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5 Tips For Killer Web Content

February 8, 2010

Filed under: General

Does the content on your website really speak to you customers? Need a hand developing a plan of attack for your web content? Copywriter, Sally Bagshaw from Snappy Sentences has developed these helpful tips for you:
 

1. Know your audience and their motives

It’s amazing the amount of businesses out there who don’t know anything about their target audience. Basic customer research is easy to do and can involve online surveys, web analytics, or data that has been gathered through other channels including newsletters, call centres or user testing.

Don’t be afraid to ask your existing customers why they chose your product or service in the first place. You may be surprised at some of their motives, and the knowledge will enable you to tailor your content to suit both their needs and the needs of potential customers.


2. Don’t try to sell. Try to solve a problem

Most people are put off by a hard sell. How quickly do you try and get rid of telemarketers who call you at home?

The web is no different. Visitors can quickly leave a site (and never come back!) if they feel you are just trying to push a product or service down their throat, or if you just focus on your business (and not them).

A better way is to understand what problem your product or service will solve for your customer, and shape your content accordingly. Play on the emotions of the customer – use words such as ‘feel’ and ‘imagine’.

For example:
OK - XYZ security screens are the best in the business. Choose from a variety of designs and materials to make your home more secure.

Better - Feel safe and secure in your own home with XYZ security screens (the customer wants to feel safe and secure). You can choose from a range of designs and materials so that your home won’t have the appearance of Fort Knox (the customer doesn’t want their home to look like a jail).  Use this ‘problem solving’ approach and your customers will be able to imagine applying your product or service to their specific situation – a key step in the purchasing process.   


3. Choose a tone and style and stick to it

Pick a personality for your site. Is it professional, formal and sensible? Or is it fun, cheeky and conversational? Make everyone who writes for the site understand the personality so that the tone and style remains consistent.

Also, decide on some strong call to actions, and use them throughout the site.


4. Punctuate consistently and keep sentences short

Develop a short style guide to document the rules for punctuating bullets, headings, addresses, telephone numbers and the like.

Short sentences are easier to read on the web. Don’t be tempted to cut and paste from a printed document – make sure you review and re-write for your website.


5. Write for your audience first. Please them and you’ll please Google

Don’t turn your site into a keyword overloaded, unreadable mess by trying to include every keyword you can think of in your content.

• Write content that your target audience wants to read, in the language and terminology that they understand, and you’ll end up doing well in search.

• Take note of how people find your site (what keywords and phrases they use to search), and tweak your content as needed.

• If you have a lot of services, break them up over different pages so you can write quality content for each page.

And finally, don’t forget to review your content regularly. Content isn’t a set and forget component of your website. Keep it up-to-date, keep it relevant, and keep it fresh.

 

Snappy Sentences can develop sizzling web content that will make your customers sit up and take notice of your product or service. They also run writing for the web workshops, facilitate content workshops, write style guides, and offer traditional copywriting services. Visit www.snappysentences.com for more information.

Tags: copywriter, google, guide, call to actions, keywords, phrases, content

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