Killer web content involves considering your customers’ experience at every turn. After all, your readers sought you out, and not the other way around.
They found you in an attempt to have key questions answered. They found you in an attempt to alleviate their pain point. Their questions and concerns should be addressed high within your copy.
Your website is not the place to sound like a used car salesman. It’s not the place for unprofessional and half-baked content. It’s not the place to make your customers fill out expansive questionnaires, or follow a convoluted trail of clicks to simply do business with you.
It’s the place to distinguish yourself from the competition and develop your business’s voice. It’s the place to establish trust with your customers and build relationships. Creating killer web content is a big part of making your web presence a success.
Here’s How to Create Killer Web Content Every Time
Understand Your Audience – The people who land on your website are going to have specific characteristics. The more you know about the people shopping for your products and services, the easier it is to market to them.
Make a Promise – What will people get from reading your page? What will they get from your product or service? Make a promise in your headline and lead sentence, and then deliver in the body copy. This concept is key to creating killer web content.
Put Benefits on Display – Make sure you understand the difference between features and benefits. Features are product specifications. Benefits outline just what somebody is going to get from using your product or service.
Answer Customer Questions – The people who land on your website will have very specific questions. How can you help them? How much does it cost? What do they need to be on the lookout for as a consumer in your industry? Think back to various in-person customer/client conversations, and do a little keyword research. Answering these questions conveys knowledge and builds trust.
Focus on Headlines – Headlines are the single most important factor in whether someone will click on your post or not. Make them compelling. Spend time with them. Learn how to write headlines that resonate with your audience. This is how you attract new readers.
Tell Readers What You Want Them to Do – Your readers don’t always know what action you want them to take. Nearly every page you create should have a call to action. This doesn’t always mean asking people to buy. Download, register, share and comment are also acceptable calls to action.
Provide Value – Your readers aren’t necessarily looking to pull the trigger immediately. They need to like you. They need to trust you. Chances are, you work in a crowded field. One of the best ways to stand out is to give away your knowledge. Provide value. Your blog is a great place to share the industry tips, tricks and strategies you’ve accumulated. It will help you create more customers.
Consider Your Navigation – Some readers may be looking for an immediate contact. Some may want to know how your business started, where you are located, or if you provide a specific service. Make sure that your menu caters to all types of readers, and information is readily available in an intuitive manner.
Write for Short Attention Spans – Don’t ramble, and don’t write about subjects your audience is unlikely to care about. You don’t have to write short posts, but make sure you are packing valuable information into your writing that will keep people reading. More on how to do this a little later. Killer web content means valuing your readers’ time.
Consider Taking Dates off Posts – Do you blog pretty infrequently? There’s no larger turn off to a potential customer than seeing the last post was written months ago. Broadcasted inactivity can make your readers wonder if you’re even still in business. If you blog in WordPress, you can turn the date off your posts so your readers aren’t acutely aware of your inactivity.
Update Your Content on a Regular Basis – On a similar note, this is why it is so important to update your content on a regular basis. Make sure that your company’s information is up to date, and you’re not advertising products or services that you no longer offer. It’s also important to blog frequently.
APPEAL TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Experiment With Various Mediums – People enjoy consuming content in a variety of ways. Experiment with images, infographics, audio and video. You may find new ways to tell stories.
At Least One Compelling Photo Per Post- The Internet is increasingly a visual medium. Make sure your pictures are compelling and add to your online content rather than detract from it. If you have a longer post, consider adding more than one image into your post for killer web content.
Use Shorter Paragraphs – This is a big help to those who are scanning your content, quickly looking for something specific. When you bog people down in heavy, burdensome paragraphs, they’re less likely to stick all the way through it.
Bullet Points, Numbered Lists and Subheads – Bullet points and numbered lists are another great way to break your content up for visual scanners. Subheads can be a friendly way to make things easier for your reader as well. All of these break up larger blocks of content.
Develop Your Writing Voice – Think about the way that you talk with clients in person. Think about the way you present yourself. If you’ve been at this for any amount of time, hopefully you are loose, and are able to show personality. Your writing should do the same thing. Informal, conversational writing can still be professional and get your point across.
Avoid Acronyms and Jargon – Acronyms and jargon cause stopping points for your reader. They need to be able to follow your content to take action (the ultimate goal). If you have to have to use industry language, define it so that your reader will understand what you are talking about.
Include All Relevant Information – Make sure that your readers aren’t walking away from your website content with obvious questions. Give any and all relevant information within your content, and make sure you tell your readers how they can take action.
Consider Infographics – Infographics are a great way to pack a lot of information into a visual format. This allows visual learners to be able to quickly scan and attain the key points you are trying to convey.
Experiment and Test – If you are unsure how certain content, or a certain strategy will fare, test it out. You can consider your website and blog a series of experiments. When you find the version that works the best, keep it, and discard the others. That way you will know.
Provide Social Proof – You can talk about how great your business is until you are blue in the face. It means more when your customers affirm the benefits of your business for you. As a consumer, it means a great deal to know that others who have already had success with a product or service. Testimonials move readers to buy.
Tell A Great Story – Your website is not limited by space restrictions. You also have a wide array of competition. This is your chance to distinguish your business and stand out for your own merit. Tell people how you got started. Tell people how your product helps others succeed. Tell people why you matter.
