Whether you have your own blog or website, you need content that engages with your target audience. It has to be snappy, entertaining and persuasive. Easy, huh? Well, it can be.
Here are some simple steps you can follow to improve your website content. Once you’ve taken these easy tips on board, you’ll be like J.K Rowling turning boring copy into magical heart-pounding prose.
Seriously though, the importance of high quality web copywriting is huge. By regularly updating your website or blog with sharp, targeted content, you can increase traffic to your site, establish a trusted voice, improve your online visibility and increase sales.
Good copy will keep people on your site for longer and communicate your message more effectively. People read to be entertained. In the world of online marketing, it is essential for your website content to be well written. People love it. Google loves it. And you can do it. Here’s how…
Too Much Text Will Kill You…
Nothing makes you want to leave a webpage more than a big scary lump of text. It’ll make you bounce (leave the website without exploring) – the Internet equivalent of running away scared, waving your arms in the air. To avoid the dreaded bounce, keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Twelve words or less per sentence is a good target.
Break up your text with images, videos, infographics, charts or quotes. Remember most people skim read so help them out by using headlines. And keep the total word count to a reasonable length. War and Peace has already been written, folks.
The great bearded Ernest Hemingway wrote one of the shortest (and most depressing!) stories ever in just six words:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
You get the point – a lot can be said, and suggested, with a few carefully chosen words.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Your Own Voice
Imagine you’re chatting with a friend over a nice cuppa. Let your personality shine through in your writing. How you speak reflects who you are. It shows that you are a human and not a robot. Everyday language will always work best and your readers will enjoy it.
Punctuation can be used to make your copy conversational. Use commas and full stops to mirror how you speak. And remember, refer to your reader as ‘you’ – these are people, not customers or clients.
Indulge the Senses
Make your writing more interesting by using imagery. By getting your reader to visualise, you will gain their attention and make what you say more interesting. And remember, there are five senses so tell them what they can smell, hear, touch, and taste as well as see.
The sun beams through the open window and the smell of freshly baked pastries reaches my nostrils. I lick my lips in anticipation as my belly grumbles in agreement. Today is going to be a good day.
This is over the top admittedly – I think I need a croissant – but a little creativity goes a long way. Have a go at indulging your creative side and the reader’s senses at the same time.
Always Look On the Bright Side of Life…
Avoid no, never, nothing, not, don’t, didn’t. These are words that make us think of bad things. The last thing you want in a reader is a negative mindset. We want happy thoughts so flip that sentence around so that it’s positive.
Never use negative words in your writing – it does not work well!
Use positive words and phrases in your writing, it works well!
And remember to be authoritative. You know your stuff so banish ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’, ‘possibly’, ‘try’ from your vocabulary. Just do it.
Everyone wants to be more active. Whether it’s dragging yourself to the gym after a long day in the office or letting your dog take you for a walk on a Sunday morning – it’s not always appealing. With copywriting, it’s easy. Use the Active Voice. Forget the passive. The Active Voice gives your content energy. Just like a good trip to the gym, right? Here’s an example…
Every week, the blogger writes the company blog. (ACTIVE)
Every week, the company blog is written by the blogger. (PASSIVE)
I’ve Got The Key
In the online world, your copy should be written with some form of Optimisation in mind. Think about what your target audience wants to know about, what content would add value. You can then research what questions they ask and what terms they search for. Better website content will include these keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business as well as a lexicon of related keywords in a natural way.
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Make sure your language is direct and can be understood by everyone. Forget about dazzling your reader with big, clever words. Avoid dropping technical words, jargon and acronyms where possible. If it sounds like you’ve been up all night reading the Thesaurus (fingers away from Shift F7 people!) then think again.
Avoid clichés. Yes, just like the headline above (ahem…). Think of new ways to say what you want or just keep it simple. To make writing fresh avoid over-used phrases. It may be true that writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration but you don’t have to tell people in this way. Reach for the Rightguard and not your Thesaurus.
The great George Orwell sums it up perfectly:
“Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out always cut it out. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.”
Make this your screensaver. Print it out. Stick it on your wall. Recite it in your sleep. And everything will work out just fine.
Right, now it’s over to you. Get typing, stick to the guide, and then kick back and watch as your engaging content inspires.
If you want to realise your wider business goals with creative innovative content then contact Loom on 01179232021 and hear about how online marketing can help. In the meantime, read more about our Approach.
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