Rules for Writing Website Content
At Red Sage, when someone comes to us to help them build a new website, they have the option of writing the content themselves. Often, knowing that they possess the most knowledge about their company and industry, the client will choose to move forward on that path, but they often run into a few problems. While the first and foremost problem will probably always be “time,” some customers struggle with writers’ block, making technical work understandable, and more. With that in mind, we have compiled the five rules for writing website content.
People do not read.
Long paragraphs of text? Those are for textbooks. They are not for websites.
Keep your paragraphs short, and try and limit page content to about 300 words. If you do happen to write longer pages, make sure to break up content with bullet points, images, and different headings and subheadings.
Do a little research.
While SEO has certainly changed in the past several years, you still need to know what keywords your existing site (if you have one) is showing up well for, and how you rank compared to your competitors. If you do not have an existing site, it is best to find out what your competitors are using for keywords, and make sure you that you address those items in your content. Do not stuff your content with keywords – but where they naturally fit, you want to use them.
Think like a potential customer.
While you are writing, ask yourself – “Would this information benefit my potential customer? Is it written at a level my potential customer would understand?” If you cannot answer “yes” to both of those questions, scrap it and start again. Really want to make sure you have gotten it right? Ask a potential customer (or existing customer) to read over it and see what they say.
Have someone else edit your work.
Because we tend to read things as we intended them and often miss our own mistakes, this is actually advice you should follow every time you are writing something. Have someone else review your content and make edits. Spell check helps, but it will not catch “through” in place of “though”. For more tips on proofreading, check out this blog post.
Make an actionable plan.
Many people assume that once they have written the content for their blog that they are done. This could not be further from the truth. The search engines reward websites that constantly keep fresh content. Plus, your potential customers may be looking for something specific (like a project, product, or even event!), and if you do not regularly update your site, they won’t be able to find it. We make edits to our website every month to keep content fresh.
If these five rules sound overwhelming, remember: we can help! Our marketing coordinators are specially trained to develop web-friendly content. They will be your partners in gathering content, and will help you capture and relay the core messages your company is looking to deliver.