We use the web to find and share information. The way in which users interact with information online combined with the rise of new Google algorithms (which prioritise relevant content) means how we write and stucture information online is becoming more crucial then ever. Here I’ll outline some helpful tips for planning copy for your next website or online project.
Break Content Up
Make sure you break content up into manageable sizes. Use succinct teaser copy for images and use hierachical document structure such as headings and subheadings in the body of your site. This way readers can easily scan over your page to find what they are looking for. Studies show that readers don’t actually read web pages word for word, unless they find something they are really interested in. So breaking your content up enables people to interact with your information quickly.
Make it Keyword Rich
People search for everything, for information, products, services, ideas, even other people and because of this it’s important that you understand how to make your content found. When you plan your copy, look at the content and think about how people would search for your content. What keyword phrases or words would they use? To take it one step further use a keyword analysis tool, like Google Keyword Tool (free) or use the free trial version of Wordtracker. There are plenty of other tools out there so just do a some research or ask for recommendations. Once you’ve determined keywords, weave these into your content. Remember, don’t go overboard, search engines will recognize keywords being used for the sake of it. Keep the keywords relevant to your information and you will be fine, Google values this higher than anything else.
The Power of Headings
Headings draw your readers in quickly and are also great for SEO. Think about a newspaper and how the headings are utlised to attract readers. Keep your headings keyword rich, succinct and make sure they are enclosed in title tags so they can be found by search engines.
Describe the benefits of your business, brand or organisation. Yes provide nitty gritty information where needed, but to engage readers first, tell them how they will benefit from what you have to offer rather than just the features of what you have to offer. Connect your services or product with how it will make their life better and why. This is particularly useful for your home page which is the first place people will interact with your business or organisation. Here you want to capture people’s attention and then you can go into detailed information on other pages of your site.
Edit and Feedback
Read your content out loud, how does it flow? One of the best ways to make sure your content is reading well is to get peer feedback. Ask a colleague or peer that you trust to give you feedback on grammar/spelling and particularity on the content itself. Is it communicating your business properly? Do they get enough information or are they left asking questions? Sometimes when we’re close to something it’s hard to know if we’ve missed describing a crucial piece of information about our business or organisation. Having someone read through your copy will help provide a thorough approach to your content writing.
What Do You Think?
Have you got any other tips for writing good web copy? Use the comment form below to let me know your thoughts.