You don’t need to be Shakespeare to write compelling web copy that grabs your dream customers’ attention. Here are some basic tips on writing effective content for your website.
1. Use subheadings
Subheadings make your content easier to read because they structure your text by arranging it around topics that flow. They are also easier on the eye. Anything that is more visually appealing to the reader increases the chances of them reading your entire article (and sticking around a while on your website).
Think about a huge chunk of uninterrupted text on your screen. Dense, unappealing and uninviting. My eyes!
2. Incorporate keywords
Keywords are how people find you online. Think about how you search for something yourself. You go to your favourite search engine and type in a few words describing whatever it is you’re looking for. Those words are keywords, and every good webpage needs them. Think about the keywords your ideal customers would use to search for your business, then use them in the copy you write.
Think about niche and localised keywords that’ll being customers to your page. If you use keywords that are too popular or generic, chances are people looking for you won’t find you in the sea of websites returned in their search.
And don’t stuff your copy full of the same keywords. Readers and search engines alike don’t like that. Think of synonyms and other creative ways to use your keywords.
3. Write in the active voice
This sentence was written by me in the passive voice.
I wrote this sentence in the active voice.
One of these sentences is shorter, snappier and gets to the point. Of course there are exceptions, especially in creative writing, but in general the active voice is easier to read.
4. Vary sentence length
Short sentences are great. And in some cases, when you’re getting creative or really need to describe something in greater detail, so are longer sentences. What’s best is a mixture of short and long sentences.
But don’t use too many overly long sentences. They’re confusing to read, which could mean your point is lost on the reader.
5. Stick to short paragraphs
Shorter paragraphs are easier to read. As I mentioned before, readers can find massive chunks of text intimidating.
Restricting paragraphs to one topic, and spreading them out with lots of white space means they look nice and are easier to read. Visitors to your website will stick around longer, and hopefully even buy something.
6. Use outbound & inbound links
Search engines find webpages through links. Internal links connect your pages to each other and give the site structure. Search engines and humans love sites that are easy to navigate and nicely linked up.
And outbound links to other websites do the same on an external scale. If we can connect up the web in a structured and relevant way, it’s a far more pleasant surfing experience. And far more interesting websites will be found by search engines and humans alike.
But make sure you’re linking to content that’s relevant to the content on your webpage. People are going to be bemused if they’re on a site about chocolate and click through to an accountant’s website, for example.
7. Vary post lengths
Of course the content of your posts and articles are more important than their length, and length may vary depending on the topic and audience. But most people have short attention spans, so they often prefer to read shorter content that gets the point across succinctly.
However, long-form content ranks well on search engines. And sometimes people really want to deep-dive into a topic to learn as much about it as possible.
That’s why it’s good to have a mixture of both short and long articles on your site. But try to keep above 300 words per post to allow search engines enough text to analyse and rank.
8. Write for your target audience
Picture your dream clients. What do they want to hear? What do they want to read? Think about what information they want and what you need to say to persuade them that your products and services are awesome.
9. Your own style trumps everything
You’re unique. Your brand is unique. If you write in your own catchy, quirky, wonderful voice, your web copy is going to stand out a mile above all the rest.
And yes, while no-one is you, a good writer should be able to present enough of your voice and brand in their writing to get your message out there.
Need someone to help you with your writing? Book a free discovery call with me here.
Read more about content and copywriting here.