This is the fourth in a series of how-to articles by Vivant on things that matter in branding, marketing and digital presence for businesses. We hope they clear a few things up for you!
This is also something we’ve blogged about before: website text (a.k.a. “content”) doesn’t just materialise out of thin air. It’s an important part of the website development process – and it’s a lot more than just words on a page. With the internet being as smart as it is, the text on your website can make all the difference when it comes to your visibility.
There are many things to consider when it comes to web content. The safest bet is to get a professional to write it for you (remember, Vivant does have an in-house content writer), but if you’re really determined to do it yourself, here are some guidelines.
ENGAGE! Science has looked into it and the verdict is this: your audience decides whether they’re interested in you or not within the first 111 words. That’s not a lot – it’s a medium-length introduction paragraph. So you need to be extraordinarily engaging without being off-putting – it’s a very fine balance. It’s not about explosive first words; it’s about being genuinely interesting enough to set you apart from your competitors.
CONSIDER GOOGLE. It’s a very clever thing. Google’s search algorithms analyse every little bit of a website when it gets archived to be included in search results. General SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) guidelines recommend a minimum of 500 words per page of your website – preferably 700, and if you’re committed, 1,000. So here’s the conundrum: you have to find a way to include a lot of text in a site without becoming boring or bogging your audience down.
ORGANISE. Make sure your information flows. Having facts and information bits all over the place makes text difficult to read. Make the text flow naturally, progress smoothly and guide your reader in a meaningful way. Your audience will appreciate it.
PERFECTION! There is ZERO room for error. Grammar, spelling and sentence structure must be impeccable from the very start. Don’t even dare to put content up on your site if you’re not absolutely certain of its quality. Even if you don’t get a content writer to write it for you, at the very least get it edited by a professional. It will save you a lot of embarrassment in the broad theatre of the internet.
CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE. You’re most likely writing for a very specific target demographic. Think about who you’re writing for – if you’re targeting corporates, don’t be afraid to use business language, but keep it free from over-technical terminology. If you’re running a more casual business or selling something that’s not quite formal, make things playful – but this does not, under any circumstances, mean you can make mistakes (refer to the previous point)! And finally:
READ AND RE-READ. When you’ve finished writing, go back to the beginning and read it again. And again. You’ll pick up on things you missed, think of things you forgot to add and find errors here and there that need cleaning up. You cannot write if you are unwilling to read.
It’s not a straightforward process. Writing for purpose is something that takes professionals years to learn, often requiring very high levels of education. If you’re not comfortable writing or if you know it’s not your first strength, honestly, call a pro. They are out there.
We hope this has been informative – look out for our next article in the How To series by Vivant Studios.