Whether you are updating your own website content, or you are working with a marketing firm that is, it’s important to know how to create compelling content that achieves what it is intended to achieve. To start, you should avoid some of the common mistakes that even the most experienced professionals make when writing content for the web:
Mistake #1: You don’t consider your audience
Have you ever landed on a website and thought, this just isn’t for me? If so, one of two things has happened: (1) you landed on a website that really isn’t for you, or (2) you landed on a website that is for you, but the content writers didn’t consider their audience. You’ll be able to spot a website like this based on the following:
– Uses a lot of jargon that no one outside of the industry understands
– Has long, complex sentences and paragraphs that no one has time to read
– Reflects the opinions, likes, and desires of the business, not its audience
HubSpot challenges writers to do as much research as possible before putting their first word on a page. By researching your audience, and keeping them in mind in everything you write, you will have a much better chance of making a meaningful connection and motivating them to take a desired action.
Mistake #2: You overuse various font styles
While we agree that your website content should be a work of art, that doesn’t mean it should be overly stylized. As a content writer, you should avoid:
– Hard to read fonts (like those with curly-cues and squiggles)
– Excessive use of bold and italics
– Hard to read colors (like red on a green background)
– ALL CAPS
– Tiny text
Use this test: if you squint your eyes and can no longer read your content at arms-length, you need to reevaluate your style choices.
Mistake #3: You don’t chunk your content
On average, users read less than 28% of the website content on a page. This means you have a limited opportunity to make an impact with your message. Chunking content is critical in effective writing for websites. The best way to organize your content is to create an outline before you begin, so your content has a logical flow while being organized and compelling. Leave space in your outline for keywords, content type (call-to-actions, forms, transitions, etc.), and visual content including videos, photos, and graphics.
Mistake #4: You don’t use hierarchy
Once you have created an outline, write your content in short concise statements. The deliberate use of white space around your text will also draw the reader’s eye to the text you want them to read. Make sure there is effective hierarchy in your content; there should be content elements that draw attention first, second, third, and so on. Using headlines, sub-headlines, and paragraph text is a great way to establish hierarchy. Utilizing a consistent theme can also help make content easy to digest.
Mistake #5: You try to make too many points
Finally, don’t try to make too many points in each sentence/paragraph. Your sentences should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, and your paragraphs should only be 1-3 sentences long. Get in the habit of self-editing: write your content as a “stream of consciousness” first to get your ideas onto paper, and then work on eliminating unnecessary words. Your end result will be clear, concise, and impactful website content that your audience will actually read and enjoy.
Better content keeps users happy, so they convert
Avoiding these mistakes in your website content can significantly improve the user experience (UX) for your current and potential customers. When users have an easier time digesting your content, and you make them feel like you are speaking their language, they are more likely to trust you and eventually become a lead.
If you’re ready to give yourself a competitive edge while increasing traffic to your website and converting more leads, Millennium can help. Call or email to connect with us at 877-873-7445 ext. 201 or Lfanaras@mill-im.com.