How To Write Website Content

How To Write Website Content

How to write website content has become a very important question for everyone who has a website or plans to start one. From the time when the first website was made in 1991 till today, there are now more than 1.76 billion websites and every minute, approximately 380 more websites are created. Websites have become essential for businesses and popular for leisure; whatever your need may be, you would likely first search for it online. Due to the massive number of websites available on nearly every topic, there is immense competition to attract the attention of consumers. So, how does a website draw the attention of consumers? The simple answer is, through the website content. This leads us to another important issue of how to write website content that is impactful.

A combination of excellent content backed with solid SEO knowledge is the best recipe to get views, clicks, and leads. While having adequate SEO will bring the consumers to the website, the content is responsible for maintaining their interest. According to experts, the average reader sticks around on a website for 15 seconds, before deciding to either continue reading or to leave the website. When you learn how to write website content, your end goal is to retain the interest of the reader beyond those 15 seconds.

How To Write Website Content

Website content may appear straightforward, but it involves careful writing since it has to be persuasive, engaging and interesting enough to beat the competition in retaining the interest of readers.

Before Writing

Even before you begin writing website content, there are certain factors to keep in mind:

  1. Understand the Business: What is the website about, or more importantly who is it about? What kind of business is it? It is essential to understand the core USP of the business, whether it is a brand selling products and services, or a simple blog teaching makeup techniques. Website content goes a long way towards branding for a business, so the first step is to research about the business, learn about its competitors and the overall niche. 
  2. Understand the Goal: Every website is made with a specific goal and purpose in mind. Maybe the website is in support of an offline business or is it the main form of contact for an online business? Is the goal of the website to inform the reader or persuade him or her?
  3. Understand the Audience: Once you know about the business, the competitors, and the goal, the next important step is to understand the target audience. What age group and demographic is the target audience? What is their education level? The target audience will have a major impact on the style of language you use for the website content. For a more youthful audience you would want to use casual and friendly language, while for an older audience a bit more formal style would be suitable. If the website is in a technical niche, or for a particular industry and you are targeting consumers that have a basic understanding of that field, you can use jargon, or else use simple language for a general audience. In some cases, understanding the socio-economic background of the target audience will also be helpful. For example, you would write differently for a rural audience than for an urban one. 

During Writing

  • Prepare an outline: Now that you know what the business is, who their target audience is and what the goal of the website is, you are ready to outline your writing. Having an outline prepares you with a guidemap on how you want the content to flow, which topics will come first and which will come later. Use an inverted pyramid for the information, writing about the most important factors first and then moving to the less important topics. This way, even if your reader leaves early, you would have already conveyed some of the most important information. An outline helps you prevent rambling, and helps you avoid repetition while also including all the necessary information.  
  • SEO Optimization: Whether you love marketing or are indifferent towards it, the fact is that knowing the basics of SEO is vital if you want to know how to write website content. For practical purposes, you would need to know which keywords need to be included in the website content and in which frequency. Keywords are responsible for increasing the ranking of the website in Google Searches and help in bringing readers to your website. For more natural flowing content, you should keep the keywords in mind while writing so that the keywords are incorporated seamlessly into the website content, rather than inserting them later on. 




  • Short sentences: As readers will often have a short attention span for website content, long rambling sentences are more likely to result in the consumer closing the website window altogether. Aim to have short and simple sentences that are easy to understand and retain the interest of the reader. 
  • Active Voice: Maybe it is consciously or subconsciously, but readers typically are more drawn to active voice than passive voice sentences. Active voice sentences are more direct, to the point, engaging and reader friendly.
  • Bullet points, headlines and short paragraphs: Using a variety of bullet points, headings, sub-headings and short paragraphs makes the entire content easier to read and understand. Also, many readers often skim the contents of a website, and by using bullet points and subheadings the content becomes easier to go through without committing to read everything. Consumers can directly go to the sections they are interested in and read what they want. Shorter paragraphs are also less intimidating than long stretches of content, boosting the readability of the article significantly.

