Writing for the web requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. It is not just about writing content that appeals to your target audience, but also making sure it is optimised for search engines and is easy to read on different devices. In this guide, we will cover the best practices and tips on how to write engaging web content.
Tip #1: Define your Purpose
One of the most important things to do before you start writing is to define your purpose. What are you hoping to achieve? What is the end goal? Are you selling a product or service, or trying to drive traffic to your website? Do you want new subscribers or to build a following? Knowing your purpose will help you craft more compelling content and a clear call-to-action.
Every time you write for the web, you need to think about your audience. Who are they? What do you want them to know? What will they get out of it? What problem are you trying to solve? Keeping your audience in mind will help you craft a more compelling message that hopefully encourages them to take action.
Tip #3: Be Clear
Good writing creates a good user experience, so keep your copy simple. The average internet user reads at a 7th to 8th grade level. Using simple language makes your message easier to understand. Use shorter sentences. Limit the amount of jargon and professional terminology (unless it is important to your audience).
Tip #4: Make it Scannable
Studies have found that 79% of internet users scan content. A reader should be able to quickly scan your website or article and understand the context. To make it easy, use headers, bulleted or numbered lists, and subheadings with white space between paragraphs.
Tip #5: Edit and Proofread
The first draft is not the final draft, so make sure you edit and proofread your content several times. In the past, printing your work and going through it with a red pen was common practice. Editing in this way is not always practical so a good tip is to read it out aloud. This will help you catch any strange spellings that have slipped thorough the spell checker (see what I did there).
Tip #6: Use Visuals
According to research, people only remember 20% of what they read, but remember 80% of what they see. If you add infographics or images to your content, it will not only grab people’s attention but also help them absorb the information.
Tip #7: Optimise for Search Engines
It is essential that you optimise your content for search engines. It is important to include keywords in titles, subheadings, and meta descriptions. Your aim is to have a 1-2% keyword density, so don’t stuff your content with keywords as it can be penalised by search engines.
Tip #8: Always use a Call-to-Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is the most important part of your website copy. You will have a difficult time converting website visitors into clients, buyers, or subscribers without a clear call-to-action. Your CTA should be a single and easy step that the reader can take immediately.
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