Your website copy has a lot to accomplish. It needs to explain your purpose or goals, keep the reader interested and wanting to know more, represent your brand and values, boost your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERP) and most likely also convince someone to purchase a product or service.
In order to accomplish all of these goals — and probably a few more — there’s really only one thing you need: GOOD content. But of course, this begs the question: What makes good content?
Many factors will determine how effective or interesting a piece of content is. For this post, I’m going to hit on five of the big ones.
Copy that’s littered with grammatical mistakes and factual errors is detrimental for many reasons, including that it:
- Sheds a negative light on you/your company
- Makes you/your company seem less educated/reputable
- Decreases the faith users have in you/your company
- Increases bounce rates, as most readers will typically leave a site with too many errors
- Can potentially result in lawsuits, customer confusion and complaints or other difficult situations depending on the severity of the error
Accuracy is number one on this list for a reason. No matter how insightful or “good” your content is, one error that’s bad enough can cause you to lose site visitors very quickly.
Whenever you can, use numbered lists, bullet points and subheads to break up your website copy. No one wants to read something that looks like an encyclopedia filled with blocky paragraphs and long sentences.
The human eye naturally scans a website for readability before the user will even start reading the actual words. So, keep your copy as scannable as possible. Bold key phrases and ideas to satisfy scanning eyes and serve as little checkpoints throughout a post. Use the page’s most impactful, attention-grabbing snippets as subheads, pull quotes or even graphics.
Don’t give readers the option to click away!
“Use the page’s most impactful, attention-grabbing snippets as subheads, pull quotes or even graphics. Don’t give readers the option to click away!”– Too soon? Never.
Organization also involves the order in which you present information. Think about the best way to set up a blog post, website page or other content so someone who has never been to another page on your website can understand it. While this rule does have its exceptions, it’s almost always safer to provide more background information than less.
If your web copy reads like a textbook — or like every other one of your competitors’ websites — you will have a more difficult time connecting with readers. Your content should include some brand “flavor”, as well as use the appropriate tone for your audience and their buyer personas, which I’ll dive more into in a future post.
To figure out the kind of style/tone you should adopt, ask yourself what’s unique about you and your company. Also, ask yourself what your audience needs from your content. Is it information? Support? A good laugh? Whatever it is, try to give your readers what they came to your site to get.
While your web copy should absolutely include keywords to boost SEO, it shouldn’t be a page full of a bunch of keywords. In reality, keyword-stuffed pages will actually do more damage than good, as today’s readers will find them difficult to digest and potentially scammy.
The good news is that Google is getting better at finding smooth keyword insertions and ranking sites higher for better readability. Your copy no longer has to include key phrases exactly as users search for them.
As an example, let’s say you’re targeting the keyword phrase “is renters insurance worth it.”
Instead of saying:
“If you’re wondering, “‘Is renters insurance worth it?’, then contact us to learn more about its benefits.”
… you could say something like:
“To learn more about why renters insurance is worth it, contact us today!”
See how that rewrite was a little easier to digest?
Since Google now knows that copywriters must often rearrange keyword insertions to make them sound more natural for readers, your site will still rank for keywords even if you use a variation of them.
On top of this, Google’s crawlers — the bots that scan websites to determine SEO rankings and more — can now tell when your website is full of errors and confusing writing. By reading a sentence both forward and backward simultaneously, they can even tell if your copy is full of words that are unneeded to get your point across — aka, stuffed keywords, or just extra words used to boost a page’s word count.
So, simply having well-written content on your website will also improve its readability and therefore its SEO performance.
5. User Intent
Last and certainly not least — in fact, it’s quite possibly the most important — is user intent. What are users looking for when they land on this particular page? Think about what they’re searching that causes Google to suggest your website to them. Then, answer those questions as clearly and concisely as you possible can.
You can take this a step further by then predicting your site visitors’ next questions and presenting them with a clear solution to what most people wonder after reading a web page: “What now?”
Always Include a Call to Action
In most cases, you can answer that question with a call to action. This could be to sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your blog, download an e-book, request more information about your services, make a purchase — you get the idea.
So, since most of you are probably onto me already, I’ll keep this short and sweet…
Subscribe to my blog below! Request more information about my services! Let’s give your site visitors that little push they need to start working their way through your sales funnel. Shoot me a message today.