Writing website copy isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It’s not just about making your content look good, it’s also about getting the audience to understand and remember what you’re selling. But, with these 11 easy steps, you’ll find yourself creating better and more effective copy in no time – whether it’s on your portfolio or for an upcoming blog post!
1. Who is your audience?
Define who your target market is by thinking about where they can be found.
Do you have a particular demographic in mind? Or are you writing for general audiences and covering all bases? Where do you expect them to gather information and what kind of websites do they usually visit? Taking a look at the statistics of similar websites/blogs that attract similar audiences (in terms of age, location, etc) will help give you the information you need to start targeting your audience.
2. Who’s your competition?
Knowing what you’re trying to compete with is crucial when writing great website copy. Not only should you be able to understand what options are out there, but you should also be able to see what’s missing and how you can fill the gap. Make a list of your competitors’ websites and blogs, along with any tools or apps they use (check their footer), then take a look at their most popular posts/articles/pages and check out how they’re written.
By looking at what your competition is doing, you’ll be able to create content that attracts your target audience and establishes you as the go-to expert.
3. Do your research!
Carrying out market research shows that you have a deep interest in your audience and their needs, making it easier to build trust and connect with them on an emotional level. It also helps you to understand what the problems are that are currently being solved by existing products/services, meaning you can offer something new and more effective.
But don’t forget that research isn’t just about the topic, it’s also about the words used to describe different aspects of it. So to be able to effectively introduce your product you’ll need to develop a clear understanding of your audience and their needs, as well as being able to pick out key details that will help you communicate with them.
4. Create a content plan
A content plan outlines exactly what information you’ll be covering and how you’ll present it. This gives you the ultimate guide to what needs to be included in your content, so you can focus on only the things that matter most.
When creating your content plan, think about:
What are your goals? This might be something like: “I would like to increase traffic across my blog by 20% during a two month period.” So, writing for this period will be more of an objective rather than a specific goal in itself . Are you looking to increase traffic? How do you plan to achieve this? Is this your main goal for the content of the entire blog? If so, how do you know that it will work?
When are you planning to publish the content? Blog posts are usually published on set days and times. This means that all of your traffic will be best suited to seeing your content at the same time, rather than spreading traffic throughout the week. Communicating with readers when you expect them to see the content is essential for engagement!
5. Start sketching!
Sketching out your content beforehand is a great way of seeing how content pieces fit together and how they help to achieve your goals. But, it’s also a way of looking at the information you have to work with and seeing what is lacking: You can see what needs to be added or removed from your content, as well as working out some ideas for how to improve the flow of information.
Create sketches for each post/page that you’re planning on creating. If you’re not sure what to call them, try this naming tool.
Add each of the individual elements to see how they work together from different angles. Are there any pages that should be cut? What about adding more information to others?
6. Add links
Including relevant and useful links in your blog posts is something that most people do not think about at all; it’s missing from most webpages, making it difficult for people who come across your website to find the content they are looking for. This is actually something that most people do without even realizing it.
If you can add links to other pages/blogs that are already ranking for keywords (keywords that you’re targeting, of course) then the page will increase in search engine rankings. It’s likely that these pages are also receiving traffic from other sources, such as social media sites or forums, and this means that they’ll be able to send some visitors your way, meaning more traffic for your site!
7. Write the content!
When writing your content, you should:
Write for people, not search engines . Avoid using complicated keywords that nobody understands, or that don’t make sense in a sentence. Instead, use words that are easy to understand and directly related. A great way of doing this is by starting off with the words that your target audience will be using to search for information on Google and Bing.
. Avoid using complicated keywords that nobody understands, or that don’t make sense in a sentence. Instead, use words that are easy to understand and directly related. A great way of doing this is by starting off with the words that your target audience will be using to search for information on Google and Bing. Use your blog post title as the beginning of each article . Ideally, your title should only contain the keywords you’re adding in bold or italics when publishing the blog post.
8. Format content correctly
This is one of the most important parts of content writing; make sure it looks good.
If you’re using WordPress, then use their default fonts, as well as images that are easy to read (as high contrast as possible). And make sure that your images are high resolution and well-optimized for search engines.
9. Use your keywords for best practice SEO
Keywords are the main terms that you want to be associated with in search results, so make sure that you use them in your content when it’s relevant. The best way to do this is by following the 80/20 rule:
80% of keywords are used naturally in your content, 20% is for inserting keywords to help search engines find it. This could be within the title, HTML tag or header/footer sections.
Try not to overdo it though, as this may lead to the fact that Google considers the page unnatural and prevents it from ranking well. So, if you overuse a keyword on a webpage, you’ll be able to see what I mean.
10. Add citations for backlinks
Citations are a great way of getting links back to your content without being penalized by search engines for ‘link manipulating’.
When adding a citation to your content, you should:
Provide the website title and link (either in link text or code) . This is where you’ll want to be sure to use a website-friendly domain like ‘yourcompany.com’.
. This is where you’ll want to be sure to use a website-friendly domain like ‘yourcompany.com’. Provide the page title and URL (URL and not the full domain name) . This is where you’ll have to be careful about using too many keywords; if they’re in the page title they’re harder for people to read.
. This is where you’ll have to be careful about using too many keywords; if they’re in the page title they’re harder for people to read. Provide the author name and date of publication with the link .
11. Make it search engine-friendly
Create a title that’s 40 characters long (including spaces!) and contains your main keywords . This is a basic rule, as Google will not show the rest of the title in search results. Ideally, you’ll want your keyword to be in the beginning of the title and as close to the start of the page as possible without making it sound unnatural. This is called keyword stuffing and you should avoid doing it.
. This is a basic rule, as Google will not show the rest of the title in search results. Ideally, you’ll want your keyword to be in the beginning of the title and as close to the start of the page as possible without making it sound unnatural. This is called keyword stuffing and you should avoid doing it. Use your keywords between 5-15 times per page . Aim for about 2% using each keyword; this equates to 1 – 4 words per sentence (depending on how many are in your post)
. Aim for about 2% using each keyword; this equates to 1 – 4 words per sentence (depending on how many are in your post) Use descriptive anchor text . This is where you’ll tell Google what the title is, and what your keyword should be. You can add the most important detail first and then add keywords as ‘name-value pairs’ after.
Writing copy for a website shouldn’t be hard if you follow the steps in this guide. As long as you avoid using too many keywords and focus on engaging, quality content then you’ll be able to get your website ranking.
If you need any further SEO help or training then don’t hesitate to contact us!