Writing Compelling Website Content
Writing quality, relevant and compelling content is the most important factor in boosting traffic to your website. So don't just write content for search engines... write compelling content purely for your site visitors!...
Choosing a Topic to Write About
Writing great articles is the hardest job of website design and promotion. So here are our tips to inspire your creative streak....
Firstly, be as obvious and original as possible. You must tell the user what you think they are interested in, based on your previous market research. Remember, most users attention span lasts for about 4 seconds, before the click back in their browser and visit the next search result. So always use bullet points or simple messages to summarise your unique selling point sites. Remember, most web user skim websites until they decide they have landed on what they are after. Write in such a way that you are not copying other web pages (or rewording). Duplicating content from other websites is a big 'no no', as it attracts duplication penalties.
Secondly keep writing every day - it should never end!. If you see writing as a daily grind, you will be doomed from the start. Enjoy creating something you can be proud of posting. The more appropriate your words, paragraphs, pages, chapters and topics you put up on your website, the greater the number of possible key phrases you can optimise a website for. Websites with thousands of web pages, will always rank higher than a six page website that is infrequently updated. If the former has one million unique words on its website, and the later just a thousand - it is basic math to understand that one has a 1000 times greater chance of ranking across all its pages. Beware, this is a slightly over simplistic comparison - as sheer word count is no substitute for quality and uniqueness of articles.
Thirdly, focus on what you know. It is infinitely easier and quicker to write about your chosen specialist area of expertise, than trying to learn something new to write about. So, you could comment on issues that affect your industry, by creating an indexable industry news section. This can be particularly relevant to buying decisions related to your product or service. Alternatively, you could write a regular press release and announce its existence to the online wires. For example, a new product innovation is always a good excuse to create innovative and exclusive ideas for your website.
Fourthly, do not shy away from writing about divisive issues. This may sound like a 'can of worms'. Yet, there is nothing wrong in being opinionated and confident in your viewpoint. Be careful to recognise the opposing viewpoint and any regulatory do's and don'ts. Users love to comment and debate online. The more unique, or topical, or contentious and opinionated your text, the more likely engines will rank your website higher in the long term. Make sure you have a forum or blog, to allow others to respond and post their opinions. Be careful you have a moderator function for your online discussion boards. This helps to prevent malicious comments or irrelevant nonsense being posted by 'comment spammers'.
The Writing Process
To achieve a steady stream of web content, follow a logical and systematic approach to the writing process. Think about the following challenges...
Try and retain a consistent writing style. You may have noticed this page is written both in the first person and third person, and in a fairly relaxed, conversational style. Is this style appropriate for your website? - maybe not. So think about what your customers are expecting to get out of your articles. Try and use a newspaper style of writing. This separates topics out on a page into logical paragraphs. Always use correct spelling and proper use of grammar and English. If you use too much slang or jargon, this may put off some more discerning buyers.
You may be tempted to outsource sales copy writing to a third party. However, we would encourage you do not outsource article writing to a specialist sales copy writing provider. Although they are a great source for generating new ideas, you face a significant risk. You may not know if articles they produce have been copied or plagiarised from other sites. So be particularly wary of SEO companies claims they are have 'expert copywriters'. Many will contract out the job to offshore English students on a pay as you go basis. These writers will have no direct contact with you the client, and no stake in whether your website suffers a duplication penalty! You should know your unique selling points better than anyone. So always write your own website. If you are having a mental block and need encouragement, why not list the topics discussed by your top 10 competitors websites. There may a common theme or issue developing.
Implement a future proof content management system from day one. If you are designing and maintaining a large site with thousands of pages, it is likely you will need some form of content management system to cope. The system should give you the ability to assign roles and authentication rights to certain users in your group, categorise pages into folders and topics, track and monitor the inter-relationship between pages, and most importantly post content into a database driven website. As change is inevitable in website design - the ability to update large volumes of web pages simultaneously is an essential prerequisite for any CMS.
Lastly, do not forget to add some content on the less relevant pages. These include adding some content on your directory or useful resources pages. If you have to have 'links only' pages, make them more interesting for users by adding some textual paragraphs. Engines are likely to classify these types of pages as supplemental and not worthy for top rankings. By adding text to you links page, it will have the effect of attracting more webmasters seeking link partnerships.
We hope this has provided a useful overview of important web content issues.