What You Need to Know About Writing Website Content

We all know the struggle. You sit down at your desk and get ready to write the most epic piece of content. You've had an idea swirling around in your head for some days and now it's time to transform those thoughts into words. So you sit down and open up a new Word document on your computer. You write the first sentence and it comes out better than expected. But as you try to write more, it gets increasingly difficult. Before you know it, you're procrastinating big time - browsing the news, catching up on Facebook and maybe even online shopping. That five minute break turns into 25 minutes and you realize you've made no progress. With your inspiration plummeting, you close the document and decide to try again in a couple hours... or maybe tomorrow.

Sound familiar? We've all been there. The truth is whether you're an experienced writer, amateur blogger or a business owner trying to populate your company's website, writing is inherently difficult. Oftentimes, no matter how good an idea sounds in our head, we cannot translate it into the written word easily. It's not only frustrating but incredibly time consuming and sometimes, we're forced to publish a piece we're not all that proud of just to make a deadline. 

You may be thinking that writing content for a website is different, especially if you're a business owner.  Who knows your company better than you, right? While we don't necessarily disagree, we still think it's important to understand what goes into web content. Writing content for websites is something that is highly targeted and planned, without coming across that way to readers. It may seem simply and straightforward, but the truth is that your website content needs to be informative and convincing without being overly "salesy." If you're ready to write your website content or if you're debating on hiring someone else for the job, we've rounded up some key questions to ask yourself before making a decision. 


What Needs to Go on Each Page?

Before you begin writing, it's best to figure out the direction for each page. What information is absolutely critical for each topic? What do you want your customers to know about your company? What is the intended tone? Have a clear vision of how you want the content to sound. It's important to remember that website content is scanned not read thoroughly, so make sure only the essentials go on a page.  Additionally, pages need to vary in language and subject. If your information is the exact same on multiple pages, viewers will be annoyed with the lack of information and leave your site. Have a clear outline of what needs to be on each of page and write your content around only that. 


Is the language easy to understand?

One of the biggest things business owners run into when writing content is that they use heavy and dense industry lingo. It's crucial to keep the language simple and easy-to-understand. Like previously stated, website content is scanned, so if the content is too difficult to quickly look over, you're going to lose visitors. It's important to sift through that intense language you're accustomed to using and keep it completely user friendly. After all, you're designing this website for your potential customers so create content that is straightforward yet informative.


Is it optimized?

Content for websites not only needs to be grammatically and stylistically correct, but it also needs to include key ranking words so your company can be found by search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo. If you've never optimized a website page, it's something that takes practice. Not only do you have to select keyword searches, but you also have to tag your content and determine what you want to be your primary keywords. Additionally, it's important to be aware of Google Panda, which is a search filter meant to stop sites with poor quality content from ranking in Google's top results. And as of January 2016, it is part of Google's core ranking system, which means if you have bad content, you will get penalized for it in terms of SEO.  Therefore, your content not only needs to include your key ranking words but it also has to be done right and of outstanding quality. 


Do You Have the Time?

If you're a business owner or manager, this is probably the single most important question on this list. Do you have the time to sit down and write content for every single page of your website? Remember our scenario in the beginning: it takes a lot longer than many of us assume to even get the juices flowing. Now imagine doing that for ten or more pages. Then you have to factor in edits and rewrites to make sure your page is exactly where you want it to be. That's a lot of time! And just think - the longer it takes for you to write the content, the longer it pushes your website launch back. 

While it's ultimately up to you whether or not to write your own website content, it's important to run through these questions when you're trying to make your decision. Writing for a website takes just as much time, effort and information as writing anything else. It's super important that it's done right because, depending on the quality of your website, it can either bring new customers in or turn them away. However, if you're feeling that content writing just isn't for you, don't worry - your friends at 360 PSG are here to help. We offer a variety of services like information architecture, homepage development, content population and website copy writing. If you would like to learn more about our services or if you wish to speak to one of our 360 PSG experts, please fill out the form below.

 

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