Not all content is created equal, and it's difficult to overstate the importance of strong, relevant content in this era of clickbait and fluff. A beautifully-engineered website will get you nowhere if you can't back it up with substantive content that provides value to your visitors. To put it more bluntly, without good content, your visitors will leave. Luckily, crafting this type of content isn't too difficult if you keep a few principles in mind.
8 Tips to Writing Great Website Content
Before you embark on any sort of content creation, it's critical that you first solidify your sense of your business and your audience. All of the content on your website should reflect the same core values, and it should be consistently valuable for your core customer base. You can't accomplish either of these goals if you lack a concrete sense of who you are and who you're writing for.
Take some time to reflect on your mission and business model, as well as on the types of questions that your audience might be asking. Then, brainstorm a content outline that is consistent with all of these factors.
Writing Content That Works
When you're ready to write, keep the following principles in mind:
- Write Plainly: The goal of content creation is not to toss around jargon in an attempt to look smart. For most audiences, you'll want to write in short, simple sentences using easily-understandable language. Your credibility comes from the valuable insights you provide, not the fifty-dollar words you use to convey them.
- Put the Most Important Content on Top: No matter how hard you work to engage your audience, you're going to encounter some skimmers. There's nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that you need to plan your content accordingly. Get to your most important content quickly so that everyone who engages with your page takes away the main points.
- Use White Space and Bullets Wisely: Dense walls of text are intimidating, boring, and difficult to parse. Keep your paragraphs short and pointed so that they are readable even on small mobile screens. For the same reason, use bulleted lists wherever you can to provide a logical layout. These two easy formatting tips make your article infinitely more readable—and as a bonus, they'll give your SEO a boost.
- Include Headers: Along the same lines, you should try to break your content up with headers. Headers guide readers through the structure of your content, increasing readability and reinforcing key points. They are also critical for SEO purposes.
- Incorporate Pictures: Another way to keep audiences engaged is to break up the text with high-quality imagery. Visuals help readers absorb your message more easily and are especially valuable for breaking down complex content. Even when your content could stand on its own, pictures are helpful to hold attention and add visual appeal to an otherwise plain page.
- Use Active Voice: Passive voice is used by writers who want to confuse their readers. (See how annoying that sentence is?) Most readers find active voice to be far more readable and engaging. Take note and avoid passive voice unless it's stylistically necessary.
- Provide Real-World Examples: The more you can ground your content in concrete, real-life scenarios, the better your audience will be able to relate. And when your audience can relate to your content, they're more likely to engage more deeply with your brand.
- Provide Actionable Items: Finally, don't forget that the goal of content creation is ultimately to drive action. Ideally, this action will relate to further engagement with your brand, but it can also include tangential action steps that keep the reader engaged with your broader industry. Even in purely informative articles meant to establish credibility, readers should come away with a defined sense of next steps. Otherwise, what's the point?
Tip 9: Commission a Great Design to Frame Your Content
By now it should be clear that content is one of the most important factors of your entire website. But that doesn't mean that a clean, responsive design isn't critical too. As you work to incorporate best practices into your content, let Neon Rain show you how the best practices of web development can benefit your business. Contact our team to get started.