Congratulations! You’ve decided to create a website to improve awareness for your brand and more importantly, to reach a wider audience that leads to growing your loyal customer base. However, one word has got you stumped.
Whether you’re re-designing a different version of your business website for the fourth time or starting from scratch in getting your products and services noticed online, you have to present helpful content that builds the level of trust required to convert prospects into lifelong patrons of your business
There’s that word again: Content
You don’t have to be Austen, Faulkner, or Hemmingway to write high-quality website content. You just need to follow a few tips that help you write quality content for a business website.
Content That Moves Your Audience
We’re not asking you to make a Tony Robbins-like impression on your audience. However, you need to make your readers feel something powerful to motivate them to take action. Content Marketing Strategist for HubSpot, Megan Conley, puts it this way:
“We all have opinions on what types of content go viral: a soundless social video, a data-backed explainer, a perfectly timed news jack. But no matter the format, it ultimately comes down to emotion. Does the story make you feel enraged, inspired, understood? With everything, you create you have to ask: If this scrolled by on my newsfeed, would I care? If the answer is no, it’s not worth it. Your online content habits are your own best judge.”
Before you write the first page of content for your business website, ask yourself one question.
How can I move my audience?
Just make sure not to resort to tired clichés in an attempt to move your audience.
Passive is a Huge Turn Off
You’re going to hear one tip more often than other tips when it comes to writing quality website content.
Don’t use the passive voice.
No, this doesn’t mean you need to write every word in CAPS to stir interest in your readers. A passive voice reads something like this:
Ken was afraid of the lion.
Although grammatically okay, the sentence lacks the spark that this sentence ignites:
The lion made Ken afraid.
Short, direct, and to the point comprises the elements of a sentence written in active voices. You can sprinkle passive voice sentences throughout your website content, but you should do that infrequently. Active voice is the way to go for the vast majority of your business website content.
First Impressions Matter
As a small business owner, you understand the importance of making a positive lasting first impression on everyone you meet. From purveyors that sell you things to customer prospects that want to learn more about your business, you want to leave a conversation confident you have established the foundation for a long term relationship.
You need to have a similar mindset when it comes to writing and uploading website content.
The first few sentences on each page are the most important part of any content marketing project. Your goal is to hook visitors to your website into staying longer to read more of your content. You can hook readers with an emotionally appealing story at the top of a web page and change up the delivery of your website on the next page by writing an attention-grabbing sub-headline.
Big Words=No Big Deal
You don’t call a zebra a “four-legged wild animal that makes the perfect meal for a starved lion.”
It’s a zebra.
Overusing buzzwords and other unnecessary words might prove you to be intellectually bright, but it also proves you have no idea what your audience wants in website content. Your goal is to build trust with customer prospects, as well as introduce long term customers to new products and services.
Before you hit the send button to upload content, read it yourself to see if the wording has appeal for your target audience. Even better, test out your web pages by asking a few readers to provide feedback.
Don’t Guess about Spelling and Grammar
If you have spent time on other websites, you might have noticed how some readers like to correct other readers about misspellings and the improper use of grammar. The same type of spelling and grammar experts will point out your mistakes unless you take the time to carefully review what you want to upload as content to your small business website.
Use the spell check feature of your favorite word processing program and invest in a Grammarly subscription to ensure you write content that pleases the spelling and grammar experts.
When teaching writing classes, instructors often emphasize the importance of introducing no more than one new concept per paragraph. This means you should keep your website paragraphs short and to one point. If you are extending an explanation of a concept, break the explanation up into smaller paragraphs. Writing website content is not like writing content for a 500-page novel.
Keep your paragraphs to no more than three or four sentences to capture and maintain the interest of your readers.
Do Not Forget about SEO
As a business owner, you’re going to hear frequent references to search engine optimization (SEO). The primary goal of implementing the best SEO practices is to get your website content ranked high in each of the three primary search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). Some of the ways Google rewards businesses is by ranking website content high that provides helpful information, as well as contains the same keywords readers use when typing queries into the search engines. Just remember that overusing relevant keywords can hurt, not help search engine rankings of your website content. Another important SEO content writing skill involves creating attention-grabbing headlines.
Above all, never plagiarize the content presented by other websites. This is especially true of the content upload by the competitors operating in your business niche. Not only will the three major search engines dramatically lower your website rankings, but you will also lose an incredible amount of credibility from the people that visit your website and read its content.