Carry a Notebook – You never know when ideas will strike. You can get new ideas for your content at networking meetings, reading books, or taking out the garbage. Make sure you are capitalizing even if you’re not immediately in front of the computer.
Take Breaks – Stop pounding your head against the wall and staring at a blank computer screen when the ideas aren’t coming fast enough. Don’t be afraid to step away. Take out the trash. Unload the dishwasher. Walk around the block. The ideas will start flowing again.
Study Contemporary and Traditional Greats – Who are the leaders in your industry? Who’s been doing it well for the last few years, and who’s known how to do it for the last 50? You can learn powerful lessons all over the place.
Write and Edit Independently – If you are having trouble getting words on the page, make sure your internal editor is not firing on overdrive. Get through a draft without worrying about it. If something troubles you, address it after the fact. Bad ideas and bad grammar can always be improved the second time around.
Use an Editorial Calendar – An editorial calendar is a great way to keep your content organized, and your message in tune with the rest of your business. It doesn’t have to be complicated. WordPress, calendar apps, or good ole’ paper and pencil can all do the trick.
Close Out of Your Social Media and Email – This is always a big culprit for me. When you feel the pull to check social media every 30 seconds, it’s time to close out of the tabs on your computer, and put your phone away. There are productivity apps that can help you stay on track as well.
Set Up Blocks of Time – It might help to schedule out what you’re going to do from hour to hour of your day. Committing to the completion of a project, or at least setting aside the time frame to work on it, can mean more output and less frustration.
Learn to Focus – We’ve been conditioned to multitask. But sometimes you have to let the phone go to voicemail and concentrate on the project at hand. Your writing will be infinitely better if it has your undivided attention for an hour than if you keep leaving and going back to it. You’ll also feel more productive and better about what you turn out.
IMPROVE YOUR WRITING
Read, Consume Everything – The only way to become a better writer or more knowledgeable within your industry is to read and consume everything. Stay curious and ask questions. Books, blogs, podcasts, magazines and newspapers have a lot to teach us. The more you know, the more different things you can try, and the better you will stand out.
Study The Competition – What are your competitors doing? Study websites that are better than yours, and study the websites that are worse. Develop an understanding of what to borrow, and what to avoid. You can’t develop the content and web presence that you need in order to stand out if you don’t know what’s around you.
Write Daily – The only way to improve at anything is sheer practice, and writing is no different. If you want a blog that will truly improve your business, you’ll need to become a better writer. Setting aside a daily block of time is the only way.
Give Bad Ideas a Chance – Don’t just dismiss an idea as being bad. Ask yourself if there are ways to improve it.
Copy Edit– This is an important step for killer web content. You’re in the business of establishing trust. It’s hard to do that when your content is riddled with grammar errors or spelling mistakes. These errors may not mean much to you, but they create stopping points for your reader. Enough of those, and they may not come back. Copy edit your own work, and then try and find another set of eyes to look it over.
Omit Unnecessary Words – Make sure your writing is as tight as possible. If something can be deleted without changing the meaning, do it. Remember, your reader is in a hurry, and there are other demands on their time. Make your writing as efficient as possible.
Convey Your Message Clearly – Your readers need to know what your content is about. They need to know what you want them to do. They need their problems solved, and their pain points addressed. Make sure your message and your call to action are clear.
Read Your Work Out Loud – This is a great way to perfect the rhythm of your writing. It’s also a good way to catch the mistakes that might otherwise slip through. Your family or coworkers might think you’re a little crazy, but your output will be better.
Show, Don’t Tell – This is a classic piece of writing advice. It’s always better to illustrate your point than to simply state it. Paint a picture. It always makes your writing more intriguing.
Improve Your Word Choice – Strong verbs pop. They make your website content more compelling and easier to read. You can used a thesaurus to find stronger words. Make sure that the words you choose help keep your writing conversational, however. Academic dissertations don’t make for good casual reading.
Don’t Crowd Your Layout – Yes, a lot of creating killer web content boils down to presentation. Can your readers look at your web pages and know exactly what you want them to do? Sometimes you need bits of content in various locations in order to make this possible. But keep choices to a minimum. If you hit them with everything at once, they may feel a bit stifled and not want to advance.
Keep Your Forms Simple – The premise here is similar. Too many options, and too many mandatory fields will turn people away. They’re giving you something valuable (their email address). Make it easy as possible on them.
Keep Your Contact Info High – If you want people to email or call, keep your email address and phone number in visible places, and repeat them. The banner is an excellent location. The bottom of every page is also good.
Guide Your Reader Toward Action – With programs such as Canva, you can more easily design visible graphics for calls to action. Red arrows and “buy now” buttons make your options more clear.
Consider Minimalist Look – There’s a high premium placed on a flashy look. An Internet powerhouse developed their whole platform on a site that simply contained their name and a search box. Making your call to action the ONLY thing your reader can do increases its likelihood of success. With killer web content, sometimes less is more.
Make it Easy to Share – Social buttons at the end of website content or blogs can make sharing the obvious choice for killer web content.
Wrapping it up…
Killer web content makes your customers happy. It builds loyalty and generates sales. Most of all, it creates a seamless experience for your readers, nudging them to stick with you.
What’s worked for you in creating killer web content?