Developing content is important for any online marketing strategy, but what is the best kind of content, that will really drive traffic to your site and keep people coming back for more? Here we’ve come up with some easy tips to keep in mind when writing your site content, to be sure you are effectively communicating with your audience.
1) Be Concise
Nobody likes to read long, flowery paragraphs when searching for information. Writing concisely does not mean using the fewest words possible, but rather the most effective words to get the correct message across to your reader. The words you use should be deliberately chosen, and critical for the sentence. How can you be more concise? Replace groups of vague words with powerful, specific words. Re-read sentences to check word relevance. Combine sentences when possible. Avoid run-on sentences but look at chances to combine two wordy sentences into one.
2) Avoid Jargon
Many times, industry experts writing content seek out assistance because they don’t understand why potential clients or customers are not responding to their site’s call to action (CTA) – the next step a potential client or customer would take to be in touch. Usually it’s because the client or customer has been lost in translation when reading the jargon on the site itself. When the person developing web content is so familiar with industry jargon, it can be hard to take a step outside and look at the site information from a consumer perspective. Imagine your customer has no idea what the industry jargon is in your sector, but they know they need your assistance. If they must look up every other word to understand your product or service, they’re going to look elsewhere.
3) Know Your Audience
It used to be the case that just Fortune 500 companies had the resources to invest in market research, but now with the easy access to data we have, you have no excuse not to get to know your audience. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, market research is:
“The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.”
The better you know your audience, the better you can write to affect their decision making and influence them to engage with your site or product. Just knowing who you are addressing and what their interests/needs are will directly improve your site content.
4) Address Readers Directly
And once you know who your target audience is, address them directly! Your site is a communication tool that allows you to directly “speak” to your customers. Remember to write using an active voice, as well. What does that mean? Passive voice is when you are talking about an action that occurred to a subject: Fran was hit by the ball. It’s much more effective and engaging to write something like, “The ball smacked Fran right on the shoulder!” Sentences written in active voice are also more concise generally, so this ties into our previous point!
5) Aim for Perfection
We’ve written about proofreading before, and here we reiterate: check your work to avoid errors and mistakes! Remember to give a once-over before you publish anything on your website or in your company newsletter. We are all generating so much content all the time: e-mails, chats, etc. and typos are inevitable. That together with the “help” of technology (things like auto-correct) and voice dictation can lead to tiny mistakes that we don’t notice until it’s too late. To get the most out of your site and the content you publish, be sure to aim for perfection and don’t let those tiny errors erode your company’s credibility. Get that perfect content online!