10 Tips for Creating Awesome Website Content That Drives Traffic
When it comes to creating a website, your content should be your main priority. You don’t have to take our word for it though, you can look at the facts: Over one-third of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive.
Attractive website content is written with both the readers and SEO in mind. And if you want to capture the attention you rightfully deserve, you’re going to need to put forth some effort. But don’t worry, you’re not in it alone.
We’ve compiled the following 10 tips on writing website content that will help you boost your traffic and conversion rates:
Get to know your audience
Optimize your content
Sprinkle in website links
Keep it short and simple
Apply the inverted pyramid method
Avoid using jargon
Vary your word choices
Make it visually pleasing
01. Get to know your audience
Having an understanding of who you’re speaking to is something that you might’ve addressed back when you decided to start a business. Establishing how you will voice your offerings when you’re writing for the web takes that effort one step further. These words are meant to sell something, whether that’s an idea, product, or service. And in order to do that, you’ll have to talk your audience’s language.
Consider your target market: What do they look like? Where are they from? What is their age range? What are their common interests? Etc. Write the answers to these questions down so that as you go through the proceeding tips and perfect your website content, you can keep this community at the front of your mind.
02. Provide value
It’s not enough to be a great writer who transcribes elegant text. You need to be able to provide value through your chosen words. And now that you know who your audience is, you’ll want to speak directly to them and their interests. Ask yourself, “Would my targeted visitors care about this sentence?” for each and every line you write. Restructure your words to align with their desires, to fix their problems, and to spark their curiosity.
You should also consider the current Internet trends of content from relevant and popular blogs. Use these publications as inspiration for your own work - whether that’s your homepage text or your written blog posts. Find a way to do it better than them. In turn, you’ll become a natural salesman.
03. Optimize your content
A great website full of targeted, valuable content is cool and all, but it’s unfortunately not going to get you noticed. Why? It’s apparent that you’ve worked so hard? What could you have possibly forgotten?
Enter: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as the cool kids like to call it. SEO is the process of using several techniques to get your website ranking higher in specific keyword search results on search engines. These SEO tools will support you in your mission to befriend Google and the likes.
You’ll want to focus the grunt of your efforts on keywords. First, figure out what your keywords are, and then make them your soulmate. In other words, do keyword research to discover the popular terms associated with the theme of your website, such as “fashion boutique” or “artisan pies.” Then, like you would with your soulmate, drop their name into sentences whenever possible. Even mention them in the places where it might seem like no one is listening, such as your website’s description, your blog posts’ meta data, and the alt text of your images. Although your visitors haven’t directly noticed these sly moves, the search engines did, and they are the ones that evaluate your website’s value and relevance.
04. Sprinkle in website links
While we’re on the topic of SEO, you’ll want to also understand the power of linking. Linking to outside sources (external linking) will help these search engines validate the credibility of your web content. It will also help you make friends with other site owners on the web, and improve the chances that they will want to link back to you.
Don’t just link to anyone though. You’ll want to first of all link to credible sources. Secondly, you’ll want to link to them only when it amplifies the strength of your content marketing strategy. For example, linking to stated facts and statistics, which will go far in legitimizing your content.
Through another process known as internal linking (or linking to your own pages), you’ll also experience great benefits. You can simplify your content and encourage readers to navigate the depths of your site by referencing blog posts and different site pages from one to the other. This will allow you to avoid saying too much in one area, which you’ll see in the next section can unfortunately deter favortable engagement rates.
05. Keep it short and simple
You’ve probably browsed at least one personal blog in your life with an ‘About’ page that’s a lengthy personalized summary. You might even mistake it for a short novel. Unless that was your BFF’s page, you undoubtedly skimmed it in a few seconds or disregarded it completely.
Let’s be frank. We all do love to write about ourselves and our businesses. We are proud and have so much to say about everything we stand for and all that we’ve accomplished. Yet, many of us tend to go on rants, which can be put an end to our high traffic hopes. No one wants that. So work on making your content direct and straightforward to heighten the chances that it will get read all the way through.
Know that you don’t have to say everything here. In fact, in blog articles alone, 75% of readers prefer that posts are under 1,000 words. And likewise, you should keep things tempting by leaving your readers always wanting more.
06. Apply the inverted pyramid method
This is what web design in the age of skim reading looks like. The inverted pyramid starts with the most important pieces of information, and then slowly declines in the order of priority - just in case your readers are lazy scrollers. So, begin by ranking your content to understand how to apply this method to your own work.
When you formulate your structure, still take into account organization and logic. Think of a story: Your title, your intro, and so forth. If done correctly, you’ll reap the rewards. This method is known to grab attention fast and keep it.
07. Avoid using jargon
Jargon is the inside jokes between you and the other parties in your industry. It’s specific to you, but meaningless to most website visitors. Assume that the people who land on your site have never heard of your brand before or anything slightly related to it. Speak to them with words that are simple and easy to understand. This will enlarge the size of the potential audience that will read your content.
08. Vary your word choices
This tip is as straightforward as your content should be. Readers don’t want to hear the same thing said over and over again. So except for your consistent use of keywords throughout your website content, change up your wording choices. For example, you don’t always have to say “buy,” you can sometimes say “purchase,” or “shop.”
To make sure you didn’t favor one word more than the rest, it’s best to have a friend or colleague go over your almost final content and look out for repetition. Also download one of our favorite Chrome Extensions, Power Thesaurus, so that you always have your alternative word choices available on hand.
09. Use calls-to-action
This step ensures that your content is effective. In fact, it’s so powerful that it’s the mission your words are driven behind. A CTA is the action item of what you want readers to do after you get them on your site, or the shiny button that you’ll want them to click on.
For instance, if your mission is to get readers to your newsletter, the microcopy on your CTA could read “Subscribe to our mailing list.” If it’s to get them to buy something, your CTA could be “Shop our store.”
As you can see in these examples, the CTA is very straightforward. You’ll want to use language of this sort, while potentially also evoking emotions through your own flare. Don’t stray aware from your brand’s personality though. It’s important to stay authentic throughout.
To get started, check out this guide to writing CTAs that work.
10. Make it visually pleasing
The clock is always ticking, and time is of the essence. Why does that matter for your web content, though? Well, given 15 minutes, a popular Adobe study found that 66% of people would prefer to consume content that’s beautifully designed versus simple and plain.
Grab attention with intriguing design. Beginning with your words, break them up into paragraphs, bulleted and numbered lists, and add in white space to allow it to breathe. Then consider your overall site’s layout. You can browse the latest web design trends of 2020 to understand what’s working these days, from oversized fonts to split up screens and more.
By Jennifer Kaplan
Small Business Expert & Writer