Tips for Planning Your Website Content
Make an outline
If you were preparing a paper or presentation, you’d likely start with an outline. The same should be done for your website. Write down and organize your presentation so it is clearer to you what you would like to achieve. Your website content can then easily be arranged in to page locations.
Think about Interactivity
What do you want your site visitors to be able to do when the visit your website? Do you want them to be able to contact you? Do you want them to be able to purchase products or services? Is your website going to be resource for your existing customers, a means to find new customers, or both?
Write your content in small blocks
People rarely want to read and read and read when they visit a website. They want to capture bits of information quickly and move on. When writing your content, you should keep your messages in small blocks that can be identified with a caption or headline above. You can always present more detailed information or articles on internal pages for the visitor that wants to read more. Even articles, though, should have headlines and sub headlines. Headlines are very important on a website.
Use Keywords in your content
In addition to writing content that is user-friendly, meaningful, and sale-able, you must also consider how a search engine will view your content. For search engines, content is king. And if content is king, your content should instruct a search engine as to what is important about your business. You will want to include keywords in your text and your headlines. Keywords are target words that a user may enter in to a search engine to search for a product or service. For example, if you were looking for web designer in Annapolis, MD, you would probably type into Google “Annapolis Web Design”. So if you were a website designer that serviced the Annapolis area (like Joslex), you would want to have the words web design and Annapolis in your content somewhere…and preferably closer to the top. (See how we just included Annapolis and Web Design in our content…tricky huh?) You would also want to include as many other terms as possible that relate to your business.
Use objective language
Website readers are naturally skeptical. To build credibility, your website should avoid using superlative language or exaggerated terms. Don’t say, “ABC Plumbing Services is the best plumber on the Eastern Shore!” That’s strictly a subjective statement. Its far better to say ABC Plumbing Services has been serving Eastern Shore customers for 20 years…or something tangible.
Use descriptive language
Rather than saying your new cleaning solution is “new and improved”, tell them why it is so. Tell them it is now more concentrated, safer for the environment, and comes in 3 fresh scents.
People love bulleted lists
Bulleted lists present information quickly. It is said that your website only has 10 seconds to capture someone’s attention. Headlines should capture their attention…bulleted lists and short snippets should lure them in more…detailed articles are for once they are committed to learning more about you or your product.
Know your competition
You should spend some time searching the internet to see what your competition is doing with their web presence. First, it might help you to think of inclusions you may have otherwise neglected. Second, you want to make sure you say things differently. You don’t want to sound like just another company with the same old industry standard rhetoric. Make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Keep it simple
Unless your target audience will know your industry well, avoid using industry jargon. The average person should be able to understand what you are trying to convey.