After Writing

  • Review: Once you are finished with writing the first draft of the website content, it is time to review. There are many tools available online that you can use to check the spelling, grammar and overall readability. As a capable writer you might be confident in your grammar and spelling (both are checked by spell checkers) but having the readability checked can be of great use. Readability checkers offer an outside point of view on the content you have written and can indicate the view of consumers that come to your site. You can try out Grammarly, and Hemmingway App. 
  • Edit: So, the review is done and now it is time to make the changes in your content and polish it off. If you have the time, it’s advisable to take a break from the content, and come back to it the next day with a fresh mind. When you return to your content, see what all changes have been recommended and how you wish to incorporate them. Apart from the sentences, check the overall look of the article; are the sections of similar sizes, does the article look neat and organized. Readers often look at the article first before going in and reading the content, so view the article from an appearance perspective.
  • Check SEO: Verify the SEO used in the article, have you used the keywords correctly, have they been included enough? Have the keywords been overstuffed? A tip is to highlight all the keywords, so that you can check how the keywords have been spaced throughout the website content.  

  • Add multimedia: Your written content is looking good, so now is the time to add more sparkle to the website, by carefully interspersing multimedia throughout the content. You can add a variety of images, graphs, charts, GIFs, short videos; anything that suits the content and the industry niche. By adding multimedia you can successfully break up the monotony of plain words, and spark the interest of consumers. Anywhere you think the written content is going on too long, don’t worry about reducing the words, simply add multimedia and the content will look brand new.

Source

  • Add linking: Adding links to other website pages and interlinking serves multiple benefits, primarily by reducing the bounce rate and retaining the interest of readers. Within the website content you can add hyperlinks for other website pages so that consumers can read more about related topics that they may be curious about after reading the original content.
  • View final pages: Finally your website content should be complete! Now it is time to view the final product and sign off on it. Whether you are uploading the content or anyone else is, check the published page to make sure that everything is as you expected it to be. Sometimes minor glitches show up only after the website content is published, so it helps to check the content one last time before sending it out into the interweb!

How To Write Website Content for Different Types of Websites 

There are several types of websites, and based on the type of website the content requirements and style will vary. Here are the most popular types of websites and their content styles:

  • Business: A business website is typically made to support an existing business. The content for this will be niche specific, designed for audiences that have an interest in the specific business. The tone will be slightly formal and professional, in keeping with the image of the business.

  • Ecommerce: An eCommerce website has services or products that it sells online. Amazon and Flipkart are excellent examples. The content here will be more promotional, simple words and friendly tone to encourage the readers to buy the product or service. This may include product reviews.

  • Blog: Having gained immense popularity in recent years, blogs are versatile and easy to manage. Generally, blogs will be focused in a particular field and require regular streams of content. The content would be friendly, engaging and informative so as to impress readers to return regularly for future updates. 

  • Educational: An educational website may be independent to increase awareness on particular issues, for example, health websites. They may also be connected with a business to provide a double benefit of raising awareness and selling products or services in connection with the educational awareness provided. 

  • Media or Entertainment: Earlier considered to be under the firm jurisdiction of journalism, these days news websites can be opened by anyone. The content would be informative and entertaining, again aimed at consumers returning regularly for fresh updates. 

  • Nonprofit: Another type of business, a nonprofit organization aims at impressing and persuading readers to engage with its goal, whether that is donating money, time or efforts. The content should be inspiring and fact-based, so that the consumers are persuaded to believe in and contribute to the cause supported by the nonprofit.

  • Personal: These days, making a website has become easier than ever, due to which people are now opening personal websites. These can be in the form of a portfolio for services that the person wishes to offer, a resume, or simply a place to share information with others, such as a marriage website. Depending on the purpose of the personal website you can experiment with the content. For a portfolio or resume, try for website content that is persuasive, impressive and highlights the attributes desired. For a general personal website, try for content that is fun, casual and entertaining.  

  • Portal: Typically, portal websites are designed to bring together a community of people with like-minded interests, or to offer information on a specific genre or topic of interests. These portals can be used for hobby groups, schools, and even businesses, where news and updates are shared. The content in this case should be simple, direct and focus on the information and interaction, with the website content acting in support. 

  • Biography: Commonly used by authors and artists such as models, dancers, singers and more, the biography website is solely dedicated to that one person and his or her promotion. The biography website can be directed towards fans and/or agents and should accordingly best represent the artist. The content should be friendly and interesting, and aim towards increasing the popularity of the artist. 

Conclusion

Website content is one of the most in demand forms of content, since there are massive numbers of new websites being launched and even existing websites that are redoing the content. With so much variety in terms of websites, the content should ideally be suited to that particular niche and type of website. Have a firm plan in mind, be creative and go forth and write website content that will draw in the readers much beyond 15 seconds!

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Pooja Bhargava

Head of Operations at italics
Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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