Chris Sears

6 Simple Steps to Effective Website Content

Posted by to SEO

Content is king. We hear about it in SEO material every day of the week but what many forget is that low quality content is far from royalty; it is worthless from a ranking perspective and can really hurt the trust relationship with your visitors.

Today we’re going to cover a few simple tips that will really change the way you write your site content:

  • Focus on the reader
  • Get to the point
  • Keep it simple
  • Write to excite
  • Make it useful
  • Build trust and urgency

Write for the Reader

Write for the reader

Selfish or not, nobody is as interested in your readers as they are. Until you establish at least some level of rapport they simply don’t care what year your business was established, where your first office was located or how many generations of your family are involved.

Chances are they’ve come to your site looking for a few simple answers and if they can’t find them quickly, they will look elsewhere. Powerful content should always focus on the benefits they will receive from your product or service while answering the typical who/what/when/where/how questions they need to know.

“Write about what the reader wants to know, not what you want them to read.”

Lets use the fictional Orange Computers as an example:

Poor Content

Welcome to Orange Computers. This business was established in Brisbane in 1992 by John Smith and has maintained a good reputation with cheap computers ever since. John started the business in a small shed in our Milton home and we are proud to continue the family business today.

Strong Content

Get a fantastic deal on your next PC with Orange Computers. Choose from our exciting range starting at just $299 and all products backed by an exclusive 3 year warranty, you can’t go wrong! Take a look at our great range online today or drop in to our Milton store for a closer look.

The first example is really quite boring with absolutely no useful information at all and lets be honest, for most of us that is about as far as we’re likely to read. We may give the site a cursory glance for something worthwhile but when home page content starts with the words “welcome to” there is a pretty good chance you’re not going to find it.

In the second example there is some excitement, urgency and character in the language with words like “fantastic”, “great”, “exclusive” and the (conservative) use of the exclamation mark. It also tells us that they have a store in Milton, a 3 year warranty on all products and their price range starts at $299. Anyone looking for a new computer right now wants to know all of this information as well as opening hours and product availability which should also be quite prominent on the home page.

The key factors that make the second example more powerful:

  • Engaging and exciting language
  • A sense of urgency
  • Providing key information fast
  • Building trust (shop location and warranty)

Get to the Point

Don’t make your audience sift through hundreds of words to figure out exactly what you’re trying to say. If you have strong and unique selling points, why not place them in the first paragraph or two? Tell them why your product/service is so great and then follow it up with more detailed or technical info if it’s relevant.

Write to Excite

Write to excite

Every website should have a clearly defined purpose. Whether that is an online purchase, booking, enquiry or even education, it should be working toward a single goal.

Whatever your focus, you want them to finish up feeling excited and ready to commit to a sale right then and there. If you’re writing about car hire, talk about the great locations they can visit and just how cheap and simple it could be for them to leave work right now and drive to that amazing location in one of your cars.

Even if your site just offers product reviews you can use emotional language to have your readers imagining just how great it would feel in that new V8 sports car you’re talking about; hold tight and embrace the adrenaline, the ferocious acceleration and precision handling leave you terrified yet begging for more…

Keep it Simple

With such heavy use of social media, forums and personal blogs, we tend to expect conversational content rather than formal essay-style writing.

Why? Because conversational content is easier to digest in a short period of time. There is still a time and place for technical language and impressive vocabulary but home page content is not it. Nobody will ever complain that your content was too easy to read!

For this same reason, try to break it up into sub-headings and use bullet-points where practical. Again, this allows your audience to skim the entire page quickly and find the section that really speaks to them.

Make it Useful

Quality content doesn’t have to be just words on a page. If you can provide utility along with that information then you’re adding yet another reason to stick for your visitors to stick around. Providing small but useful items like graphs, unit calculators and conversion charts can be incredibly helpful when used correctly and may even generate precious (and natural!) backlinks as well.

Trust and Urgency

Trust handshake

Just like the rest of your site, your content should build trust and urgency. Make sure you include a number of trust signals which demonstrate that you’re a real, trustworthy business.

Just a few examples:

  • Physical address, particularly if you have a shopfront
  • Phone number
  • Photos of your products and staff
  • Genuine testimonials
  • Display warranty and guarantee information

With a great understanding of your target market and some carefully chosen words you can be sure you’re getting the best value from your website content which can help both your rankings and conversion rate.

Chris Sears

About Chris Sears

Chris Sears is a passionate web marketing specialist who has helped many businesses grow from Search Engine Optimisation and Adwords Management throughout Australia.

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