Research shows that web content is often scanned rather than read. Around half of those who click on a web page scroll through the first screen, but no further. Only about 16 percent of users will read an entire online article or webpage, which means that four out of five users aren’t reading at all- just scanning.
Good web content must engage, inspire, inform, and snag the interest of the right users within seconds. But what does it actually take to write for the web? Here are some best practices for writing effective website content.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Exceptional web content requires exceptional planning. First, determine what type of reader response you are hoping to create. Why are you writing? Are you hoping to convert readers into customers? If you are, have a clear idea of what information your users are looking for online, and the problems they are trying to solve. By providing that information or those solutions, you create lasting impressions and gain loyal customers.
Social media has reshaped how we communicate with our users or customers. Offering up formal, dry content (no matter how accurate or informative) will no longer effectively reach readers. Approach your content as if you are directly communicating with your audience. They are, after all, real people, with questions and problems that they are attempting to solve – and you are an authority who can help. Provide answers throughout your content, and emphasize points that will resonate with the user issues you’ve already identified in your buyer personas and customer journeys.
Satisfy Their Purpose
Your website visitors have landed on your content with a purpose in mind. Satisfy that purpose by having the conversation they want. Your company has a unique story and your experience can speak volumes. Be the authority that helps them successfully travel their customer journey – and they will easily convert into a devoted customer!
Demonstrate Your Credibility Online
To ramp up credibility, include firsthand experience and successful results with similar clients or customers. Make your knowledge and expertise clear. But remember, you are guiding the conversation, not engaging in a sales pitch that might ostracize your reader. Honesty goes a long way in appealing to readers, so don’t oversell, exaggerate or make promises you can’t keep. Keep it real, and you’ll get conversions.
Answer the Question
Users search for content by entering specific keywords into a search engine. Provide them with the answers to their search, and they are more likely to convert. Quality, relevant information inspires trust, so do your research, gathering facts and figures only from the most reputable sources.