“55% [or readers] spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page” (Time)
Here is why you need killer content on your website:
- Your website bounce rate will decrease as users are finding more relevant content.
- Using great content will increasing users time on your site.
- User will go deeper into your content and site.
- Great content will be shared by your users.
- Users will click on CTAs ultimately completing your website goals improving CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation - click article).
- Users will return for additional sales and information because of your great content offerings (think of a recipe site).
Read our "Ultimate Guide To Creating Your ECommerce website".
Here are our tips on how to write great content that grabs your readers attention.
1. Know your user
It's been said before but it's worth repeating. You MUST know your reader. If you've done the hard work already of defining your primary and secondary target audience then you know what voice and tone you will need to use for your content. Take into consideration:
- Demographics will help you define your tone and language.
- Motivation or buying cycles will help you distinguish issues, questions and answers.
- Pathways and sources to your website content will help you define content that users will are looking for.
- Keywords and search terms will help your content be found, help you better understand what users are looking for, and help you build out content according to search intent.
2. Using an inverted pyramid for content
People are busy, so you need to be able to get your message to them fast.
Your content should mirror an inverted pyramid. Most important information at the top and more detailed toward the bottom or broken down further to child pages.
This will support readers who like to skim, provides structure to your content, and it can engage the reader further down the page.
**Hot Tips - Map out your key content and structure before you start writing.
3. Consider writing a communication brand guide before you get started
An editorial brand style guidelines will help with consistency across your writing and communications from web to marketing, PR and socials. It will provide references grammar, tone (casual - formal), tense(past, present, future), word usage (It is vs. It’s and jargon), point of view (First, Second, Third), platform (website vs socials), and Active vs Passive voice.
It is the ultimate determinant of your brand's voice so that your company sounds the same no matter who is writing your copy.
4. Organise Your Content
Organising your content into approachable tasks with deadlines is the best way to ensure success whether you are writing it yourself, managing content for a project, or planning scheduled content creation blogs.
Spend your time ideating and organising content into pages (IA), sections, themes, pillar content, blog topics.
When you are considering your sitemap, you need to be able to justify every page that you are building and the depth (child pages) that content will go. Generally, your website should go no further than 2 levels deep, and if so, you need good justification as to why. The deeper your pages go, the more difficult and longer indexation takes the less likely they are to be read by users, and the negative impact on your site ranking. Consider collating similar content onto one page and using design elements to help visually organise your page better using anchors, accordions, and tabs. This makes it easier for the user to see and access content immediately.
5. Use standard web writing principles
"50% of American adults are unable to read a book written at an 8th-grade level." (The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)
- Keep it clear and simple. Take into account your average users reading ability and use tools like the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score to make sure your content is hitting the mark.
- Use an Active voice. Use “Dynotech makes the best widgets on the market” vs “The best widgets are made by Dynotech”. Passive voices can be vague and appear non-authoritative.
- Eliminate jargon. It can be unnecessarily complicated, it pushes readers away and there are always better options.
- Use CTA’s (Call-To-Action). Sprinkle these into your content so your user knows absolutely what their next step should be. Use imperatives, and be as concise as possible “Sign Up”, “Shop”, “Book Today”.
6. Combine web design and writing
Breaking apart your content visually with design elements will help you emphasise your content points.
“Eyetracking research shows that people scan webpages and phone screens in various patterns, one of them being the shape of the letter F.” (Source)
7. Use the scannable rules
The first line of text on your website will get the most reads followed by the first few words. Create a killer hook or headline and supporting text for impact. Your content becomes less relevant relatively speaking as you move down the page.
Help break up the page using:
- Follow header rules (H1, H2, H3 etc) and sub-headers.
- Write short paragraphs and sentences.
- Your words should contain no more than four syllables.
- Underline links to external sources.
- Use distinguishable block quotes.
- Use mixed media (images, graphics, videos, infographics) to break up the page and support your points.
- Line length, alignment, white space, contrast, fonts size and style.
- Use Bullet points and lists.
“Lists A study performed by Buzzsumo and Okdork analyzed over 100 million articles to determine which received the most shares. According to their findings, lists were the second most shareable format (only infographics were shared more).”
8. Create internal and external linking on your website
You should always be linking back to yourself where appropriate. Internal linking back to your relevant articles is a great way to generate more page views and Google views this as important internal structuring for establishing site architecture for page ranking purposes.
9. Refresh your website content regularly.
Not only does google LOVE for your SERPS, but your website will appear current, and your content will have more authority.
On a similar note, repurposing some of your older content is easier than generating brand new website content, with the added benefit of increasing relevance and prior page ranking.
10. Use content tools
There are loads of great content tools out there to help you research and write your content. These are a few of our favourites
- Grammarly (Freemium) - To help with clear and effective communication, grammar checking and word counts.
- SEMRush (Premium Paid) - Research topics, keywords, and traffic-driving content.
- Hotjar (Freemium & Premium)- A heat map that shows you where people are spending time on your pages.
- Buzzsumo (Free & Premium) - To research hot topics, content, find influencers and track mentions, trends and updates.
- Monday (Free trial + Premium) - Organise, collaborate, and execute an effective marketing strategy using one visual platform.
11. Use CRO - Conversion Rate Optimisation
This is a process by which you make sure that all your users are completing one or several business goals. This could be a purchase, a sign-up or a lead. You're converting visitors to customers and eventually into sales. Optimising your website actions into clear directions and removing any road-blocks means more successful goals and sales.
Read our article: "3 Essential CRO Tools You Need To Be Using Now”
12. Strategise Your SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
The final touch for your content is optimising keywords for organic search engines. For your content to be found it needs to have relevant keywords and content that Google will rank it for. Your marketing strategy should always include SEO in all of its content. When your content and page rank better you will receive more visitors and traffic. And that's going to mean more conversions for your business.
Read more in our "5 Things To Know About SEO" article
The case is strong to get your website content right. With these tips, you can create a well-thought-out, easy to read website, that engages your visitors and converts them into customers.
If you need help with your website, content or digital marketing or have an idea you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you.
Book your content strategy session today!