10 Tips for Writing High-Quality Website Content
Not a natural writer? Then the thought of creating content for your website might be daunting. There are so many things to think about: who you’re writing for, what you want to say about your products or services, what your goals are, what style and tone to use… The list goes on (and the headaches mount).
But by following some proven tips and guidelines (and giving it a bit of practice), you’ll be able to create reasonably good content on your own. To help you understand what goes into good copy and to take a little pressure off while you’re writing, here are 10 tips for writing high-quality website content.
1. Know Your Audience
In addition to your products, the most important thing to understand before you start writing is your audience. How old are they? What are their interests and hobbies? What do they do for a living and how much money do they make? Knowing these details (and more) will help you achieve a couple things. You’ll be able to tailor your copy just for the people you want to sell to, and you’ll be able to successfully promote your content once it’s up on your website.
2. What’s in It for Me?
But the most important things to know about your audience are their pain points — what their problem are and what they hope someone or something can solve for them. It’s where you connect with potential customers and gain their attention and trust.
3. Promote Your Product’s Benefits
Presumably, your product or service solves a problem or need that your audience has. Therefore, your product presents a real value to them. When you’re describing your product, remember this. So instead of just bombarding people with a string of features (“faster, newer, lighter”), present them with benefits that can improve their lives.
4. Focus on “You” not “We”
Again, forget about telling your audience about how great you and your products are. Instead, talk about the things your audience cares about, like their concerns and real-life problems. If you can demonstrate that you understand them, you’ll gain their trust.
5. Uncover Your Competitors’ Weaknesses
Unless you’ve created a whole new product category, you probably have competitors. If you don’t already know your niche and your unique selling proposition, you’ll also want to research your competitors and know their weakness in comparison to your strengths. You don’t necessarily have to mention the competition, but you should assume that your audience knows about their product offerings.
6. Decide on a Format
Whether you’re writing an explainer, a listicle, an interview, a long-form piece, a newsy item or an evergreen blog post, make sure you understand the format you’re writing. This will help save yourself from writing a lot of vague copy that gets chopped when you finally realize what you’re writing.
7. Skip the Technical Information
You might be tempted to drill down into all of the technical data that might satisfy the inquiring minds of developers or engineers. Instead, concentrate on the benefits, applications and possibilities that your product has that your audience actually cares about. Do that and you’ll hold their interest until the end of your article.
8. Stay on the Safe Side
We’ve all read bad copy that’s overly salesy and makes claims that can’t be backed up or promises that can’t be kept. Don’t make that mistake. You might get better results for a moment, but two things are almost certain to happen. First, your audience will see through the charade. And second, you’ll set up them for disappointment when they inevitably realize that what you’ve promised doesn’t match what they’ve received.
9. Include a Call to Action
When you get to the end of your piece, don’t just leave your readers to go about their day. Instead, suggest they read other content that might interest them, sign up for a newsletter, download a free ebook or take an introductory seminar, for example. That’s why you’re writing content in the first place, right?
10. Proofread Your Copy
Nothing says unprofessional like typo-filled copy. When you’re done writing and editing, proofread your content and then proofread it again. Read it backwards and forward. Check the facts, look for typos, inspect your grammar and make sure you've expressed everything you wanted to say in the best possible way.
Summing it All Up
When you take a methodical approach, writing content is much less daunting and the results are generally much better. Start by researching your audience, understanding your product’s benefits, setting goals and having a clear idea about the format you’re going to use. This will make it that much easier to come up with a killer intro and a decent first draft. Then with a solid rough draft under your belt, it’s not difficult to edit it into high-quality content. Once you proofread it a couple times, it will be perfect.
Of course, if that sounds easier said than done, we’re here to help. Reach out to the content team here at Mediaplanet and we’ll be happy to create content that helps you reach your marketing goals.