Writing for the Web
Online Marketing is an essential part of any professional business today. Without a company website your business simply doesn't exist in the world of the internet. The alarming thing is that this can also be true for websites that are poorly constructed and use weak content. It's important to understand that internet users are demanding. They know what they like and dislike. If your website doesn't meet their standards then they will simply find a website that does.
You also have to impress the search engines. It's up to you to make sure you stand out from the crowd, in particular, your competitors. 'Standing out' is not possible using design alone. It doesn't matter how many crazy colours or state-of-the-art graphics you use. It's all wasted if you don't have quality website content. Poor content simply can't hide behind a great design.
Site Visitors Want Content & Style
Over the years, internet users have been programmed to be impatient. They are demanding and will judge your company in a matter of seconds. It's a cruel cyber world out there, but there are ways to win the heart of your website's visitor. It's all about what you write and the way you write it.
You need to allow your site visitor to get to know you. Introduce your company and provide details about your products and services. They want to know who you are before they consider doing business with you. But remember, there's a fine line. Don't overload the visitor with information. Internet users don't like to read too much. Content should be kept to an absolute minimum. Keep it simple and only include information that has a definite purpose. Unfortunately the hard work doesn't end there!
They want to know who you are before they think of doing business with you
In this limited text you also have to communicate your company's personality. It's human side. The two things the visitor has to decide are first, if you provide what they are looking for, and second, do they like you. If they like you, they can trust you and this is a great start to a business relationship. You can achieve this by using a writing style that suits your company. This could include using humor or maybe even writing in a narrative format. A story about how you came up with your company name might just do the trick!
An overall air of professionalism should flow from your website. Mistakes in spelling and grammar are unacceptable. It will undo all your hard work, as it will immediately suggest that your company is far from professional. Time and care must be taken to ensure this doesn't happen.
Keep the text to a minimum and use subheadings, short sentences, bullet points and small paragraphs
Remember, the site visitor is reading from a screen. This isn't always easy so your reader will appreciate whatever you can do to help. Keep the text to a minimum and use subheadings, short sentences, bullet points and small paragraphs to break the content down visually. This will encourage the visitor to read all about your business rather than just skimming through. Bolding key words and use of coloured text will also help to effortlessly guide the reader through the content. Just don't go too extreme on the colour – this would be distracting and I don't think your web designer would be too pleased!
Endless scrolling is another element that is definitely not going to earn you any points with your viewers. It immediately indicates that there's too much text on the site and the visitor will lose interest in a matter of seconds.
It's Not Just About the Customers
Web content isn't just about keeping your potential customers happy. You have to think about what the search engines want from you too. Like internet users, search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing are also demanding. If you don't impress them, there'll be very few potential customers directed to your site. Search engines such as Google don't give good ranking to a website unless they truly deserve it.
I did warn you, it's a demanding online world out there!
How to Keep the Search Engines Happy
You can be in control of your site traffic
Search engines control where your website is placed in terms of ranking. They have the power to decide how much traffic they will direct to your site. But if you invest time and energy into the development and management of your web content, then you can gain control of your site traffic. Search engines use over 200 criteria to decide on your site's ranking. To make it even more difficult to impress the search engines, this exact criteria is top secret. However, we do know that many of them relate to site content.
Google, one of the worlds most popular and successful search engines, informs us that good content is vital.
Our technology analyses the full content of a page and factors in fonts, sub divisions and the precise location of each word. We also analyze the content of neighboring pages to ensure the results returned are the most relevant to the user's query. - Google (http://www.google.ie/intl/en/corporate/tech.html)
Knowing this makes web content even more important. It reassures us that it's worth the effort. Good quality content will be rewarded.
Search engines also reward correct use of keywords. These words are usually the main words that a search engine user would enter to find your website. They describe your company. If your content is keyword rich, the search engine will reward this by improving your ranking. But remember, don't use keywords in the content unless they have a purpose. Google are smart. They will see through any tricks and your rankings will suffer as a result. It will also down-grade your web content and frustrate your readers.
It Will Be Worth it in the End
Writing website content is no straightforward mission. The writer needs to keep text to a minimum while attempting to be informative, professional and have a likable personality. To add to the challenge, they also have to meet the demands of the search engines using formatting styles and keywords.
But all this effort will pay off. It can lead to improved rankings and in turn, increased site traffic. This site traffic will be rich in potential customers who will be so impressed with the manageable, informative and insightful content on your website that sales will simply skyrocket!