How to write effective website content

Websites grab the attention of the visitor, inform them and inspire them into action. What you offer through your website content, and how you say it, is crucial to improving your sales lead generation. This article has been written for owners of startups or those individuals that just want some guidance in writing better website content.

General Page Content Structure

Websites are there to influence opinion and to inspire specific actions from the visitor. Most websites focus on introducing a visitor to what makes that company special, what they offer and how to get access to those products or services right now. The competition is tough, so respect the time of your reader and give them what they want.

A good page structure have the following parts, generally in this order. Try to give yourself a Time Budget. Tell yourself that a person needs to be able to read this page in 60 seconds and be convinced to choose your company:

  1. The big promise (AKA Hook) – What big problem does this product or service solve? Make a bold statement. Quantify it with numbers if you can i.e. “Save 20% on your running costs” or “You are 2 minutes away from care-free motoring”
  2. Features and Benefits – Pick 3 to 8 top features that the product or service has that substantiates the promise made above.
  3. Call-to action – Use one line of text to tell them what they can do now to get the product or service. Add a telephone number and a short contact form (Name,Email,Contact Number, Message). First get the lead info, then convert them into a sale. The idea is to show the call-to-action early in the page to inspire action, before they are overwhelmed by information. Remember that you may be competing for attention against the 5 other competitor websites that the visitor has already loaded. You can expand on these contact channels by using a Live Chat Service like www.eseka.co.za to greatly improve the trust value of your website through actual interaction. Live Chat greatly improves the amount of contact info you get from visitors that may not phone or fill in the form.
  4. More information – The person may not be convinced yet. Show more information about the product or services, throw in certification logos, brochure downloads etc, but keep it very short. Allocate between 30 to 90 seconds time budget for the extra information. Leave long articles for Press Room posts or general articles. Those can be 1500 to 2000 words in total since Google shows preference to well researched, in-depth content. Sales pages should be focussed around quick conversion.
  5. Frequently Asked Questions – This will cover the frequent questions that the visitor may have. This may include tipping point info to convert the visitor into a sales lead. This is also great for Search Engine Optimisation as it gives you an excuse to always expand on the website, just adding more answers to FAQs.

TIP: The more you say why your company is different and special, the less you have to worry about relying on discounts. If you offer more value, then you are sidestepping toe to toe price competition. Promote your company just as much as you promote your products & services.

Writing for better Search Engine Ranking

You are not just writing for the reader, but you are also writing for the search engine bots that read your website. Here are some basic tips on showing Google that your page relates well to a keyphrase that is being searched for :

  1. Keywords – Google gets a good idea what the page is about by looking at what you wrote about. Use keywords and synonyms that you think will be searched for by your target market. They may use layman’s terminology to refer to something that may have a different official name. Use language that your clients understand. Use important keywords in headings. Do not use the same keyword too much as Google can penalise you for ‘keyword stuffing’. Google puts more emphasis on the first 100 words in your page so make sure to include important keywords there. Mix it up with synonyms to make the content read easier.
  2. Linking Out – Add text links external websites of authority. If you show Google that your page is written after in-depth research and that you offer helpful links to the readers then it will improve your page ranking in search results. Add 5 links maximum.
  3. Link Internally – Add text or image links to other pages on the same website. If a website becomes popular then it can share that popularity with pages that it links to on the same website. Try to keep it to 3 internal links maximum.
  4. Heading Styles – Use H1, H2 and H3 headings if you need to structure your content better. Only use one H1 heading with important keywords in it. It may already be part of the page title. Do not skip from H1 to H3. Do not go further than H3, since it is rarely required. Your web developer can allocate these headings for you during development.

Content focus per focus page

  1. Products and services – Follow the General Page Content structure above when writing your content. If you have a lot of products or services, and they are quite different, allocate a page to each. Having a separate page for each will allow for better landing page targeting, if you are running a Google Adwords campaign. It will also have a great Search Engine Optimisation benefit for your ranking. A visitor might not want to see information about all your products and services on one page. Having more focussed pages will also show that you specialise in those fields. You will see your conversion rate from visitor to sales lead increase a lot.
  2. Your clients – This is where you showcase your top clients. This will impress your visitors if your clients are moderately to well known. Having client logos or names on your website shows that big companies have chosen to work with you. It makes you look more established and increases trust. Do not just mention big companies, since you might alienate any smaller companies visiting your site. They might feel intimidated or might think that your pricing is geared at large corporations. Show logos for the type of business size that you want to attract.
  3. Testimonials – Clients and testimonials are related. Testimonials give your visitors a chance to hear the clients speak for themselves. It’s common practice for buyers to shop purely by testimonials so keep this in mind when a project completes. Ask your client for a testimonial. This is a massive part of improving trust as it shows that other people took a risk in dealing with you, but that they were very impressed by the results.
  4. About us – The purpose of the About Us section is to show that your company has come a long way, it has specific sets of values, can be trusted and that the company will give consistent service in the long run. The About Us section reveals a bit of the soul of a company and why your values will translate into a great experience for them. At the end of the day companies do not provide services, people do. Add a bit of personal flair to show that humans are behind the logo.
  5. Contact us – The contact us page shows the complete contact information about your company. It could also include a contact form as well as an interactive Google map. If you have multiple branches, then you could have a page per branch. Make sure your clients can contact you easily. The Live Chat feature mentioned above will expand on your ability to connect with visitors.
  6. The team – This section talks about the top individuals of the company and what they bring to the business. Choose personnel from your top management, add a nice looking photo and explain why they are each key elements in the running of a successful company. Do not include CV information. Include a summary of why they are important to the company.
  7. Press room – This is also known as the news section of a website. The press room is where you can post all of your news about the company, new products and services, news about new clients or big projects that have been completed. You could also add industry-related articles that clients may find useful. Remember that adding fresh content to your website will bring more returning visitors, who will continually get exposed to your products and services. It will also improve your Google search ranking through Search Engine Optimisation. Keep it fresh and stay in the minds of readers.
  8. Certifications and awards – These are very important in convincing visitors that your company has the required skills to perform the job properly. Certification logos look great and add to the official-looking nature of the offering. Awards are even more impressive than certifications. They show that, not only does your company know how to do the job, but that it excelled above the rest of the competitors. This is a sure-fire way to pull in a lot of new business. If you have reputable awards, then you must have done something right. An award can be seen as a testimonial from an official organisation, so mix these with client testimonials.
  9. Multimedia – Multimedia can include photos, audio and video and is a great way to add life to your website. Photos of completed projects, the head office, personnel and events will add a lot of eye candy to your publication. It will make the company seem more alive and approachable. Youtube allows for easy uploading and embedding of high quality videos. This media could be used for ‘explainer’ videos that give a well-animated overview of how a company process works. It can be used as a step by step explanation on using a piece of equipment, software or service. It can be easily shared, and people can add comments onto the video at Youtube. Google owns Youtube and the video sharing website is the second biggest search engine. Expand on your online marketing with video.

Get Writing!

In conclusion, there’s a wide selection of company topics to cover. You can split these into individual pages for your website or merge them as required. Each of these is aimed at informing the reader about the company, while always keeping the overall goal in mind: influencing the opinion of the target market to increase sales and brand equity.