Some folks think web content is one of the easiest parts of running their business. After all, just write something and get it up online, right? Wrong. In fact, web copy is more than just words on the screen, it’s actually content marketing, and content marketing delivers three times more bang for your buck than paid search ads do. Good web copy is what keeps your audience interested and motivates them. Here are some tips for writing strong copy that gets results.
Get Ready to Write
Preparing to write is the first step in achieving killer copy. Make yourself a checklist so you can adequately plan and strategize, both for immediate and long-term web content needs. Get input from all stakeholders to ensure critical elements are covered. This may include front-line staff or executives. It’s important to have everyone in your department in the loop so updates and changes to content guidelines and style are implemented consistently. In cases where there might be multiple checklists, they can be synthesized into a single version.
Here are the key elements you need to create web copy that engages and enlightens your audience.
Variety is the Spice of Life
And it’s the key to successful web content. Give people an assorted diet of infographics, long-form pieces, and shorter blog posts that repurpose your content. Consider blogs, guest blogs, infographics, social media posts, videos, and more. When you churn out the same content over and over, your audience will get bored and stop coming back so mix it up.
Find the Connection Between Product and Audience
Know your customers as well as you know your product or service. Your web content should be at least tangentially related to your product, service, or company. And it should be something that connects strongly with your audience, too. If Baby Boomers are buying your widgets but your web content is very much in tune with millennials and pop culture references, that disconnect won’t help you sell.
Strike Up a Conversation
Everyone loves a good debate. So frame your content around a point of view that can be debated. What can you say about your product or service to generate discussion and sharing? This one’s a little like playing with fire though, so do have a game plan in mind in case the post really does take off and causes you a bit of notoriety. If you don’t feel comfortable starting a conversation, it’s okay to create a post that’s a response to a debate someone else started. By weighing in, you’re continuing the conversation.
Don’t Show Off, Show Your Audience
You know all the ins-and-outs and the tech-y terms of your industry but your audience might not. There’s a famous online discussion website where people can ask questions and get answers at a kindergarten level. That’s the ideal approach. Make it understandable to the layperson. If you make someone feel dumb they won’t stick around. But if you can guide them to your system or program or way of doing things that’s easier, faster, or cheaper than what they’re already doing, you’re more likely to drive sales. Small paragraphs and inverted pyramid structure are popular web copy formats, as are numbered and bulleted lists.
Do Your Research
People are often persuaded by facts so do your research, tie your findings into your relevant web content, and use reliable sources. This is what gives you authority and credibility. It makes people listen to what you have to say and take it seriously, even if they don’t necessarily agree. Use statistics, studies, and where applicable, testimonials, to build your case.
Make It SEO Friendly
Not only do you want your audience to find you, you want search engines to find you too. Then they can deliver your content to people who don’t know to visit your site directly. Keyword research is essential and using keywords appropriately in your copy matters. Proper formatting includes using H1, H2, metadata, alt tags, and links for strategic impact. It’s a real skill to balance your keyword needs while still generating copy that reads naturally.
Don’t Forget the Call to Action
It’s great to have compelling copy but then what? You’ve got their attention, now tell them what they need to do. Be sure your CTA matches the level of interest and engagement on the part of the audience for a particular piece of web content. For example, a general interest piece will probably draw people who don’t know you yet and aren’t likely to plunk down hard-earned money on something they just learned about. But a more in-depth piece of web content, one that builds on the case you’ve already made to regular website visitors, can have a more direct CTA.
When You Care, You Share
It’s corny but true. This is often tied into your CTA. Not only do you want to prompt your audience to take action, you want to motivate them to share your content, too. Don’t be shy, come right out and ask your audience to do it. Then, provide the social media sharing buttons that make it easy.
Why Web Content is Special
Everyone wants viral content but page views don’t equal sales. Quality web copy does. That’s where hiring a digital agency comes in. By putting a qualified content writer on your account to write engaging web content, you’ll see real results through content writing that’s carefully calibrated to engage and enlighten your audience.
Writing web content that’s highly engaging for regular publication can be a challenge, and it’s easy to burn out. Count on a digital agency to help you strategize and plan your web content while keeping things sounding fresh and dynamic with every post. Studies show that nearly half of readers consume up to five pieces of content before engaging with a company. A digital agency with content writers who have content marketing expertise consistently deliver high-impact copy engineered to get results.
Book a call with iwebcontent to see how content marketing can help you achieve high-quality web content that engages and informs your audience and then prompts them to action.