How do you write kickass content for your website?
Wow, the Internet is a crowded place. You would agree, yeah?
To say the Internet is a crowded space is like saying there are a lot of stars in the sky, sand on the beach, or atoms in a cell. According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1.9 billion websites in existence! There’s more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day! Yowza!!
Holy crap, can you even wrap your head around that number? ?
And.. most readers spend an average of 15 seconds on a website.
While that may sound a bit scary, especially if you are running an online business, it can be empowering.
Good website writing is the key to be visible among a sea of stars.
Let’s make your website stand out!
Use these 5 tips!
1. Know your audience
It sounds simple, but so many writers put pen to paper—or finger to keyboard—before thinking about who it is they’re trying to reach.
Before drafting content, ask yourself these questions:
- Who do I want to attract?
- How will they find my website online? (Hint: SEO targeted to your dream client is crucial)
- What are they searching for in Google or Pinterest?
- What kind of information do they need?
2. Write short, simple sentences
Long sentences are outdated and feel more like you are in school instead of on a website. ? We have short attention spans when it comes to reading content on a website. We want it fast and easy.
Create content that’s accessible and easy to read and that will reach a wider audience.
Grammar note here! Focus on using nouns and verbs; use adverbs and adjectives sparingly. Don’t use words like “equanimity” or “obfuscate” when words like “calm” or “confuse” will do.
FACT: Most adults read at a 6th-9th grade reading level.
Is that hard to believe? It was for me when I first heard it. Think about what you read on a daily basis though. It makes sense to me.
This is especially true when you are reading a website. You don’t want to have to think so much. On the flip side – If you are reading something where your intent is to learn and become more informed, this would more than likely be a higher reading level. But most people I work with are not writing to this audience. You aren’t either, right?
I use the hemingway app to check my readability, sentence structure and more. Check it out! It’s free!
Check how the reading level of your content scores using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level to find out.
3. Get rid of the jargon
This basically means, cut out the words, acronyms and phrases you use within your industry and stick to what’s common. Think about the “technical” terms you use when speaking with someone who does what you do. Would the average person (i.e. your dream client) understand?
If not, what could you say?
- Spell out acronyms on first reference.
- Avoid insider language.
- Explain complex or niche terms.
Remember that you need to write for your audience (see tip #1) and not for your peers. Using accessible language will help you come across as approachable and open.
4. Make text scannable
When was the last time you read an entire page on a website? You can’t think of one, right? Most of your visitors will scan first to see if it is interesting and worth reading more.
If they scan and don’t see the relevance for them, they’re out. You don’t want that!
- Instead of text-heavy paragraphs, use bulleted or numerical lists. Instead of one long page of text, organize content in different ways.
- Always include “white space.” This is the empty space that surrounds paragraphs, images, and other elements on your web page. Though it may seem like this is wasted space, it’s actually a web designer’s best friend. Comfortable amounts of white space around text make it more legible, and more enjoyable to read.
- It’s also important to divide content into sections with descriptive sub-headers.
Sectioning your content also makes it easier for Google to find you. Use one large (H1) heading at the top of each page, use medium (H2) headings to separate your main content, and use small (H3) headings for any minor points.
5. Spread your content out
What does this really mean? It means that everything doesn’t have to be jammed on to one page. I see this often… so much information is on one page. It’s very text heavy and confusing. Spread content out on your website.
The great thing about a website is that it’s easy to direct readers from one page to another using hyperlinks.
This will help keep people engaged with your content and moving through your site. Yay!
I hope these tips were helpful for you. I’d love to hear what was your biggest take away.
Writing content for your website is so different than how we learned to write in school. It’s surely different than what I taught my 3rd/4th graders when I was teaching.
Stay safe. Sending you peace and love.