Writing good web content requires a simplistic approach
When it comes to good copy, keep it simple
Or risk losing your reader
Often, you hear about the importance of compelling content being the key for websites, landing pages, articles, newsletters, and other internet marketing materials. Creating high quality content first means realizing that online readers are distracted easily and will probably not read each word. In fact, they will probably just scan the page. It also means that just the writing alone is not enough. You need more to attract attention.
With that in mind, following are some tips on how to create good web content:
- Keep the content short and precise. When you’re writing 7 to 11 word sentences and 3 to 7 line paragraphs, this means that each word has to count.
- The short attention span of online readers means they will probably not read much. So, put your most important points at the beginning of the page.
- Classes are taught on how to write headlines for good reason. That’s because it’s not only what will probably get read but it’s what the search engines, RSS reads, email newsletters, etc. also see and display. The key to a good headline is that the reader should be able to pretty much determine what the page is all about just from reading the headline. Newspapers are a good place to study the headline writing craft: For example (from the Chicago Tribune): Jamaican Sprinter Bolt now Stands Alone; Bronze Star Attests to Nurse’s Heroism, Man Gets Prison for Beating Dog. You know exactly what each piece is about from reading these headlines.
- Because, according to eye-tracking studies, people scan web pages in an F pattern, make sure the important parts of your content fit that pattern. Use heading, bold text, captions below images and set apart quotes to grab attention.
- Your audience is global. So, they may not know that HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act. So, spell out any acronyms. Also, do not use complex jargon. Keep it simple.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. For example, if you are writing about dinner you had in a restaurant, think about what a reader would want to know and visualize about it.
- Consider video. It takes effort to produce one, but it may be worth it. The second largest search engine in the world is YouTube and your video content has a chance of ranking well there when published correctly. But the video has to be high quality, just like writing. Shoot and record at 720p (1280 x 720). If you become a YouTube partner, you can add custom thumbnail images to your videos.
Keep it short. Videos over a few minutes long may not hold the attention of the viewer.
- Use sharp, high quality images that show up well on any medium.
Creating high quality content which includes writing, video and imaging, will get people to your site, cause them to share the content and keep them coming back for more.