Writing Effective Web Content
It’s strange: when facing a blinking cursor, some of the best communicators in the world suddenly forget how to communicate. This presents a big problem for many companies. Writing content for the web isn’t like writing for your professor in college or your boss. Web content requires a different format and a different voice. Think about like this: web pages have been around for massive consumption for a couple decades (yes that long) and that means, there is a lot to be explored. So putting quality, fresh, interesting content can be an entirely new struggle. Below is a list of very simple questions that can create a checklist for your internet team.
Do my headlines speak to the masses?
You do not have to stick to subjects that are generic to your industry or stuff them with keywords. Instead, you just need to start by writing the titles according to the consumer knowledge base. Give them clear indications of what your content is going to allow them to do. Quality headlines mean a good click-thru-rate, which also means for chances for links and sharing!
Are my headlines too long?
So folks, if Twitter only allows for 140 characters how many should your blog or page headline be? If you have any hope for a retweet or if you want the headline to be indexed on Google, you need to keep your headlines to the minimum amount of characters that can make it both sharable and index friendly.
Are my headlines compelling?
The reality is, we have become a culture of power readers. We look for headlines and bold letters, or ALL CAPS! If you have pulled them in via brand trust or a great headline it only gets you the opportunity for a glance or a skim. It’s the headlines that need to resonate to pull them into the content that is going to sell them or convince them to contact your team.
Do my sentences get them to the next?
Unfortunately, the days of 87 line sentences from Edgar Allen Poe are over. Each one has to express an individual thought, but most importantly it’s compelling to get the reader to the end of the paragraph or the call to action.
Are my sentences over their head?
Remember they are not experts in your industry. So be sure that the content is extremely easy to understand. They are looking to solve problems not become an expert at your business. So give them benefits and answers to their questions….on a basic level. BE SURE AND GIVE REPEATABLE HEADLINES! Most of the people reading your site will have to “manage up” a decision to use your products or services.
What is the standard digital paragraph?
The standard site is using paragraphs typically somewhere between three to five lines of text, or roughly 75 to 100 words. Different subjects require different consideration, but it shouldn’t extend much beyond the standard. Consumers have the ultimate control of content, if it isn’t compelling, they will change the channel. Don’t forget to add anchor text in your paragraph linking them to like solutions or content throughout the paragraph.
Have someone else’s eyes looked it over?
There isn’t much more demeaning than taking the time to create a great piece of content online, after hours of research and a few more creating the content, and having the person in the office next to you catching a mistake just after it was posted. Just because you have an audience and a completed piece of content doesn’t mean you are ready to push it out to the general public. You never get that impression back.
Am I asking them to connect or share an opinion?
Don’t forget why you are doing this. It’s for the benefit of the user, so give them a reason and an opportunity to connect. Try inviting users to leave comments. There isn’t anything wrong with finishing the content with a compelling question or two. If you know your customers and industry, you should know the next things on their mind if you have successfully defused the query.
Do I have a way for them to connect with my business later?
The main point is to get someone to contact you. Do you even ask the question or leave the opportunity to connect in plain sight?
What is it that your business lacks for brand-related content?