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Woman writing web content on her laptop

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So it’s time to write your website content. What do you say? Surely it’s just a matter of telling them how good your product is, right? How should you talk to your readers? How do you even get readers to begin with?

Good website content writing builds trust in your brand. Your website is like an employee that consumers can interact with. Giving your website a personable, interesting and friendly feel allows you to retain the attention of your readers. And eventually, you can convert these visits to sales through effective content marketing.

To learn how to start writing content for websites, we give you 15 essential tips on website content writing:

Writing For The Web

1. Know your audience

You wouldn’t want your audience to feel as if they’re talking to a stranger, right? Knowing about them enables you to talk to them in a manner that is familiar, warm and friendly. That way, you are able to keep their interest.

Ask yourself: Who are you talking to? How do they talk? How should they be addressed? Do they prefer straightforward tones or a more casual one? Who is your primary audience? What kind of information do they need?

You already have a message. That is given. That’s why you created your website. But if your website content writing is not appealing, you won’t be able to get any readers.

2. Make your website content user-friendly

Man iewing website on phone with user friendly content

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Having known who you are writing for, you can now write at a level that will be meaningful for them.

Use the words that they will use. Are they going to use the word ‘cheap’ rather than ‘cost-effective’ or ‘low fare’ when they search for their flight options?

Also, expect people to arrive anywhere on your website. Most web visitors will not start reading on your home page. So it’s important that each page is easy to scan, and that readers know where to go next.

Remember too that they came to your website with a specific task in mind. They probably searched for a keyword and landed on your page. Keep this in mind as you design your website content features, landing pages and the structure of each page.

3. Keep it short

Research suggests that when users read website content, they only pick out individual words and sentences. Only 16 percent of them read word-by-word, the rest are just scanning the page.

Therefore, your website content needs to be much shorter than other kinds of writing:

  • Keep sentences short – no more than 20 words
  • Keep paragraphs short – no more than 5 sentences
  • Don’t waste space welcoming people to your page
  • Omit unnecessary words
  • Check for redundancy of ideas
  • Ease up on the adverbs

When doing website content writing, go straight to the point. Make it easy for your users to scan for information quickly.

4. Choose the proper tone

Woman viewing website on tablet with content written in a happy tone

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To keep readers engaged, it’s best to write in a personal, upbeat tone in web writing. If they feel that you are being too serious or out-of-place, they might just ignore the message you’re trying to convey. Or worse, if you’ve gone overly casual, they might get offended.

Use the active voice because it sounds more natural and conversational. For example, it would be more reader-friendly to say “You can order products on our website.” Rather than “Products can be ordered on our website.”

Make sure to use pronouns and address the user as ‘you’. Always try to write in the first or second person. This creates more approachable website content.

5. Describe with words

Show don’t tell. Allow the readers to experience your product or service through your words.

You can go ahead and claim that you’re the best, the number 1, coolest, smartest option out there. But if the reader cannot visualize concrete reasons for your claim, these are just empty words. And it’s not smart content marketing.  Consider these two descriptions:

This is the smartest dating app out there.

Or

More than just a dating app. The world’s first relationship app that uses a groundbreaking personality profiling system to find compatible matches for you.

Which version gives you a clearer picture of the type of the dating app you’re about to download? Specific details in the second description show readers why it is such a smart dating app without mentioning it.

6. Be objective

Man holding camera lens to focus on content

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

As a web writer, you don’t want the audience to feel like the person they are talking to is just out to sell them something.

It’s okay to brag. It’s okay to tell them you’re the best option out there. It’s your product and website after all. But make sure you support your claims using facts. Hyperlinking to reputable, third-party information, for example, helps you build credibility.

A good content marketing strategy allows users to come to their own conclusions. After reading, they should feel educated and excited, rather than forced with information.

7. What are headers?

Headers allow readers to navigate content. So create headings that summarize the content of your paragraphs. Chunking makes your website content more scannable since it is now broken off into manageable sections.

As you can see, questions, especially those with pronouns, are particularly effective.

