You may be wondering how writing for the web is different than other types of writing. Website content creation is an art form all its own because unlike print materials, web visitors prefer to skim the text. With literally millions of choices at their fingertips, internet users prefer to scan content quickly to find results. If they don't find what they are looking for, they will quickly bounce from your site.
The Nielsen Norman Group, an organization dedicated to evidence-based user experience research, found in a recent study that the average viewer will linger ten to twenty seconds on a site before leaving. Other studies say the magic number is closer to five seconds. Regardless, that isn't much time to grab your visitor's attention.
So how do you make the content on your business website sticky so that your potential customer will stay on your site long enough to see what you have to offer? Here are some tips for creating web page content that engages:
Tip 1: Make Your Content Valuable and Relevant. When internet users type a topic into a search box on Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine, they expect the search engine results to provide information relevant to their search. If they click on your site and find irrelevant or outdated information, they will bounce from your site to the next result to find what they need.
Tip 2: Keep Your Content Concise. There is no need to belabor your point. Website visitors are skimmers and prefer to quickly review information.
Tip 3: Stay On Topic. Visitors usually search very specifically and become frustrated if forced to sift through a lot of information to find what they are looking for. If you have a very broad topic, consider breaking your content down and introducing one topic per paragraph so your readers can find specific information easily. You can also add links within your page content to related topics on other pages of your site rather than trying to include all of your information on one page. This will make your website more user-friendly.
Tip 4: Check and Recheck for Grammar and Spelling Errors. Nothing says unprofessional like a website full of spelling or grammatical errors. After you are finished copywriting, walk away from the content and come back later with fresh eyes. You may notice errors that might have otherwise been overlooked.
Tip 5: Use the Inverted Pyramid Method. Many professional web content creators and bloggers swear by this method for web content. What does it mean? Put your conclusions at the beginning of your page content and work backwards from there. This puts your most important information front and center.
Tip 6: Write Assertively. No one knows your products or services like you do. Dont be afraid to write with authority.
Tip 7: Write for Your Audience. You have probably heard of the importance of making your website content search engine friendly by using keywords, links, and other SEO techniques. This is important, but so is making your content readable and engaging for the humans visiting your site. After all, your goal is to convert visitors into customers. Use a conversational tone to connect with your audience and avoid fluff and marketing jargon.
Tip 8: Utilize Images to Compliment Your Copy. Use relevant images to compliment your text and enhance your sites visual appeal.
Tip 9: Format Your Text for the Web. Cater to content skimmers in the following ways:
- Use ordered/unordered lists instead of paragraphs when possible. Limit your lists to ten or less.
- Write short, meaty paragraphs and put white space between them.
- Focus on one topic per paragraph.
- Include internal subheadings to make scanning easier.
- Use internal links to related topics instead of cramming too much information onto one page.
- Use you instead of I to connect with readers.
- Keep sentences short.
Creating content for your business website can be challenging, but by following these simple tips you can be sure that your copy is valuable and engaging to your readers.