Writing online can be tough. Most people who try their hand at it fail, and many more barely scrape by. You may be thinking, so what’s the fuss all about with writing website content and why is this different from traditional writing. Statistically speaking, only about 16% of all the people who visit a website will ever read through a single article. So for every 100 people who see the content, about 16 will actually engage with it. The rest will skim for a paragraph or two and leave. This isn’t a web exclusive problem either. Most people just don’t read much. Roughly 90% of people never finish reading books, blog posts, or articles. This website content guide will help you create content that people will want to read.
In addition to this, only about 2-5% of the average site’s visitors will ever do any sort of business with the owner of the website. This could be ordering a product, hiring someone for a service, or purchasing something through an affiliate link.
These statistics may sound scary. You’re probably wondering how anyone can ever run a successful website if so few visitors ever buy anything or even read the content.
The key is to not be average. Create engaging content that attracts the right people to your site. By doing so, your website will get visited by people who want to read what you’ve written and are more than happy to do business with you. This guide to creating content for websites will teach you how to do all of these things.
How to Create Content That Gets Read
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Not everything that gets written gets read. A large number of blog posts, articles, and even books go unnoticed. When content is ignored, it’s usually due to the fact that the writer failed to engage potential readers. Something about their work didn’t seem exciting or interesting enough for people to want to read it.
If you want to get noticed, you have to relate to your readers and put their needs first.
1) Write Like You Speak
Many people make the mistake of trying to show off in their writing. They use fancy words, confusing language, and flowery descriptions. This leaves readers scratching their heads and wondering what is going on.
Keep it simple. Write your content like you’re having a conversation with friends. You wouldn’t try to befuddle your friends, so why do it to readers?
Writing in a casual and conversational style will help to immerse readers in your content. They’ll read more, and buy more, simply because they can relate to your tone.
Nobody likes to be talked down too. Smug writers who try to belittle their readers always alienate their audience. And writers who are too formal bore everyone to tears. By creating content that’s conversational and casual feeling, you can get your point across without confusing or boring your audience.
2) Make it About The Reader
Writing content should almost always involve the reader, except for special circumstances. Think of the last time you were around someone who could only talk about themselves. Did you enjoy listening to this person? Now think about someone who asked you questions about yourself and seemed generally interested in you. You probably liked spending time with them.
People only do things if they think that they can benefit somehow. If you want to grab someone’s attention, tell them what you can do to help them.
This may sound like simple advice, but it’s something most writers fail to do. The majority of written content is focused squarely around the writer and doesn’t even acknowledge the reader’s existence. How could anybody get engaged with what you are writing, if they don’t feel included?
3) Use The Word “You” More
An easy way to let people know that you care about them is to write “you” more often. This simple word can have a big impact on how people respond to your web content. It can often be the difference between a dud article and a smash hit.
Let’s take a look at how adding “you” to an article’s headline can change the entire tone:
- “How I Became Awesome” versus “How You Can Become Awesome.”
- “Best Weight Loss Programs” versus “ Best Weight Loss Programs For You”
- “Buying A Helicopter” versus “Why You Should Buy A Helicopter”
Articles that initially sounded boring, like “Best Weight Loss Programs,” suddenly become exciting and relevant once you add “you.” And articles that might have sounded self-centered, like “How I Became Awesome,” sound more useful and relatable once you replace “I” with “you.”
You should also replace neutral and boring words like “individual” or “person” with “you” whenever possible. This way people feel like you are talking to them and not some invisible third-party.
Building Trust With Your Readers
People will do business with brands they trust. While there are plenty of books on sales and marketing, being honest is often all that’s needed to get new customers. If people think that you are a good and ethical person, they will be interested in what you have to say.
Making your content into a trustworthy source of quality information will help you build up an audience, sell more products, and get people to hire you for your services.
1) Show and Tell
When you make a bold claim, back your words up with proof. The easiest way to do this is to take a picture of what you are talking about and then add it to your content. Showing the reader visual proof is a great way to build trust and reassure your audience that you are telling the truth.
Diet and exercise programs do well when they include before and after pictures. People can see the results that others have achieved and, on a subconscious level, it tells them that the program must work. You can use imagery for any type of content. A construction company can show pictures of houses that they have built. Or someone selling a financial course can show readers an image of their bank statement.
If you want to build trust, add visual proof that can backup your written claims.
2) Remember Your Reputation
The famous investor Warren Buffett has a quote that goes like this: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Keep this in mind whenever you write anything.
Being honest might not sound like “exciting” advice, but it will help you grow your brand. Most readers can tell the difference between fact and fiction. If you lose their trust, you will have an incredibly difficult time getting them to return.
Build a reputation for yourself. Don’t do anything that would make your readers question whether or not you are an honest and ethical person.
3) Include Testimonials
Try to add testimonials to your website if possible. Testimonials are positive things that others have had to say about your business, and they can help build trust in new readers. Having these on your site can convince visitors that are capable of helping them. It also makes readers more likely to do business with you.
A good testimonial is like a good product review. If you had to choose between buying an item with a five star review or an item with no reviews, you’d probably pick the one with the glowing recommendation.
People visiting your site will see these testimonials and know that you’ve helped others to solve their problems. This can help to make your information seem more credible, or at least keep new readers intrigued long enough to read some of your content and form their own opinion.
If someone has said something nice about you, your company, or your product, use it as a testimonial and put it on your website.
