Eight Proven Tips to Write Engaging Website Content
Since web readers are notorious for having short attention spans, writing a blog entry or web page copy that keeps them engaged can be challenging.
Challenging though it is, it is not impossible. Follow these eight tips to ensure that your website content gets the attention it deserves.
Know your audience.
Far too many webmasters step into content writing without so much as considering who they are trying to reach. Before you put pen to paper—or finger to keyboard—ask yourself who your target audience is. Very importantly, ask yourself what problem or need they want to be addressed.
Identifying your target audience will provide you with a wealth of future articles and blog posts that your readers will be interested in. The more interesting and meaningful your content is to your readers, the more likely they are to become your customers.
Organize web content around the information readers want to know.
Before you get down to writing, work out a plan to structure the content on the web page(s).
As stated earlier, web readers have ridiculously short attention spans. They decide whether or not you can give them the information they need in a matter of seconds.
Engage readers by outlining the problem—and implying the solution—early on.
Whether you are writing long-form content, a blog post, or a product description, the most important message should be at the top of the page. You can break it down into more specific, supporting information as you go. Tangential information should be added to the end of the content.
Make website text scannable.
After writing your content, be sure to focus on the layout of the page. Most web readers will scan your web page for the specific piece of information they seek; if they cannot find it quickly, they will move on. So, make sure the text is easy to skim.
To make the text more scannable, use headers, bulleted and numbered lists, descriptive subheadings, and white space between paragraphs. Avoid long text-heavy sections.
Since web readers have a short attention span, sentences of 22 words or less are ideal. Studies show that comprehension drops in direct correlation to sentence length.
Emphasize the use of nouns and verbs, and use adverbs and adjectives sparingly. Avoid using complicated words that would turn away readers. Very importantly, remove any redundant or flowery information. The KISS principle absolutely applies to content writing today.
Nix the corporate jargon.
Unless your audience is made up of technical experts, make sure your content is perfectly understandable to all. Spell out acronyms on the first reference, and avoid using insider terminology. Explain nuanced or specialized words and link back to other articles where readers can learn more about a particular topic.
Remember that you are writing for your target audience, not your colleagues (see point #1). Using easy-to-understand language will help you come across as approachable and open—precisely what you want to convey to potential customers.
End the page with a Call to Action (CTA).
This applies whether that action is to buy an item, sign up for your email list or simply get in touch with you.
Using a call to action (CTA) at the end of each page will help initiate that activity.
A clear CTA consists of action words (such as get started, click here, sign up, call us, and so on) that tell your readers exactly what they need to do to move forward.
Give it a rest, then make edits.
Set your content aside for a while after writing it (even if only for a few hours). When you revisit it with fresh eyes, you will see ways to improve it. At this point, you will most likely find opportunities to fix typos, improve weak word choices, rewrite confusing bits, update the headline, and more.
Keep on-page paragraphs short.
When you get to the layout stage, make sure your content doesn’t stretch vertically for long distances. Forgot what your high school English teacher may have taught you about paragraphs. Force a paragraph break every 5-6 lines or less so your readers’ eyes have natural “breathing space.” In other words, make your content look easy to read!
The Last Word
With these eight tips, you will learn how to write engaging website content that will pique the interest of even the most time-pressed internet users. It will help you ensure that each page is doing all it can to help you grow your business.
If you need professional help getting content that sells and persuades, get in touch with the team of seasoned Santa Rosa content writers at New Paradigm Marketing. Give us a call or contact us online to connect with a digital marketing specialist today.