Creating Great Web Content

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A great website evokes emotion in the viewer - joy, surprise, anger.  But evoking emotions is not the only thing you need to make your web content your marketing tool.  So let's take a brief look at the other things you need to consider.

Set a Goal

What is the end result of what you want your web content to accomplish.  When someone hits your landing page, what are you showing them that intrigues them enough to stick around?  Is your content designed to educate, entertain or persuade them to try your product or service?  Know what you are trying to achieve and then it easy for them to find how to interact with you.

Provide Value

One of the best ways to come up with some ideas for your web content is to simply answer the most common questions your customers might have.  If you were a roofing company, you might produce content such as "How often should I get my roof inspected?", "5 signs your roof needs replacing" or How to save money on a new roof."  Interactive activities such as quizzes, checklists, or questions/answer lists are great ways to provide useful information, but keep your prospective customers on your site longer.

Grab Their Attention

Make sure you use headlines, subheads and captions throughout your web content. This shows what the content is about and what benefits your viewers will get out of reading it.  Sprinkle in images and other design elements to attract their attention, also.  People often respond better to graphics than text.

Use Your Keywords

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential when trying to attract customers online.  Use the keywords you want to be found in the search engines, but don't get crazy with them. Using a keyword too often can actually cause the search engines to penalize you. You can find keywords using the Google Keyword Planner or the Bing Keyword Research Tool.  Be sure to use your keywords in your body, headlines, subheads, meta descriptions and tags.

Small Businesses should focus on long-tail keywords (meaning three or more words that are specific to what people might be searching for on your site).  These usually have less competition online.  You can get tips on how to find SEO keywords from score.org or read Google's SEO Starter Guide.

Keeping it Simple

In our fast paced world, people don't have time to read long, drawn-out web content.  So make it succinct and easy to read by using short paragraphs, with lots of subheads, and bulleted or numbered lists. - Which also makes it easier to read on a phone.) 

Keep your web content at or below a sixth-grade reading level and you will get your message across to a wider audience.  A free online tool you can use to check your writing's grade level can be found at Hemingway Editor.

Building Your Brand

The tone of your content should match the type of business that you have.  For instance, a fun, informal brand like a dog-sitting service needs to sound different than a serious brand such as a law firm.  Your overriding goal should be to make sure that your web content is consistent across your web site.

Encourage Action

The goal of your website is to get people to do business with you, so every piece of content should give them a reason to do so by including a call to action.  Offer a free ebook for for signing up to your newsletter.   Or, in the case of our roofer, you could add to the end of your blog post something like "Get a free roof inspection! Call xxx-xx-xxxx to schedule your appointment by October 31st and receive our 12-point inspection ($99 value) for free".  You could also motivate your readers to take actions such as going green or something that would help them achieve a goal that is aligned with your business.

Website Scalability

Mobile phones now account for almost half of the time that people spend online, so make sure your website is mobile friendly.  Using a mobile-first design when creating your site will make sure that it is easily readable on any device.  And people have become very impatient, so make sure your site is optimized for speed.

Link Your Site to the World

Make sure that you link back to your site on social media in a in your email marketing.  Add your link to your email signature and always include your URL to all of your printed marketing materials.  Be sure to include share buttons on your content so your readers can easily pin, post and share it with their friends.