Are you building a brand new website from scratch, and need to write pages and pages of content for it?
Maybe you’re updating the text on an existing website?
Or perhaps adding a few new website pages to your current small business website?
Your website is your small business’ home base in the online world, and the words you put on your website are one of the biggest – if not *the* biggest – driver in proving your expertise and experience, and making the sale. Putting solid effort into the planning and execution of your website content should be a top priority of any small business owner.
10 Tips for Writing Website Content
- Determine your Writing Voice Your industry and customer type will greatly impact this, along with your company culture. Keep in mind that your customers likely don’t understand your business, industry, and offerings as well or as deeply as you do, so make sure your tone is helpful, positive, yet explanatory. Another important piece of advice: your writing voice needs to be consistent across your site.
- Use Headings The oversized “10 Tips for Writing Website Content” above would be a heading. Headings are helpful for content organization reasons and for readers scanning the page (as they call out specific sections of text on a long page), and are beneficial if you are concerned about SEO (which you should be).
- Turn a Paragraph into a Bulleted List See what I did there? OK, in all seriousness, most people scan website pages and news articles instead of reading them word for word. Using bullets to highlight numerous features your products have, or the several reasons why you are better than your competition, is much better than mentioning those same reasons or features in sentence form in a regular paragraph.
- Don’t Assume Website Visitors Land on your Home Page First This is one of the most common hurdles we have to cross when working with clients on their websites. Sure, you don’t want every page on your site to say the same thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that organic search and social media sharing means that a good chunk of your new website visitors are landing on an interior page of your site without first landing on your home page. Because of this, you need to make sure that there’s enough information and context for a potential customer to immediately understand what that page and your company are about.
- You Know your Business, but Your Customers Don’t Your website is one of the best places to “go back to basics” with your customers. Just like how you’d provide all the necessary background on your business and what you sell if you spoke live with a customer who was hearing out about your small business for the very first time, you’d also include all that same foundational information about your business and products or services on your website.
- Navigation and Content Organization is Vital Customers expect to easily find the information they are looking for when they visit your website. Customers have been trained on where to find things based on their past experiences with hundreds or thousands of websites they’ve visited. Also, customers visit your site for a variety of reasons, including basic pieces of information like looking for a phone number in order to make an old-fashioned phone call. Essential information needs to be located in predictable spots on your website. It also needs to be organized in a logical, helpful way. Imagine for a moment that you owned a salon and spa. You’d definitely want a section of your site dedicated to all your salon and spa services, but you wouldn’t put all of your services on 1 (seemingly endless) website page. What you could do is have a page dedicated to hair services, another for nails, one for massages, one for facials, and one for waxing (depending on how many types of each service you offer). People don’t like to keep scrolling, so you may inadvertently “hide” the information a potential customer is looking for if you don’t organize your site properly.
- Also Vital is Writing with SEO in Mind If you intend to optimize your website pages for search, you need to make sure you have well-written, detailed, useful, and customer-friendly content on all your pages. A page with only a couple sentences isn’t going to be useful for a website visitor nor will it be valuable from a search standpoint. Make sure you incorporate descriptive words related to your business, industry, and products or services while keeping in mind that Google wants natural, conversational keyword variations in your text (i.e. Repeating the same exact keyword phrase over and over and over is a bad SEO practice).
- Edit, Edit, Edit And when you are done editing, ask a friend! A fresh set of eyes is usually the most thorough final editing step.
- Your Website is Never Final As the saying goes, “Perfect is the enemy of good”. Don’t let the desire to make your website perfect hold you back! As your business evolves, your website will, too.
- Get Visual Shoot to include at least 1 image on every website page. It’s more appealing to a website visitor, and it’s optimal from a social media sharing standpoint. Plus, images provide the opportunity for ALT tags, which are part of good SEO.
Writing content for an entire website can feel like a daunting task, especially if you are unsure about your writing abilities. Take things one page at a time, and if you need help writing or editing, just ask!