Updated: Jul 24, 2019
1. Make scanning the page easy
People don’t read website content the same way they would read a book. They look at the heading, then scan down to the left and look for further sub-headings that may grab their interest. The text needs to be straightforward and easy to understand.
So, use short and sweet paragraphs, headers, and sub-headers that tell readers what to expect in a section. Bullet points or numbered lists with must-have bits of information are also good to have.
2. Provide your readers with what they want
People don’t read website content or blogs by accident. Usually, they’re looking for information, trying to solve a problem, or searching for a product to purchase. In other words, they’re hunting and its an opportunity for you to give them what they are looking for.
The first step is to understand your readers. What do they want? If you don’t know, develop a buyer persona to help you find out what their needs and desires are.
Once you’ve done this, make sure your content is relevant to them.
3. Arrange your content with the best bits at the top
Think about how you ice and decorate a cake. All the fancy ingredients are on the top to make the cake look appetising and entice people to have a bite and see what’s inside.
The same practice applies to your web content. When you top-load your articles and blogs with the most relevant and important information in the heading, you have a better chance of getting your readers interest.
You also need to make sure all the important details of your content are in the upper portion of the web page. This could include benefits of your products, information about an event or some relevant statistics.
4. Don’t try to sound clever
A popular blog on this topic was published by Harvard Business Review in 2016, “Stop Trying to Sound Smart When You’re Writing”.
In summary, it says that trying to sound smart usually has the opposite effect. It can put your readers off and damage your brand.
It also mentions that people like to read communications where they don’t notice the writing at all. The writing is so transparent that it doesn’t obscure the underlying message. You can achieve this by investing in great content and taking away anything that detracts from it.
The best way to write is the same way you talk. As well as being more authentic, this approach will help to keep readers interested.
5.Get rid of the jargon
You want to make your web page copy accessible for everybody, not just people in your industry. So, don’t use industry jargon or unfamiliar words. If you really need to use a specific industry word make sure you have a clear explanation in brackets.
6. Format your content correctly
Writing for online isn’t the same thing as writing a book. Online content needs to be able to convert well to a mobile phone.
Here is a checklist before you publish your web content:
· Each paragraph should have a maximum of 4 sentences
· Shorten your sentences by taking out any unnecessary words.
· Keep the language simple and remove any jargon
· Use an active voice and second-person which is more appealing.
· Don’t repeat things.
It’s important to remember that most readers won’t go through your web content chronologically.
Every page of your website needs to have a link to take visitors to the home page.
Include your name, address, and contact information on every page. You want to make it easy for the readers to take that next step and make contact with you.
7. Include pictures
Original graphics and clear visuals can make your content more appealing and attract readers.
It can be boring to read lots of words and adding relevant visuals throughout a piece of content provide a welcome break for readers.
Researchers have worked out that the human brain decodes and processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and an amazing 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual.
So that means 80% of the copy on most web pages does not get read.
Not only do we like looking at cute puppy photo's online more than reading about puppies, but we also retain the message of the image much better too.
8. Keep it welcoming
Finally, write the way you talk and don’t be afraid to inject your personality into the web content. As long as you are consistent with your brand voice, a personality will help your web content to be more memorable for your clients.