By Haley Johnson | Date Posted: 12/13/19 | Jump To Comments
Web Writing 101: 8 Best Practices When Writing Website Content
“Write to and for your audience” is very common and good advice. You need to know who you’re addressing, what their needs and interests are, and what solutions they are looking for.
However, when it comes to putting pen to paper and translating your business’ objectives into words, most people tend to make the same mistake – they imagine a potential customer reading the content and try to guess what would make them take action.
The problem with this approach: web users don’t actually read that much. They scan the content looking for what interests them. And, if the information is too hard to find, hidden in your beautiful crafted sentences and story, then they will hit back fast. How fast? Well, according to one study, web users only spend about 15 seconds on a page.
So, how do you make them stick for longer? Follow the 8 tips below.
1. Put the Most Important Information First
Web users are like wild animals – they hunt for information and make impulse decisions. They don’t like to sit and read through your content or look for information on your website. If nothing catches their eyes, they will click away and check your competition.
That’s why it’s important to put the most important information first, then dive down into the specifics.
2. Make Your Content Easy to Scan
Large blocks of texts are the killers of conversion rates. They are hard to follow, read and affect the entire user experience.
Use bullet points, numbers, bold fonts and a lot of white space to make your content easy to scan.
3. Keep It Short and Sweet
Internet users have limited attention spans and lack the patience to sit and read through long and complex content. Keep your sentences short (we’re talking no longer than 30 words) and stick to the point. As a rule of thumb, aim for one idea per sentence and one idea per paragraph.
Use a readability tool like this one, or hire a professional content company to make sure your pages are easy to read and understand.
4. Avoid Jargon
Read the following sentence: “Because the vehicle was an eight-banger, an OBD was required to determine de LOFR.”
Unless you are a car enthusiast, then you probably didn’t understand much.
The average online user doesn’t have your level of knowledge or experience. Stick to simple and put things in Layman’s terms.
5. Paint a Picture
If you really want to hook your audience, then you should get them engaged with your content. Describe the product by making them use their senses. Make them see how your product looks, how it smells, how it feels and so on.
6. Use an Active Voice
The active voice allows you to write short and concise sentences. They also make the reader feel like you are addressing them directly.
7. Use Simple Words
How are people searching for you? Are they looking for “cost-effective dog beds” on Google or “cheap dog beds?” Probably the latter. Web users are typing familiar words into search engines – words that they can understand from a glance, so try not to sound too sophisticated.
8. Use Visual Content Too
We are visual creatures. Our brains can process images faster than text. Sometimes, you can use a video or infographic to convey complex ideas easier and faster than to try to explain them in a lengthy text.
Over to You
Here’s the hard truth: writing good website content is hard. It takes years of experience to be able to persuade people through words. So, it’s OK if you aren’t happy with how your website content turned out. Give us a call and we can take care of that for you. Call our team of Digital Marketing Pros at (800) 617-6975 or visit SproutMedialab.com today!