Writing the content for your website can be a daunting task. You know what you do, how you do it, and why you do it better than your competitors, but getting this across can be a challenge. These resources are designed to help you get your head around writing web content, so you can stop stressing over what to include and what not to include, and start getting it done.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the basics of web content, including general guidance and a few expert copywriting tips to get you started.
Define Your Business
Perhaps the easiest starting point when writing your web content is to brainstorm the words and phrases that sum up your company best. Try to identify at least 5 unique selling points (USPs) that would make a customer choose you over another company. Do you offer fantastic customer service, a bespoke product, years of experience, or the best prices on the block? Note all of this down, as it will become part of your brand’s identity and message.
A few buzzwords to consider are:
- high quality
- first class
If you haven’t already, you may wish to read through some of your competitors’ websites, to get a feel for the style, tone and industry-specific keywords that they are using. Whilst you can’t simply copy and paste the content from their sites, it will give you a benchmark to work from.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website to improve its ranking on the search engines. Although it’s important not to get bogged down in the complexities of SEO, it’s worth identifying and targeting a few keywords that will help you to climb the Google rankings. If you own a salon based in Leeds, for example, your keywords might be:
- Hair salon Leeds
- Beauty salon Leeds
- Leeds hairdressing
- Unisex hair salon Leeds
- Beauty treatment Leeds
Or if you sell personalised gifts online:
- Personalised gift ideas
- Gifts for him
- Gifts for her
- Unique gift ideas
- Handmade gifts
- Buy gifts online
- Birthday gifts for mum
Try to select a mixture of popular/obvious keywords, and more niche ones specific to your business that will be easier to compete with on search engines. Not really sure what SEO is, or require help identifying your keywords? The Buffalo team is on hand to help if you have any questions.
Write for Humans
Use your buzzwords, keywords and USPs to define your tone – are you a friendly and fun brand, a professional team of experts, or somewhere in between? Choose a tone that is suitable for your brand and industry, and try to stick to this throughout.
Instead of agonising over the opening sentence and structure, just write what comes naturally. You can always go back and edit later. If you struggle to put pen to paper, imagine that you’re pitching to a client or customer. Write for humans and keep the content conversational where appropriate, and your customers are bound to read on.
Persuasive Web Content
Remember to make your content persuasive – at the end of the day, your ultimate goal is to sell your products or services. So when stating your USPs, try to relate them to how they can benefit your customers. If you’re affordable, make it clear that you can help them save money. If you offer bespoke products or services, highlight the fact that customers can’t get this anywhere else. Make your content benefit-led, to convince customers that they should choose you over your competitors.
At the end of each page, include a ‘call to action’. This is a short sentence that really gives customers the final push to act on what they have read. Do you want customers to pick up the phone and give you a call, or ‘buy it now’ from your website? A call to action prompts the reader on what to do next:
‘Want to find out more about our XXX? Get in touch to speak to a friendly advisor today.’
Finally, keep an eye on the word count. You may find that you struggle to write a few hundred words, or that you find it difficult to stop when you get started. Bear in mind that effective web content should be at least 300 words, but within 500 words. This is for SEO purposes; thin content may be overlooked by Google, but too long and you could risk losing the interest of your customers! Keep it concise, but give enough information to inform and persuade the reader.
Hopefully, this guide has given you a good introduction to writing your web content. Although buzzwords, keywords and USPs are a great way to give your web content focus, don’t get too caught up in hitting these – write naturally and once you have a first draft, the editing process will be much easier.
Read on for more useful advice on writing specific pages for your website, to know exactly what to include on your home page, about us, services and more…