Are You Struggling to Write Great Web Content?
By Suzie Larcombe
When it comes to writing great website content or website copy (whichever you prefer), there’s a whole plethora of boxes you need to tick to achieve success. Truly effective web content cleverly qualifies and funnels your site visitors getting them to do exactly what you want them to. But producing truly effective website content is no simple task. If you’ve been struggling to do it on your own, my checklist might give you the helping hand you need.
Here’s the foundations on which I build great website content for my clients:
• Accurately identify & package your unique selling points (USPs).
• Match your USPs to your target market’s needs.
• Incorporate the most appropriate keywords.
• Speak in the right voice for your business.
• Address your target market’s needs directly.
• Qualify and funnel.
• Be memorable, different and approachable.
• Make it clear what you want your site visitors to do.
• Be grammar-hot and spelling-mistake free.
Accurately identify & package your unique selling points (USPs).
One of the first things I discuss with any new client who wants me to write their website content is their unique selling points (USPs). Your unique selling points or USPs are what make you different from your competitors; they’re what make you really stand out and are the reasons your customers choose you rather than your competitors in today’s crowded marketplace. In communication terms (online and off), your USPs are one of the most important things to get absolutely spot-on.
All of that said, identifying and packaging your USPs is possibly one of the hardest tasks you’ll face in business but it’s essential that you invest the time required to get this right. Getting your USPs right involves really understanding your target market and knowing what it is they’re looking for. You need to dig and dig until you identify what keeps them awake at night and how only you can help make their lives better.
Match your USPs to your target market’s needs.
Put simply, your website will only achieve your conversion objectives if your website content focuses on your site visitors. Too many websites miss this essential point and their owners waste time, money and cyber-space waxing lyrical about themselves and why they’re so great. While your site visitor might one day care about you and who you are, at the beginning, all they’re concerned with is finding a solution to the problem that keeps them awake at night.
Successful website content makes your site visitor feel as if you’re almost psychic and shows that you already understand their needs. Great website content speaks to your target audience in a personal (and almost intimate) way, showing that you truly “get” them and proving you’re the perfect person to solve their problem. By structuring your web content in this way, you’ll really start to gain credibility and build trust, encouraging people to buy, to make contact or to start a dialogue with you.
Incorporate the most appropriate keywords.
Good website content or website copy should always pay respect identifying the right keywords to help make sure your website is found by people carrying out online searches. One of the most important things to bear in mind when selecting your keywords is that people search the internet to find solutions to their problems.
Choosing the right keywords is one of the most crucial steps in achieving search engine success, although again, this isn’t an easy task, it is possible. Once more, the key is to put yourself inside the head of the people who will search for your site. What words will they enter in the search box? Once you’ve identified what you think they’re likely to look for, do a bit of double-checking by finding out the popularity of the searches you’ve identified as well as seeing what keywords your competitors have chosen.
Once you have a comprehensive list, that you’re pretty sure is right for your online presence, write your website content so it’s rich in these words. But don’t ever be tempted to over-egg the custard on this one. Website content which is so stuffed with keywords that it loses its original meaning and flow is off-putting, ineffective and could scupper your other online efforts in one fell swoop.
Speak in the right voice.
When you write your website content you need to write in a voice that fits your business as well as appeals to your target audience. In other words, you have to speak in the right voice to the right people to make conversions, especially online. Developing the right voice for your business is not an easy task, but is well worth the effort.
You should aim to match the voice of your business, not only with your brand image, your marketing strategy and your mission, but also with your own unique style and your target market’s expectations. In order to discover the best online voice for your website content, you need to match what you’re offering with what people are expecting from you.
Address your target market’s needs directly.
Square pegs tend to have a whole lot of trouble fitting into round holes and this image is worth bearing in mind when you start to speak to your target audience. The more directly your website content addresses your target market’s needs, the more likely they will be to relate to your offering and start to warm towards you. In other words, make sure you’re putting square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes with your website copy.
In order to illustrate: if you go randomly into a crowded street and start shouting about how great your IT services are, people will almost certainly stop and stare. They’ll do this not because they’re interested and want to buy your IT services, but more likely it’ll be because they think you’ve gone completely bonkers! However, if you arrive at a business breakfast organised for people in the process of setting up a small business and you take time to really get to know these people and what their IT problems might be, before you shout your solutions from the rooftops, you’ll be able to show how your solutions will make their life so much easier. You’ll be addressing your target market’s needs directly.
Qualify and funnel.
In terms of qualifying and funneling your website visitors, you’ll only ever be able to achieve this if you present the right information in the right way. If you’re aiming at professionals in their chosen field, you’re fighting a losing battle if you write your website content in “how to” language. You need to speak to these people at their own level and in an appropriate voice in order to gain credibility. You need to use the right words and phrases and come up with ideas and topics that match your target audience’s situation. None of this means you need to speak in jargon…just think how Professor Brian Cox makes complicated stuff simple and make that your goal!
By using your web content to lead the visitor to make the right assumptions and reach the right conclusions about your business, you will all-the-while be bringing them closer to doing what you want them to do.
Be memorable, different and approachable.
In life, when you meet someone, you make certain assumptions about them. Some people are memorable, will strike you (for some reason or another) as being a bit different and will give off either an approachable or unapproachable feel. Your online presence is no different and this is affected 100% by your web content.
In today’s crowded market, it’s essential to bring your website to life by introducing a bit of yourself into the content. There’s nothing worse than a website without personality! You should aim to appropriately inject sufficient personality into your website content to make it memorable, a bit different and to make people feel the desire to make contact with you. Again, this isn’t easy, but can be achieved.
Make it clear what you want your site visitors to do.
This one’s short, sweet and simple. Don’t ever assume that your site visitors know what you want them to do. They don’t. So tell them. Make sure your web content makes it crystal clear what they should do before they leave your site. Make your call to action as simple as ABC. Make contacting you the easiest thing in the world. Make sure your contact details are on every page of your website and don’t require any jumping through hoops whatsoever.
Be grammar-hot and spelling-mistake free.
Good grammar doesn’t necessarily mean “The Queen’s English”. Grammar in web content can be reasonably relaxed and informal if that’s right for your business, but your text has to flow. Your text has to make sense, follow a logical order and speak in the right voice. And as for spelling…sorry, but don’t even think about letting spelling mistakes detract from your message. That’s completely bonkers!
If you’ve been struggling to write your own web content, I hope my checklist has helped. But if you’re now at the stage where you’re losing the will to live, get in touch, we can do the job together. Simple.
Suzie LARCOMBE BA | Marketing Savvy Professional Freelance Copywriter
visit my site for more business communication tips: http://www.SuzieLarcombe.com
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