How to Rank Well in Search Engines
A lot of people put too much emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO). There are thousands of books and blogs dedicated to the subject. While some of these are good, many of them are bogged down in technical details that will confuse all but the most experienced of webmasters.
To write articles that rank well you need to produce great content that people want to read.
1) Keep Readers on The Page
Your goal with website content creation should almost always be to keep the reader on the page. One of the major ranking factors that search engines like Google and Bing use to determine a web page’s SEO rank is the amount of time readers spend on the site. More time leads to a better rank. Less time and your rank gets worse.
By writing interesting content that people want to read, visitors will naturally stay on your site for longer. Additionally, many of the people visiting your site will want to read more.
Try to find ways that you can naturally link articles and web pages together. This helps people to find more of your amazing content and it also keeps them on your site longer. Google will notice that readers are sticking around and you’ll get a big bump in your search engine rankings.
2) Use Pictures and Videos
Visual aids are another great tool for improving your SEO score and website content. By including pictures and videos people will stay on your page longer and search engines will reward your site with a higher ranking. In addition to this, there are several other advantages for including images in your posts.
Google, Bing, and other search engines, index and rank images separately. This gives you an added chance of having someone find your content. It’s like having two opportunities to be discovered from just one piece of content.
Videos, especially ones that you have created yourself, can have an enormous impact on your SEO score. Shooting a video, uploading it to YouTube, and linking it back to your blog will give you a huge boost in your rankings. Like images, all the major search engines will index videos separately as well. You’ll get more opportunities for extra traffic just by including a brief video clip.
3) Include Relevant Keywords in Your Content
Search engines search articles for certain words or phrases. They then display their findings when someone searches for something similar. If you know what terms people are searching for, you can include them in your content.
Keywords are a big deal and finding the right terms can be like hitting gold. Traffic will surge, people will buy more, and your site will prosper like never before.
To figure out what keywords you should use, think about what people might search for when they want to find a website like yours. Additionally, you can use tools like Google Trends and Google Adwords to help you find popular search terms.
Make a list of potential keywords and then try to incorporate them into your writing. This will help your content rank better and increase the number of visitors that you get through sites like Google.
With that said, don’t overdo it. If you are selling bananas, don’t write, “We have the best bananas, cheap bananas, yellow bananas…” just because you think it will improve your rankings. Search engines are not dumb; they can tell when you are trying to outsmart them and when you do this, they will punish you. Additionally, your unnatural sounding content will turn off readers.
Wrapping it Up
The conclusion is one of the most important sections in your content. It has the power to make or break everything else you have written. A strong conclusion can get people pumped up and excited to do business with you, share your articles, or buy a product. Bad conclusions, on the other hand, can be a real letdown.
Luckily, there are some things that you can do to make your closing statements memorable and impactful.
1) Recap Everything in Your Conclusion
A lot of readers do not finish articles in one sitting. They will start to read something only to get distracted and put it down for later. Because of this, they don’t always remember every detail of what you had written.
Additionally, if you’re making a lot of points or providing great information, many people won’t be able to remember all of the things you have told them. They’ll read your content, but forgot certain key points.
Because people struggle to remember everything that they have read, you want to briefly restate everything that you have already written about. This way, readers can get a quick summary that jolts their brain and makes them remember why your content was so important in the first place.
2) Include a Call To Action
All of your content should have a specific goal to it. Whether you are raising awareness about something, selling a product, or trying to convince people to do business with you, there should be a clear objective.
At the end of each article and webpage, you should include a call to action. This is a very specific request that gets the reader to do something. Your call could be as simple as asking visitors to like you on Facebook or share your article on Twitter.
When writing a call to action, make it as simple and straightforward as possible. The reader should know exactly what you want them to do. If you are selling a product, write “Click Here To Buy.” If you want visitors to hire you, make your call to action read “Click Here To Message Me About Job Opportunities.”
Your call to action does not have to be confusing. It doesn’t even have to be very lengthy. In as little as one sentence you can often get your point across and tell the reader what you would like them to do.
While writing something like “Click Here To Buy” may sound a little weird, it is effective. Readers have already worked their way through your entire article so they should be aware of what you have to offer and how it can help them. By the time they reach your call to action, visitors just want to know how they can act on whatever it is you’re offering them.
Closing Thoughts on This Website Content Guide
Creating web content can be tough, there’s no denying that. Most sites and businesses fail to create engaging content and they suffer because of it. They draw in very few readers and the people who do visit rarely stick around.
When you want to succeed you have to go above and beyond what others are doing. You need great content that gets people excited to read it.
In order to make your website great, you need to write in a conversational tone, put emphasis on the reader and their needs. Remember to stay true to your word and build trust with your audience. You should also keep readers engaged by using pictures and videos in your posts. These visual aids will also help you to rank well in Google and other search engines. Lastly, write a strong conclusion. Summarize the main points of your article so that the information is fresh in people’s minds. And once you have people thinking about why your content was good, issue your call to action.
If you follow these steps and work to help your readers out, your content is going to do well. People will read what you’ve written and they will keep coming back for more. As a result, your website will constantly grow in popularity and profitability.
P.S. You should always try to include a “P.S.” at the end of your content. Most people will scroll to the bottom of the page before ever reading a single word of your actual article. By having a P.S. section you can usually “rope them in” and convince them to go back and read your whole piece.