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22 April 2015
Web visitors rarely stay on the same page for long. Studies have indicated that the average visitor spends no more than 20 seconds skimming a page before moving on to something new. This means you have less than 20 seconds to capture your reader’s attention!
Great content is the key to attracting a steady stream of traffic to your website and improving your ranking. One method of producing fantastic website content is to pay a copywriter, but this is expensive and for many small businesses, not a viable option. The alternative is to craft your own content, but what are the hallmarks of top quality website content?
Originality is extremely important. When it was first released in 2011, Google’s Panda update punished millions of website owners for having duplicate content. Today nothing much has changed and it is still no longer possible to get away with copying content from another website. If you do take the easy option, it will harm your website’s rankings.
The title of an article or page is usually the first thing a reader sees. If you come up with an interesting title, the reader is more likely to scan down the page and read more of the article, so put some thought into your article titles. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 readers will take a look at the headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the article, which is a good illustration of why a title needs to be compelling. Look at newspaper headlines for inspiration. See how they manage to grab your attention with just a few well-chosen words? Spend time on your headlines because they matter!
Reading text on screen is a lot harder on the eyes than reading a page in a magazine or newspaper. To make it easier on your reader, use snappy sub-titles to break up the text into short, more digestible, paragraphs.
Engaging content attracts readers, which in turn increases the likelihood your content will be shared on social media. The opening paragraph needs to be attention grabbing. Choose interesting topics and give readers a reason to come back for more. The more interest your content attracts, the more likely it is that search engines will crawl your website regularly, which is great for SEO.
Web content should always include a strong call to action. Depending on what your business is, the call to action doesn’t necessarily need to be a ‘buy it now!’ suggestion at the end of the page. Instead, encourage readers contact you for more information, or direct them to other, useful, resources within your website so they can find out more information about your brand and business.
Great content provides answers to burning questions. The majority of people go online to find information about something, whether it is how to install laminate flooring or find a cheap car insurance policy. Use your blog to answer questions customers might have. Format the text with bullet points and sub-titles to make it easy for readers to spot the main details.
Write for readers, not search engines. Think about your target audience before you start writing. Stick to a conversational tone and avoid using overly technical language or jargon.
Don’t waffle! Online readers tend to jump from one website to another if their attention is not captured immediately. You can stop this from happening by writing content that gets straight to the point. Take the ‘less is more’ approach; it makes for a better read.
Long, rambling pages are extremely off-putting to a reader. They want the facts and they don’t want to have to search for them. If you have a lot of information to cover, break up the text into distinct sections, or create separate pages for each topic and interlink them.
Always make sure that any facts and statistics you cite in your articles, blogs and web content are accurate and can be verified. There is nothing wrong with using a bit of artistic licence in fiction, but when you are writing content for a business website, inaccuracies can be extremely damaging. If you cite facts and other authorities within your text, link to them to establish trust.
Content peppered with typos and spelling errors looks unprofessional, so always proofread your web content before uploading it. It can be difficult to spot mistakes in your own work. Ask someone else to read through the text or come back to it later with fresh eyes.
Content creation is challenging, but if you follow these tips, you should have no problem creating interesting, engaging content for your readers. However, if you don’t have the time to write great content, give us a call and take advantage of our excellent copywriters.