What is great site content? Content that sells. How do you create content that sells? By following the rules… and by adding a generous sprinkling of style, personality and verve while you’re at it.
The former – the science bit – is relatively straightforward. The latter – the emotional bit – is harder to pin down and advise on. So here’s twenty one relatively straightforward things to bear in mind if you want to create commercially powerful web page content. That is, information that people enjoy reading and search engines can analyse easily.
- Perfect your sales proposition so everything’s in the right order, creating a logical argument.
- Create a keyword rich header that inspires people to read on.
- Split your argument into bite sized chunks, each with a keyword-rich, bold sub-head.
- Tell people what you want them to do. Include a strong call to action on every page, each tailored to the page’s content.
- Write the way you speak – plain English is king!
- Cut out the waffle – create a clean, incisive message for each page.
- Include your key words and phrases in your body copy to the percentage density you’ve decided on.
- Use bullets and other types of lists to pick out important information.
- Use emboldening and italics sparingly or your copy will be a nightmare to read.
- Lay your copy out clearly with plenty of space around it so it’s easy to scan and find stuff.
- Avoid Camel Case – Where Every Word Begins With A Capital – Because It Makes Copy Look Really Jerky And It’s Very Difficult To Read!
- Stick to one or two basic sans serif fonts to keep your content easy on the eye, changing the type size for visual variety. Multiple fancy fonts hurt the eye and interrupt the reading process just enough to put people off.
- Take a professional but approachable tone if you’re selling mass market.
- Tailor your tone accordingly if you’re appealing to a niche market.
- Prioritise the information you include on each page, making sure you’re imparting it for the customer’s benefit rather than just blowing your own trumpet!
- Focus on the benefits rather than the features. You’re not selling a hat. You’re selling a warm head.
- Include your business’s legal status etcetera on your contact page to reassure people and help build credibility; VAT number, Limited Company status, Registered company details and so on.
- Make sure your terms and conditions are in plain English not dense legalese, which can leave you without a legal leg to stand on if disputing customers claim they didn’t understand.
- Avoid jargon unless 100% of your target market understands it perfectly. Call a spade a spade whether you’re selling fridge freezers, cars, computers, food or woolly jumpers.
- Steer clear of selling when you’re supposed to be informing. Your FAQ, for example, is no place to hit readers with a hard sell, nor are your help pages.
- Do unto others… if you’re in doubt about what you’re saying, take a step back. Ask yourself if you’d like to be communicated with that way. Or ask someone who isn’t involved – a fresh head – to check your content in case anything just isn’t quite right.
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