As with all of your website content writing, keep headers short and direct. Avoid jargon, abbreviations and technical terms. Make sure it is search engine friendly, too.

8. Use lists and bullet points

We know by now that we are writing website content for scanners, so why not make it easy for them?

Bulleted points and numbered lists allow for optimal readability. And nothing breaks up text (and information) as well as these two. It provides the user with expectations that there is more information coming so they should keep reading.

Just make sure not to end sentences in a bulleted list with a period. Periods stop the eye from scanning.

9. Link your website content effectively

It would be absurd to make people go and search for something you mentioned if it already has a page somewhere. Through links, you are able to guide your reader’s train of reading.

Links also allow you to maximize your reader’s short attention span by providing lots of relevant links to explore.

When doing your website content writing, it’s better to make your links contextual. Use part of your sentence or phrase as the link, with about 4-8 words in length.

10. Play with formatting

By utilizing text format tools like bolding, or highlighting, you call attention to important terms and phrases. You allow the user to easily find key information within a paragraph of text.

Explore what you can change in terms of font sizes, colour and spacing. Just make sure to use this content marketing technique wisely. Keep it simple. Otherwise, it will be distracting and less useful.

11. Follow the “inverted pyramid” model

Inverted pyramid model for content writing

Image by Tom Tunguz

The goal is to capture and retain the interest of site visitors. Just like how it’s done in news articles, you can use the inverted pyramid model in writing for content marketing.

To know how to start writing content for websites, start with the most important content for your audience. Often this is a few sentences or bullet points. Then, gradually provide more specific, supporting information. Your introductory sentences or paragraphs should be written in a way that is both informative and engaging. They are the prime real estate for your website content.

12. Write for Search Engine Optimization

You would want for your website to be found, right?

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. It goes hand in hand with your Content Marketing efforts. Obtained through organic search engine results, SEO is important because it ensures you rank high in search results.

SEO writing makes you highly visible because of good website content. Your website then appears on the first few pages of results when someone searches for that topic.

You can enlist the help of an SEO agency that offers website content writing packages to make sure that your content is optimized for searches.

13. Make your website content look good

Website showing written content that looks good

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Whenever possible, work with a good website designer when building your website.

With your target audience in mind, use a header image relevant to your subject matter. Use images, diagrams, or multimedia to visually represent your ideas. Videos reinforce the text on your page and make your page look more dynamic.

Whitespace allows you to reduce noise by visually separate information. Because blocks of text look daunting and intimidating to readers, provide them with breaks. So it gives your website content writing a more scannable and manageable appearance.

14. Check your grammar

Don’t let those scanners chance upon a grammar or spelling mistake on your site. This won’t do you good when you have this limited time to form a first impression.

Most browsers come with a built-in spell-check. But if you want to go the distance with grammar and readability, here are some options:

  • Microsoft Word’s Spelling & Grammar check

  • Grammarly
  • Hemmingway App
  • Ginger
  • After The Deadline

Try to make your reading ease number go up and your grade level go down. As we’ve already talked about, short words, sentences, and paragraphs are the key to website content writing success!

15. Keep your website content writing fresh

Outdated web content will just confuse your users and make you look like you’ve been left behind in another era. It decreases the user’s trust in your information.

Add fresh content as often as you can. Make sure your contact information and business hours are up-to-date so your readers can easily connect with you.

To schedule your posts, it’s also beneficial to create an editorial calendar. That way, you are reminded when it’s time to write new content or check your articles for edits. From here you can also review your Content Marketing strategies.

By now you may have your own ideas on how to start writing content for websites. You can go ahead and write your website content yourself, or you can choose to work with agencies that offer website content writing packages.

Website content writing may seem simple, but there’s a lot of work and thoughtful consideration that goes behind each written word.

Remember that it’s not just words that you’re putting out there. With those words, users get to know you and your product. They form opinions about you, whether favourable or not. Make sure you keep these tips in mind to make your website content writing as compelling as it should be.

Let’s talk about your company’s Content Marketing needs! Feel free to get in touch with us today.

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