It’s a well-known fact that people read very differently on a website compared to how they read printed material. Fine tuning your web copy and defining your online content strategy so it meets your users’ needs can be tricky, but it can also make the difference between an amazing website and one which confuses and frustrates.
To help you along the way – here are my top tips for nailing online content:
1. Understand HOW people read online
When people read a book, they read every word, from cover to cover. When reading on the web they scan and skim content so they can work out if it’s of any use to them – quickly. Once you understand HOW people read online, you can style your copy so it’s presented in a useful way.
2. Make your copy easy to scan and skim
- Write using the inverted pyramid style with the most important information at the top, the least at the bottom
- Use bullets and numbered lists
- Include summaries
- Get straight to the point
3. Know your user
Do you know who you are targeting and what their needs are? Building a profile of your different user groups will help you focus your content so that it’s relevant and focuses on their needs. This is a good way to avoid the common problem of web copy that is written for you and your organisation, rather than your users.
4. Test, test, test
Test new webpages and content on yourself (Imagine you’re the user). Then test it on groups of users and find out what works / what doesn’t work, refine your content, make adjustments and then test again. Keep testing until you have a solution that works. Testing is key to content success.
5. Help Google help you
When you’re devising your online content strategy make sure your website is easy to navigate, link to articles on your own website (and other websites that would be of help to your users) and do keyword research. Conducting keyword research will give you a better understanding of what keywords people type into a search engine to find your content. If your content is sprinkled with these keywords and phrases – it’ll be easier for people to find (and you’re more likely to get into Google’s good books with better organic search rankings).
6. Lavish your users with expertise
Knowledge is power, the more knowledge we acquire the more powerful we feel and the same applies to your website. By lavishing your users with your expertise you are building credibility and establishing yourself as a thought leader on your topic of choice. Drip feed information and encourage your users to delve further into your site to find out more.
If you are keen to find out more and want to become a web writing and content strategist extraordinaire then the Webcredible Training Academy has two courses that could be right up your street. Our online content strategy and web writing courses run one after the other at Webcredible HQ in London. If you book a place on one of these courses running in September you’ll get 30% of the course fee – making it an ideal time to get the skills you need to become the king of content. Use the code “SEPT30″ when booking.