Regardless of whether you offer writing services to your clients, you still need to know how to write good web content.
After all, as a Virtual Assistant you need to be able to market yourself well online.
Your website is your Number One sales tool.
So think about each page of your website. They all need to sell. To influence. To gain trust. All within about 10 seconds.
You may have a blog. That’s another form of content – obviously – but so many blog owners write without much thought. Without thinking of it as a marketing tool.
What’s the purpose of your blog? Who are you writing to?
If the answer to that question isn’t “to offer valuable information to your target market and attract more business”, then perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere.
You may be active on social media channels for business purposes. But do you really think about what you’re broadcasting each and every time?
Then there’s emails, newsletters and forums – all need some level of acceptable writing skills.
So you see, being able to write good web content is important, not least for your own business success.
With that in mind, here are five top tips to help you write better web content.
Tip 1. Write for scanners
To be blunt, your website copy won’t be read.
And neither will your blog article, or any piece of content that’s more than five words.
At least not in full anyway.
We live in a world of scanners. You’re one of them. As am I. Most of us are. There’s way too much content out there (and pinging its way into our inbox) that we’re bombarded daily. Leaving us overwhelmed.
We may start to read something important – something that’ll expand our knowledge – but then because of deadlines, emails, phone calls, pets, kids, dinner, we’re impatient to get to the nitty gritty. The golden nugget. The one line in the entire piece that will let us walk away with the knowledge we craved in the beginning.
So we scan.
We want to know within the first few seconds if this website or article offers what we need. And is it easy to digest.
If not, we’ll move on.
So when writing any online content, bear that in mind.
Keep sentences punchy. Paragraphs short. Use formatting to pull out key words or sections, where appropriate. Include white space for easier reading. And don’t overcomplicate it.
Tip 2. Put the good stuff upfront.
(Otherwise known as the Inverted Pyramid Method.)
Let’s link this point in with your website – your main online selling tool – when people find your website, what’s the one thing they want to know straight away?
… that you offer the service they’re looking for.
So don’t expect them to hunt around and find out. They won’t.
Think about your:
- Opening paragraph
And to a smaller degree, your menu navigation.
This latter point because, if they do like what they read in the first five seconds, they may scoot straight over to your services or rates pages and go from there. The clearer your menu is, the easier it is for them to do that.
Remember, you need to answer these questions: What you do, and what you can do for them …
… within the first 10 seconds.
Tip 3. Don’t try to be clever.
Do you know the main reason why people scan websites?
They don’t have enough of it, so they scan.
It’s for this exact same reason that you shouldn’t try to be clever when writing web content. Unless of course you’re writing an article that’s designed to be clever. Thought-provoking, or whatever else.
But for the mainstream – and certainly when writing your website content – keep things simple.
If people have to stop and think about what you mean, you’ve almost definitely lost them.
Tip 4. Never keyword stuff.
Keywords are important. And you should certainly undertake your own keyword research to incorporate them throughout your content.
But never ever stuff them into every sentence and paragraph.
Not only will it be obvious to your readers, turning them off straight away, it will be obvious to those little Google bots too. And that could negatively impact on the perceived value of the content. Meaning it will affect where it ranks in search engine results.
Write first and foremost for your readers.
If you do this, you’ll automatically include relevant keywords and the whole piece will read so much better.
Tip 5. Stay active.
When writing, avoid passive sentences. They’re not exciting and will not so easily engage your readers.
This is why it’s so important to ensure your sentences remain active.
For example, “I offer Virtual Assistant services including … “ explains what you offer using the active voice.
“Client services include … “ is the passive voice. Much more clinical. Stand-offish. Impersonal.
And there you have it – five simple tips to help you write better web content.
Now take a look over your website and any recent articles or pieces of content you’ve written. Could any improvements be made?