When creating a website for their business, small business owners often prioritize design over content, investing more time and resources into aesthetics than the actual website copy. Beyond the initial impression, what converts visitors into customers is how clearly your website content articulates your business’s ability to solve for their needs. It won’t matter how beautifully designed your website is if your copy is poorly written or has no structure to guide your visitors.
This post will provide some important guidelines for writing website content that helps to drive your marketing goals and satisfy your target audience.
Related eBook: The 5 Step Guide for Writing Killer Website Content
No matter what industry you are in or what website page you are writing for, all of the content on your business website should address the important and immediate questions that potential customers may ask. For example:
In short, visitors who land on your website want to know: What is it in for me? Your website content should succinctly communicate to potential customers the information they’re seeking. It should also clearly communicate this information to search engines like Google, so that they can show your business website to the people searching for your products and services. The tips below will help you to write website content that achieves both goals.
The ease with which a visitor navigates around your website has an impact on both how well your website converts traffic into leads as well as how well your site ranks on search engines. The navigation menu should be descriptively labeled to minimize the amount of work your visitors have to do to find information most relevant to them on your website. It should be on your homepage to help visitors find their way, but it should be on every other page as well.
Having your navigation menu on every page is important so that users can explore your website without having to go back to the homepage every time. Keep in mind also that not all of your website visitors will arrive via the homepage. Some will arrive via blog posts, others through organic search, and others from social media posts and ads. Your business website should offer information and options for the user, quickly and with the fewest clicks (or taps— for mobile marketing). Interconnectivity within your website doesn’t just create ease of navigation for visitors. It also helps search engines like Google to crawl your site more quickly, which is helpful for SEO.
Your homepage is a touchstone for navigating your website. It is your business’s first impression to an online visitor. After landing on your site, visitors should know from your homepage content immediately if they will be able to find the information or solution they are searching for.
Opt out of a splashy homepage design for a clean, simple layout that will direct your visitor’s eyes to your call to action. Write concisely and get to the essential facts quickly. Your readers will appreciate your brevity and directness. The goal of the homepage is to convey the purpose of your business and direct new visitors to the information they are searching for. Your homepage should minimize the amount of work your readers have to do to find information most relevant to them on your website.
To come up with content for a successful homepage, analyze your audience. What information are they looking for on your website? What imagery would they gravitate towards? The text and visual content on your homepage should appeal to your target audience specifically.
Make it easy for your readers to skim through the content on your web pages and extract the information they’re looking for. Write concisely, using shorter sentences, and breaking up large sections into digestible blocks of content. Adding high-quality images and other visual elements like bullet points and numbered lists will prevent your website from becoming a conglomerate of monotonous content—a surefire way to lose visitors (and of course potential customers).
Be sure in your website content to establish your business’s credibility in a professional yet personable manner. You want to show your expertise, but make sure to speak to your audience rather than make statements that don’t resonate with them. Your credibility does not just involve that you can meet your customers’ needs; it should also involve why it is uniquely qualified to serve and solve those needs.
Use your website content to show your visitors what distinguishes your business from your competitors. Mention past achievements, include press clippings or customer testimonials, and give concrete examples to help you establish your credentials. This content can be explicitly placed on a specific page such as the about us page or the homepage, but you may also be able to infuse elements of credibility into your other pages as well.
Insert images and videos into your website to keep readers engaged. Although you don’t have to use images or videos on every page, breaking up pages that have lengthy blocks of text makes your website less intimidating for your visitors to navigate around. It will also give them a break from reading, which will keep them engaged on your site. Video marketing has many benefits for business, and embedding videos into your site can also help with your SEO. Videos improve the user experience and can increase the amount of time a visitor will spend on your site, and potentially decrease bounce rate.
Before you begin to write your website content, come up with a short list of words or phrases relevant to your business. Using keywords related to your industry, product, service, and location are crucial for showing up on Google and other search engine results pages. Need help finding keywords? There are many ways to find keywords for your business, from a simple Google search or online keyword planner tools.
Be careful, however, with putting keywords in your website. Keywords help search engines to identify and categorize your web pages for indexing, but more is not exactly merrier. If your pages are stuffed with keywords that make you sound like a robot, you are going to lose visitors fast. Google and other search engines pay attention to user behavior when ranking sites, so be sure to find keywords and insert them naturally, making your content more personable and easy to read.
Increasing traffic to your website and creating a positive user experience isn’t going to do much for your business if it doesn’t lead to more customers. The key to converting your website visitors into interested prospects and eventually customers is calling them to action. Your website content should contain call to action phrases and/or buttons that encourage your visitors to engage further with your business. It’s okay to have multiple calls to action on your website, just be sure to distribute them throughout its pages.
Do not bombard your website visitors with too many calls to action, as they are likely to get overwhelmed and abandon the site altogether. Be sure to place specific calls to action on relevant pages of your website, to help visitors identify what to do without being forced into anything.
Once you’ve produced your website content, make sure you have several people review your site. Not only should they conduct a careful audit of your content for grammatical mistakes and misspellings, they should also point out areas of content that are unclear or have poor wording. After all the work you’ve put into building the site, you don’t want a couple of typos to undermine the legitimacy of your website.
You may also want to have a few different people spend time navigating around your site to check for broken or misdirected links. Ask them to take note of how your content is organized and see if they have any suggestions. If you’re especially dedicated, make up a list of 5 things to search for on your site (i.e. your address, contact info, a fact about your store) and see how long it takes for him or her to locate the information.
Your business website can act as a marketer for your business, open 24/7 and informing potential about your business even while you sleep! Follow these tips for writing killer website content to get your business website to start working for you.