Writing website content may sound easy, but there’s a lot to crafting copy that is able to entice people to interact with your business and appeal to search engines. You need to consider things like on-page and off-page search engine optimisation (SEO), writing for your target audience, balancing sentence and paragraph length, working with the design to make sure everything fits, and so on…
If you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith, you may want to do your own website content—after all, who knows your business and target demographic like you do! To help you tick all the boxes, we’ve put together a few things you need to consider before, during and after your writing process.
Writing for Search Engines
The whole point of creating a website is to be easy to find on Google—but this is easier said than done. Now, this is one complex area we’re about to step into, so we’re going to keep it as simple as possible. If you’d like to learn more about SEO than we cover in this article, our blog also has plenty of other articles (with more being added each week) to help you out.
Google (and other search engines) praise authoritative websites. If you have very little content on your website, it may not be enough for them to consider you an expert in your field. So, how many words should I have on each page of my website? As each page will have different amounts of code and be on different areas of your business, this answer isn’t set in stone. However, as general rule, we recommend at least 300 to 500 words, at a minimum. This is per page, not across your whole website.
Before you even touch your keyboard, you need to think about a keyword for each page of your website. A keyword tells the search engine what to they can expect to learn about on that page, and what you think people would be searching for to lead them to your website. In saying this, a keyword can be a phrase, not just one word. When choosing a keyword, use tools such as Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner.
Once you have your keyword, you need to base the title of your page and mention the word (or phrase) in your content an appropriate amount of times. Again, this depends on the type of page and amount of copy.
Avoid Black-hat Tactics
You want to avoid black-hat SEO (aggressive strategies that violate a search engine’s policies) at all costs. Black-hat tactics include keyword stuffing (the overuse of keywords), duplicate content, linking to low-quality websites, and more.
Say No to Duplicate Content
As mentioned, you do not want to have duplicate content on your website. This includes copying content from other websites and repeating yourself throughout your own website content. If you do need to quote someone else’s content, also reference them or hyperlink the particular phrase to the website it came from.
Have Your Website Audited
These are just four things you need to consider for your website content’s search engine optimisation. A complete digital service (such as Localsearch) will perform an SEO audit for you before handing over your website. However, if you’re considering building your entire website yourself, we recommend having an SEO specialist provide an audit for you, and possibly run a campaign, if needed.
Writing for Users
User experience—it’s a big deal. Your website has around 10 to 30 seconds to engage a user enough to stay and continue reading or browsing. If the design is clunky, the words aren’t engaging, pages not clear to navigate or the headings not well thought-out, they’re gone. Here’s how to write website content for a better user experience.
Write for Your Audience
The person is on your website because they need help, and they’re deciding if you can provide it. Remember, you’re the expert. Avoid industry terms. Keep it clear. Have someone who has no idea about what you do read your content, and if they nod along with it, they get it. If not, you may want to head back to the writing board.
Start with Why
Hands up if you’ve ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street. Remember the scene where Jordan Belfort asks his friend to sell him a pen, and the man takes the pen and asks Belfort to write down his name? Belfort replies, “But I don’t have a pen.” His friend exclaims, “Exactly. Supply and demand, my friend.” He created a reason to buy the pen off him. This is what your website content should do.
While it’s good to talk about your business, products and services, start with setting up why the person needs what you’re selling. Maybe they don’t need it. They want it. Treat yourself! Good content tells someone what you do. Great content sells your story.
Get a Proofer
Sure, you may know the difference between their, there and they’re. But do you know how compliment is different to complement? How about when to use a hyphen, m-rule or n-rule? English is a pretty complex language, and not only will a few spelling and grammar mistakes deter customers, it’s not great for your SEO either.
Have a professional copywriter cast their eye over your content. They can even advise you of where to improve your website copy for SEO, if they’re cross-skilled, such as our at Localsearch.
Using a Website Content Writer is Not Giving Up Control
Writing content that sells itself takes time. Let’s face it; as a business owner, you have enough to do. A good content writer will thoroughly learn about your business, research your keywords, assess your target audience and competitors, and write compelling content with every word chosen to entice your ideal customer. It will pass through proofing and SEO audits before it even comes back to you for approval. And yes, at Localsearch, we do have you approve the content before it goes on your website. After all, it’s your business—we’re just here to help you grow online.