content works alongside the first tip (trim the fat) and second tip (place key words in logical sequence), to help you rethink and improve the language of your website.
4. Switch Negative Phrasing to Positive
Phrasing your sentences positively is far more effective than phrasing them negatively. “Buy now!” for example, is a much better, more direct way to deliver the message than “Don’t wait to buy!”
As a rule of thumb, rethink any sentence phrased with the word “not”, unless the sentence simply works better in the negative. If a potential customer might lose money by “not” using your product or service, for example, then the negative might prove more effective.
5. Be Consistent
Consistency in web design holds more weight than any other medium. Your website’s buttons, functions and commands all depend on the most logical and consistent use of forms and items. Imagine your website gives visitors three options: save and continue, save and quit, and don’t save and quit.
If you start the list with “Save & Continue”, then follow with “Save & Quit” and “Don’t Save & Quit” (same word order). Switching the order from “Save & Quit” to “Quit & Save” makes your content inconsistent and sloppy. Always remember this simple tip for creating great content. Make consistency a priority throughout your website.
6. Be Specific
In the world of web design, specific details and precise words trump ambiguity every time out. The cornerstone of creating great content, the details help your website stand out among the competition.
An exterminator claiming to “kill roaches, fleas and bedbugs,” for example, makes a stronger first impression than one claiming to simply “kill bugs fast.” Which one piques your interest more?
Creating a more descriptive image optimizes the communication process. Even the smallest of details leave lasting impressions on the success of your website’s content.
When to Hire a Web Design Company
Creating great content takes a balance of talent and time. The research, planning and fine tuning can keep you from concentrating on what you do best: running your business.
Your time is best spent on what you’re good at. Hiring a web design company to create great content is an easy way to add value to your website while you focus on bringing in new clients.
Is now the right time to hire a web design company?
This post originally appeared on the Read Our Minds blog by Bowen Media.