Website Content It’s Still King
“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.” GOOGLE’S SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION STARTER GUIDE
You may have heard differently, but the truth is that website content is still the driving force in engaging visitors and in search engine optimization. People aren’t searching for you; they’re searching for information.
Regardless of the products or services you’re selling, your potential customers don’t know very much about them. They need to be educated and the best way to do that is by providing a lot of interesting content. No matter what business you’re in, you’re the expert and your visitors are eager to learn.
When you provide the information people are looking for, visitors will spend more time and view more pages on your site. And if visitors like your site, Google pays attention and likes your site too.
Some website content Strategy
- Make your content informative, not full of sales pitches. People come to your site to get information, not to be repeatedly hit over the head with a hammer. Write with your target market in mind and in the “voice” of your business.
- Don’t be tempted to do your own writing, unless you know you’re an excellent writer. Writing, like design, is an art. There’s a world of difference between “I know my grammar” writing, and writing that is engaging, compelling, and in the right voice. And no, good writing doesn’t always have to be grammatically correct.
- Give users quality information. People can get crap anywhere, but if you give them something educational and interesting, you’ll be perceived as the expert, or at least someone who knows what you’re talking about. Providing quality information is well worth the time and trouble.
- Show people you can help them. Does your content just go on and on about how great you are and all the wonderful things your business has done? Don’t go there—people don’t care how great your business is. Show them how you can help them and give them the information they are looking for, or they’ll find someone who will.
- Cater the writing to your visitor. Use language your target audience understands, at one they will resonate with, and talk about what interests them. Unless you’re a B2B business with visitors who understand technical jargon, use simple, everyday language.
- Make sure each page grabs the visitor’s attention and use good headings to quickly convey what the page is about. People usually scan a page before they decide whether they want to read it. Captivating headings make it easier to get their attention.
- Break up longer copy with headings. People quickly scan to find what interests them. Faced with a long page without any informative headings, they’re likely to look somewhere else.
finding your Voice
As the owner-manager of a local business, the voice of your business will be close to your own. But we all use our voices differently in different situations and with different people, and harnessing the voice of the business in your marketing and communications can be challenging. Many people have a writing voice, especially in business communications, that is very formal and actually designed to hide the personality. It can be hard to break out of that.
One thing you can try (after you’ve done your branding and clarified your business’s personality) is to connect with your passion for your business before writing website content. Picture who you’re writing to, speak from that place of passion, and see what happens.
You should also remember to modulate the tone of your communications according to the goal of each piece. For instance, if your business’s normal voice is light and jokey, you might want to adjust it so it’s a little more authoritative when writing educational articles for your audience. This will help them feel comfortable seeing you as an expert.
Website Content development Is A different animal
There’s so much poorly written content on the web, primarily because everyone thinks they’re writers. Even if someone is a decent writer, it doesn’t mean they can write for the web.
A great website content writer is actually a combination writer, marketer, storyteller, and search engine optimizer, with the ability to:
- Understand how to write good marketing material. We’re not talking about hard sell, but the ability to “suggest” that the visitor read more or take a specific action.
- Make the writing compelling. Anyone can write blandly, but it takes a talented writer to know how to captivate readers. The rhythm and flow of the content is perhaps more important than the actual “meat.” Without that rhythm and flow, the reader will never get to the meat.
- Know how to optimize page headings and content for keywords without making it sound cheesy. It’s very easy to spot sites on which the use of keywords is blatant, leading to poor readability and keyword stuffing in Google’s eyes.
- Consider using the services of a professional copywriter who can bring what might otherwise be bland content to life.
As always, keep it simple and take it one step at a time.
but “people don’t read anymore”
It may be true that many people would prefer to watch a video than to read. But if they find something that interests them, they will read it. So, instead of using “people don’t read” as an excuse to avoid writing content, use your creativity to write interesting and unique content that your readers will find informative or entertaining.