Web Content and Web Copywriting for the Internet
The majority of professional Internet marketers and Web copywriters say that web content (web copywriting) is the most important aspect of your web site.
First-class web content deals effectively with both - your target audience and the search engines.
"The best success formula is a cross between writing web content especially for high search engine placement combined with copywriting that is written for the human brain."
John Alexander, Beyond-SEO.com
To write a winning web copy, you need to find phrases that not only specifically describe what you offer, but also are the exact search terms (key phrases) that people actually use when they are looking for products or services like yours.
Accurately researched and placed key phrases are what makes your web content "customer focused" and "search engine friendly".
One word should be taken into account when fitting in key phrases into your copy - the balance.
If you jam your web content with key phrases without focusing on your marketing goals, you’ll lose your potential clients and run the risk of being penalised by search engines for spamming.
On the other hand, if your web content doesn’t have enough key phrases you won’t get high search engine ranking (view search engine optimisation for details).
Writing Web Content For People
Effective web content has to be unique, easy to read and easy to understand. It needs to be written to address your business objectives and above all your web content should be focused on your audience first.
There are no such things as B to B (business to business), or B to C (business to consumer), there are only P to P (person to person) transactions.
Michael Campbell, Internet Marketing Secrets
Michael recently wrote the following in one of his newsletters:
"Even if you think it's one faceless corporation dealing with another, it's really one person, the decision maker with purchasing power, having a personal relationship with another person who is a supplier capable of expediting the goods. In other words, two people that like dealing with each other."
Here are some basic guidelines you can follow to make your web content more effective:
People don’t read online – they scan
- Break up your web content into smaller chunks than you would use in print
- Use shorter sentences and bullet lists
- Make sure that key terms that your visitors may be looking for are bolded or hyperlinked to better catch the eye
Double-check for spelling and grammatical errors
spelling and grammatical errors make you look unprofessional and unreliable.
Create a headline and use plenty of subheadings
A powerful attention-grabbing headline is your “top gun.” Use it well, and it will literally force your visitors to start reading.
Subheadings provide your copy with important highlights of your paragraphs, as few of your visitors will read your copy word by word.
Don’t bury your main point down the bottom of the page!
Place the most important message close to the start of the text. If your visitors don’t find what your web site is about in the first few seconds – they will leave.
Be personal and friendly
Tell a story instead of using dry, bureaucratic language. Keep your web content informal and make the meaning accessible to the “average” visitor.
A good quick check is to make sure the word “you” appears more than the word “we” in your copy!
Don't Market - Communicate
People don't want to be "marketed to". Rather, they want to be "communicated with".
Focus on the needs and wants of your prospective customers.
Always keep in mind that people don’t care about your business, your products or services unless they can see how it will benefit them.
Call for action
Finish your text by asking your visitors to place an order, contact you for a quote or for additional information. Don’t be shy, ask for business with confidence!
Keep your web content up-to-date
If your web site was last updated in 2001, your readers most likely will go away.
If returning visitors can’t find new information on your web site, they won’t come back.
Provide some free resources
Publish links to other web sites and articles related to your products or services.
If you sell cosmetics it would be appropriate to link to web resources focused on skin and hair care, healthy lifestyle, fashion, etc.
Convincing your visitors to deal with you is a key factor to your success. Several additional components can considerably back up your unique and persuasive web content.
Testimonials from your happy clients will prove that dealing with you is worthwhile and beneficial.
Copyright and Disclaimer clauses will make your web site appear exclusive and valuable.
Privacy Statement shows your visitors that you are trustworthy with their information.
Writing Web Content With Search Engines In Mind
Web content is absolutely critical for your search engine optimisation. Search engines can’t read graphics - they read words.
Your copy must be "search engine friendly" that means that crawling your web content the search engines would understand what your web site is about and index it adequately.
Here are some web copywriting fundamentals that will help you to write a successful copy:
- Design your layout to ensure that your web content is placed as close to the top of the code as possible.
- Always use key phrases rather then single keywords - they are too generic and it’s very difficult to achieve high search engine ranking concentrating on them.
- Feed search engines with a decent copy. Write at least 200-250 words for each web page focusing on different key phrases.
- Don’t target more than two key phrases per web page. It will confuse the engines.
- Keep your key phrases density between 5 and 10% (some experts say that up to 20% is OK - to us it’s slightly "overcooked").
- Use your key phrases in headlines and subheadings, as well as in the first paragraph.
When writing a "search engine friendly" copy, it is incredibly important to understand that your web content is primarily written for humans. After all, it is the people who pay for your products and services, not the search engines.
Web Copywriting – For Web Professionals
While you can possibly write good web content for your site by yourself - after all, no one understands your business better than you - we strongly recommend discussing your copy with a professional web copywriter.
At Pro Internet Marketing (Australia), we can assist you with the following essentials:
- Goal-focused, persuasive, scannable web content
- Reader-friendly navigation and layouts
- Effective font sizes and styles
- Using graphics to add to your message rather than distracting
- Keyword-rich web copy written for search engines
- Avoiding errors and distractive features, and
- Many other valid issues in your web content.