The content of your website is your #1 sales tool. Pictures, tools, and other fun stuff can be important in making your site visibly and functionally appealing, but it is the content that sells. Well written and user focused content allows your visitors to "find out" more about your products and services, as well as how your company will be able to meet their needs.

Content weighs heavily both in terms of how users interact with your website as well as how visitors (both human and search spiders) are able to determine what you offer and what each page of your website is about. While solidly optimized content is important for search engine rankings, considering the usability of your content is of paramount importance for attaining good conversion rates.

Voice:

The content of your website should be written in consistent voice from page to page. This voice needs to be one that is relatively consistent with your industry and resonates with your target audience.

Active words:

Active words help the user engage with the content making them a participant rather than just a passive reader. The site's content should be full of active verbs that inspire visitors to take action.

Typographical errors:

Website should be free of all typographical errors. Both spelling and grammatical errors can be an indicator that you lack professionalism. They must be eliminated to maintain overall trustability.

Skimmable & scannable:

Visitors skim through and scan content to find what interests them before they actually read each word. As much as possible, use short paragraphs, headings, bullets and stick to a basic reading level.

Customer focus:

Present your content in a way that speaks to your visitor's overall wants and needs. Focus on them, not on you or your company.

Personality needs:

Content should use language that speaks to individual personalities of your visitors. Providing information that certain personalities "need" helps speak to those visitors more directly and move them through the conversion process.

Benefits vs. features:

Present the benefits your visitors will receive. Don't write exclusively in terms of what your product or service does, but what benefits your visitors will get from your product or service.

Spammy text:

Content should always read naturally and should never feel “stuffed” with keywords. Never hide content on the page, but use it effectively as a sales tool.

Calls to action:

Each page should contain a close and one or more calls to action. Once you have effectively provided the necessary information, compel the visitor to take a desired action.

Bonus Tip:

Linking out:

Whenever possible and only where relevant, link your text out to other areas of the website as they are mentioned within the body copy. Selectively link out to external sources that reinforce the information you are providing.

All too often site owners want to sideline the content. They feel that pictures, tools and products are the only things that visitors want. Yes, these are an important part of the sales process, but so is the text. Properly developed text informs and persuades. It entices and encourages. It draws and drives. More than anything else, text sells.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.


October 15, 2007





Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments(9)

Great article! Not only have you hit the nail on the head with each and every comment - you've kept it short and easy to read. I love articles like this. I can get good information without having to labor my way through a rambling blog. I plan to print this out, send it to my partner and clients, and relook every page of my site.

Typographical errors:

Spammy text:

Content should always read naturally and should never feel “stuffed” with keywords. Never hide content on the page, but us it effectively as a sales tool.

So many nice comments and views. i found some interesting post about del rio texas probate court Respect

Thanks! Short and sweet and soooooo much common sense! (If only sense WERE common!)

Simon

Hi there, good content. I am a blogger and writer in somewhat professional way, and some more of contents about writing better will be wonderful to the readers. May I add some more points: when writing, you should use active voice, and the titles should be given utmost importance. More of such tips have been given in this blogpost of mine:

Ten tips to write great content

These are great tips! I especially agree with the "customer focus" -- too much content is focused for the search bots that it ends up being too spammy.

I'd also recommend PLR content if you have trouble coming up with ideas for blog posts. Private label rights content really saves me time on my blog.

Like what everybody always says, content is the king and without proper content people who visit our website will be discourage to stay and they'll definitely forget that they had visited our site..

Great info. The most important thing for any business owner is to convey their message (most importantly the need and the solution to that need) to the consumer. In my opinion Video Ads seem to do this very well; however you would still need to be able to write a good script in order to pull this off.

Excellent and straight to the point. I need to work on the benefits vs.
the features as I've heard this before but find it a challenge to put into practice. Some concrete examples would be a great addition. Thanks much.

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