You only have one opportunity to grab your readers’ attention. Have I grabbed yours?

It may sound simple but actually this is not an easy task. Most readers will only spend a few seconds on a web page and then move on to the next. However, by creating well-written and optimised pages, you will be able to maintain their focus for a lot longer.

Usually, you will need to write content for several web pages, including the Homepage, the About Us page, and the Products and Services pages. Ideally, each page should stand out from the competition, capture your visitors’ attention and increase your market share.

If you would like to create web content that will attract the attention it deserves, read on.

What is web copy?

The web copy is the main body of text on your website that will sell your products and services. You can also use it as a guide throughout your pages and as a way of providing more information about your brand and product offers.

Fundamentally there are three main areas you need to consider:

  1. Your value proposition – VERY important to get this right as it’s the first thing your prospects will read on your website. It needs to be short, descriptive of what you do / how it helps people, and either actionable of followed by some calls-to-action (CTAs).
  2. Page content – describing your services, about your business and so on.
  3. Articles / blogs – informative content (such as this) that can also benefit for your search ranking.

How can you create eye-catching web content?

First of all, you need to write copy that will match the search intent of your target audience. For instance, you can explain how your products and services could potentially provide solutions to their problems. Then, you can tell them how and where to take advantage of your offers.

You can also use your web content to persuade people to take a variety of actions, such as making a purchase or joining your online community.

Here are some tips that will help you write effective web content.

Pre-writing phase

Even before you begin writing your content, there are three important points to bear in mind.

1.   Define the purpose of your web content

Understanding the purpose behind your web content will enable you to write copy that will appeal to your target readers. You can then convert them with your call-to-action (CTA).

You can plan your web copy based on the following common business goals:

  • Selling products and services
  • Building online traffic to increase revenue from ads or sponsorship
  • Attracting new customers and generating leads
  • Obtaining subscribers or building a community

2.   Recognise your target customers

If your primary goal is to sell, you need to identify your buyers. The more you know about your audience, the better your chances of converting them into paying customers. Therefore, when writing the perfect blog for your target market, you need to take account of the following advice:

  • Determine who your visitors are
  • Find out about their problems/challenges
  • Identify and use the search terms these people type into search engines

3.   Take note of your competitors and their content

Remember, your competitors may actually provide you with some valuable marketing insights that could enable you to stand out from the crowd and lead the way in your industry.

You can begin by searching for your main products and services in the search engines. Look at the top-ranking sites and analyse how they attract customers. In particular, you should pay special attention to:

  • The primary products and services they offer
  • The content they use on their main web pages, such as videos and statistics
  • Their target audience

Writing phase

Effective web copy is the product of hard work and excellent writing skills. It is always a good idea to anticipate possible questions from your customers.

Here are some tips that will enable you to attract, engage and convert visitors into customers.

1.   Capture your readers’ interest in the first few lines

Once you have grabbed your readers’ attention, the next challenge is to maintain their interest in your website. This can be achieved by presenting exciting news or by using one-sentence stories and questions.

These types of introductions can make your readers hungry for more information.

2.   Treat your readers like friends

You can create a strong connection between your brand and your visitors by using the following techniques:

  • Active or passive voice – For instance, “You can buy our products” is an active sentence while “Our products can be bought” is passive. The former sounds personal while the latter is more formal. In most sales settings, the active voice is recommended.
  • Use “you” to address your audience. “We” can be used to refer to the company’s viewpoint and “I” is used to express your views.

3.   Avoid technical jargon and write like a layperson

You also need to be conscious of the education level of your readers. For instance, in the US, the average citizen can read at the level of a 7th– or 8th-grade student (year 8 or 9 in middle schools in the UK). Besides using simple language when you write your content, you should also:

  • Make use of short sentences to communicate your messages clearly
  • Use short and sharp sentences with not too many adverbs and adjectives
  • Replace highly technical terms with simpler alternatives (or at least provide links that offer a more in-depth explanation)
  • Provide examples that can help readers visualise your message

4.   Edit your content and remove any spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes

Web content that is free from any errors can help convert potential customers as they will perceive this as a sign of your professionalism.

It is also imperative that your readers can immediately understand your business offers once they have read your content on your website or social media platforms.

You can achieve this by making it easy for them to skim-read your content.

So, how can you make your text scannable? Ideally, your content will include:

  • Headers
  • Bullet points or number lists
  • Subheadings with descriptions
  • White spaces between paragraphs

5.   Use your CTA to encourage readers to act

Once readers have spent some time on your website, it is time to encourage them to act; namely, to purchase your products and services or at least download one of your brochures.

To achieve this goal, you can use call-to-action words such as:

  • Call us
  • Join
  • Learn more
  • Sign up
  • Subscribe
  • Watch

Sometimes, visitors will need to see some proof about the reliability of your offers.

6.   Make sure you incorporate visuals

It is a well-known fact that it is easier to recall things you see and do compared to what you read. For this reason, if you want people to be able to easily remember your brand and product offers, you should include the following visual aids in your content:

  • Infographics
  • Graphs
  • Pictures
  • Videos

You could also incorporate interactive content to make your site more engaging for your audience:

  • Calculators
  • Games
  • Maps
  • Quizzes

Post-writing phase

You may have finished writing the web content, but your work is not over yet! You still need to optimise it for searchability and then update it on a regular basis.

1.   Keep your site updated with fresh content

You need to think of your website as a business card. Use it to make a good first impression on your visitors. Here are some ideas on how to create new content:

  • Update your site pages with new but relevant trends or product details
  • Replace any outdated banners or CTAs
  • Add additional examples, tips or product details to any underperforming copy
  • Add links to your new articles with related topics

2.   Optimise your content to attract the attention of search engines

Besides writing for your target audience, you also need to utilise search engines such as Google to spread your brand message. You can optimise your content by incorporating relevant keywords into your metadata and headings, including the subheadings.

Although keywords are important, you should avoid keyword stuffing as this can have a negative effect on your search engine rankings. According to the experts, a 1–2% keyword density will suffice. Here are the basics of search engine optimisation that you need to remember:

  • Incorporate keywords in the titles and subheadings
  • Never neglect your metadata
  • Make sure your URLs are readable
  • Resize your images to improve the site’s loading time and add alt-tags for the search engines
  • Encourage your visitors to stay longer by adding relevant and useful links

As mentioned above, it is essential that you review and update your content regularly. This will ensure that your web copy remains fresh and relevant to your visitors.

Conclusion

The first lines of your web content will act as a hook to catch your readers’ attention. Once you have piqued their interest, the next step is to use intuitive menus and links to direct them to offers and other pages. Creating fresh content is not an easy task. Nevertheless, there are ways of recycling your old content by converting it into infographics or videos. Even minor updates can improve your engagement and conversion rate. For instance, you could add new information while removing anything that has become obsolete.

Do you need help with your web content? We can help! Get in touch with us and we can schedule a call.