Picture this - you’ve just bought a brand new porsche. It’s sparkling clean inside and out, it has that new car smell and it has a convertible roof (perfect for the 3 days a year the sun shines here). The keys are in and you’re ready to go…only to realise it doesn’t have an engine. Naturally, you get straight out of the car because it’s not getting you anywhere. This is a bit like having a beautiful website with little to no content. First of all, a beautiful website doesn’t ensure it will be seen- that requires content. However, without content, even those visitors that do come to your site are likely to get bored and go elsewhere. So what kind of content are we talking about?
When you write and create content for your website you need to please both your visitors and search engines. We’ve compiled a website content checklist to help get your Porsche on the road!
The F Shape
The F Shape was made famous by NNGroup’s eye tracking study which found that users’ main reading behaviour was fairly consistent across many different sites and tasks. This reading pattern looked somewhat like an F. In short, our eyes are trained to start at the top-left corner, scan horizontally, then drop down to the next line and do the same until we find something of interest. You’re doing it now, right?
Implementing this structure across your website means that site visitors can find the information they want on your website nice and quickly, and don’t give up and go elsewhere instead.
Leading on from the above point, make sure to use clear headings on your page so that the visitor can skip to the bit they’re most interested in. Headings come in a hierarchy with H1 headings being key for indexing your webpage on Google as well as communicating your key message. Order your headings from most important point to least and ensure they are descriptive of what is in the text below. Headings are key part of your SEO strategy so making sure they are optimised is really important.
Tone of Voice
It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it. We’ve all heard that a time or two! Well, the same goes for your website. Your tone of voice helps to amplify your brand's personality, attitude, values and opinions. Ensure this tone of voice is clear on your website. Read your content out loud to ensure it translates and avoid using big fancy unnecessary words - otherwise people will be leaving your page to find a thesaurus. Your tone of voice is an part of your brand identity - it can be a great opportunity to have some fun with language like this great example from Old Spice where they use words like ‘Manbook’, ‘Swagger’, ‘Awesomeness’, ‘Smellingness’, ‘Manly’ to show they are a fun male-centric company.
Not every business will suit this relaxed, informal tone of voice so it is important to have a good idea for what tone fits your business and use this consistently across your website, social media, marketing collateral and any other print publications.
Get to the Point!
Before you even start writing on your website you should ask yourself what your core message is- what is your purpose for writing this? Your goal is to educate, inspire or influence others so ensure your content does this but get to your point clearly and quickly. Us humans are naturally a little impatient and we don’t want to have to read through a load of text just to find what we’re looking for. Also, write in short snappy sentences of less than 20 words where possible. This makes your content easier to read.
Be Clever with Keywords
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. As a website owner, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so that they have a better chance of finding your content among the results. Your goal in ranking on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages and the keywords you choose to target will determine what kind of traffic you get. Keywords are essentially the linchpin between what people are searching for and the content you are providing to fill that need. Ensure your keywords are imaginative and remember that users may sometimes type in acronyms, but also make sure your text flows and your keywords don’t stand out like a sore thumb. Try not to use more than 4-6 instances of your keyword on a single web page.
Call to Actions
Add strong calls to actions on your landing page, and throughout your site. Be up front with what you want your website visitor to do whether it’s book an appointment, fill out an enquiry form, or purchase a product.
Spelling and Grammar
Having spelling and grammar mistakes on your website may not seem like a big deal to you - after all, we’re all human and we make mistakes right? Well, having spelling and grammar mistakes on your website can actually destroy the credibility of your company. Many people associate spelling mistakes with spam and it may come across like you don’t care about what you are selling or providing. In addition to this, having spelling mistakes in the copy on your website can affect SEO. Search engines won’t be able to recognise keywords if they are misspelt. Get someone else to read over your website before it goes live just to double check or even better- use a tool like Grammarly to do it for you!
Regularly update your website content, particularly with new blog posts. If you don’t, you may slip down the search rankings whereas if you keep it updated you may find that you move upwards. Also, if someone checks your blog and you haven’t posted since 2012 they may think your business is no longer operating. Keep your website fresh with photos, blogs, testimonials and more!
To conclude, having a beautiful website is great and definitely something you should aim for, but content is what determines whether site visitors stay or leave, and ultimately what turns them from a site visitor into a customer.
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