The success of any product or service is based on strategy. Website content is no exception.
As content writers, we have the power to approach our clients’ industries from unique angles otherwise unknown to the average reader. It’s not always easy, but the rewards we reap are well worth the time and care we devote to each and every client.
So, how do you develop quality website content? The process may be a challenge, but the answer is simple:
Write what you want to read.
No, not what you want to write about, not your latest food creation or the best DIY housecleaner. It’s about following a strategy to write intriguing pieces on topics that are less than exciting, pieces you would want to explore.
How will the Content be Distributed?
The voice, tone, and length of a piece all depend on the purpose of the content and how it will be distributed. Blog posts are often distributed across social media, where it’s okay to be casual.
Product descriptions are more formal. They are often designed to appear on the client’s website and in SERPs when people are looking for cold, hard results—not sugarcoated facts.
Email newsletters and promotions can go either way. Although they’re both sent to virtual inboxes, their purposes are far from identical. Newsletters can be formal or informal, but promotional emails are packed with language that gets consumers pumped for special offers like BOGO or $25 off a purchase of $40 or more.
Is Your Content Optimized?
Optimizing your content is one of the best ways to ensure it ranks high in search engine results, helping your clients gain more leads and improving your credibility as a content writer. From tackling title tags to mastering meta data, content optimization is a win for your clients and their target audiences. Content optimization isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. Just check out a few simple tips, and you’re off to a fabulous start.
Is Your Content Compelling?
It’s not just about grabbing the attention of the audience. Your first sentence could be the best intro ever—borderline Pride and Prejudice material—but you can just as easily lose your audience’s attention by droning on like a textbook about metal fabrication. You need to develop content that keeps your readers entertained while still getting your point across.
If you’re a writer, you’re probably a reader, as well. What is it about the words on those pages that you love so much? How can you give your readers this same experience?
Put yourself in the reader’s chair while you’re writing each piece. Creating compelling content requires knowing your target audience and what would pique their interest. Ask yourself (and answer) these questions while you’re creating content for your clients:
- Who is your target audience?
- Why are you writing the piece? What needs are you addressing?
- How can readers satisfy these needs realistically?
- Is the content relevant to your topic?
Here is a handy list of what to include in your online content to keep your audience’s attention:
- Impressive statistics
- Examples your target audience can relate to (personal experiences without getting personal)
- Relevant language (industry jargon; not words to prove your large vocabulary)
Then take a step back and look at the bigger picture—your finished piece. When possible, get a second opinion before submitting it to ensure your readers won’t fall asleep or close the page.
- Does it answer all of the above questions?
- What’s your favorite part?
- Will the content keep the reader’s attention?
Knowing how your content will be distributed and how to appeal to your target audience are both crucial steps to the success of your content. Don’t put your readers to sleep—create content that will keep them on the page, content that will make them want to explore what your client has to offer.