How to improve your website content
It’s easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to get across on your website – especially if you’re too close to your business. Sometimes, it’s worth taking a step back. Here are some ways to improve your website content to give your visitors a positive and memorable experience (and turn them into customers!).
1. Keep website content succinct
Time is limited, not to mention us humans have very short attention spans. If you give prospective customers lots of words to wade through, you’re asking them to make a big investment. But when you’re selling a product or service you want to make it easy for people to find what they need – so keep it simple. Yoast advises a minimum of 300 words per page, as a general rule for optimisation purposes – but beyond that, use what you need to get your message across. Why say it in 700 words when you can say it in 400? (Blog posts are a bit different, on the other hand).
2. Make sure it’s easy to follow
Write webpages using the scan test – in other words, the most important information should be easy to pull out when a visitor only has a minute to scan the page. How do you create a scan-friendly page? It’s all about structure.
- Spacing – don’t be afraid of a bit of white space
- Headings – signposts customers and helps to break up the text
- Bullet points – who wants to read paragraph after paragraph?
- Sentence lengths – a mixture of short and long (but not too long!)
- Images/video – vary the type of content by including images and video
3. Keep content up to date
You’re on a website. You’re browsing a product page. ‘Hang on a minute – this page is talking about a newly launched product from… 2011’.
You move onto the ‘Blog’ section.
It hasn’t been updated since – 2012?!
‘Oh no,’ you think to yourself.
‘That doesn’t look good,’ you think to yourself.
‘I’ll go elsewhere,’ you think to yourself.
A website with old content looks tired, uncared for and abandoned. Not the impression you want to give to your prospective customers. An up-to-date website shows people you mean business and care about their experience.
4. Are you really talking to your customer? Three ways to check
- The ‘so what?’ test
The DeFrizzMe Power hairdryer has 1800W of power…Yeah, so what?
Instead of just describing your product or service (the feature) – explain what it means for your customers (the benefit). The more layers of benefits you can find, the better!
Feature: The DeFrizzMe Power hairdryer has 1800W of power.
Benefit 1…so it dries your hair quickly…
Benefit 2…which means you get a longer lie-in each morning…
Benefit 3…and still look just as good (if not better).
Just an example, but you get the gist!
- The ’What’s in it for me?’ test
Your customers only care about themselves. It’s true. So, improve your website copy by making sure it answers the only question that really matters to them – ‘What’s in it for me?’
- ‘We’ versus ‘you’ ratio
Check the number of times you mention ‘we’ versus ‘you’ – the aim is to have more ‘you’ and less ‘we’ so the focus stays on the customer. For example, you could change “We are open 24 hours a day” to “You can visit any time – day or night, even 3am.”
5. Use the right keywords
Using the right keywords will help customers find your website. Put yourself into your customers’ shoes – what might they search for if they wanted to find your product/service? Run some Google searches to see what comes up in the search results. Ask your customers, if you can.
When you’ve got your keywords, don’t try and stuff them into your website at every opportunity (‘keyword stuffing’) – search engines don’t like this and it’s not much fun to read. Use them as naturally as possible. Take a look at this handy guide about keyword research.
6. Maintain a consistent tone of voice
Have you ever been on a website which switches between different tones? One minute it’s feels like you’re in an interview, the next it’s like one of your mates is talking to you. It’s confusing. Having a consistent tone of voice is really important for building a recognisable brand and helps to build trust with customers. If you’re not sure where to start with tone of voice, think of your brand as a person – what’s their personality? What are their values? You might like to read finding your brand voice.
7. Use simple and conversational language
“The ergonomic nature of the bilateral system is a solution all customers will benefit from…” Sorry – what?
- Avoid using jargon – it’s a big turn-off
- Write like you speak – it doesn’t matter if you’re a legal firm or a soft toy company, language should be conversational. If you’re not sure how to approach this, imagine you’ve got your friend in front of you – how would you speak to them? Then write. Vikki Ross gives a great example of conversational copy
8. Have a clear call to action (CTA)
What do you want the customer to do on a particular webpage? Call you? Email you? Complete a form? Buy your product? Check out your blog? Whatever the call to action, make sure it’s clear. Don’t have too many either as it’s confusing.
And to recap…
Get in touch for help with your website content.