Last week we discussed content marketing and how to use content to effectively market your site. This week, we talk about how to write good website copy to attract visitors to your site and to work with your marketing plan.
I want to let you in on a little secret. Do you want your website to be a good website that does well and brings in money? Then listen closely. The secret to good online marketing and a good website is good content. Forget about PageRank and perfect code (well, don't forget them, just don't cling so tightly to the idea), the best way to get your site out there and working for you is to give people what they want.
It really is that simple. Give people good and relevant content and they will come to your site. Some of the best ranked sites out there (both paid for and natural ranks) have good content. In actual fact, Google's search engine robots now look at good content. Content is king and we have to learn it, live it and love it. I write content everyday and as I have blundered along, I have discovered a few useful tips and tricks as well as some golden rules that I try to stick to as much as possible. Using words to market is not easy, which is why I'd like to share them with you.
Rule 1: Write for humans.
Keep your reader in mind. Always. You are not writing for search engines, you are writing to be read. You need to write so that the content reads well. It's all very well and good putting in keywords everywhere so that the search engines love your site, but sometimes people won't. For example, how annoying is this:
Black wattle is classed as an invader plant species. This invader plant poses a hazard to our delicate eco system. If you see this
invader plant species, please notify your local municipality or forestry control office and we will come and remove this invader plant.
This little piece of text is boring to read and seems too repetitive. Now imagine this all over a site.
Rule 2: Keep it simple
Plain language is the key here. No, I am not saying, “dumb it down”, you know the people visiting your site are smart; treat them like they're smart. I am saying that you should keep your language free of jargon and keep it straightforward and simple. Do not try and hide what you mean behind fancy words. do not use your about us page as a company profile that sounds like you're applying for a tender, the Government might be impressed, your readers won't be.
Try to keep your sentences short, between 10 and 15 words long, 25 at maximum. Keep your paragraphs short as well; try to max out at 4 or 5 sentences. Try not to make a page of website content (not articles or blog posts) longer than 300 words. If you do find yourself having to explain a long list of things, use a list. Bullet point is best since people can put the information you're giving them into easy to digest compartments.
Rule 3: Keep your layout clean
Use headings and paragraphs. Break up your text into logical sections so that you don't shove a page full of words in to a reader's face. If you do, they will leave and you will lose. Easy to process content captures attention and in today's world of instant gratification, attention spans are short. Make sure that your paragraphs link to each other and that the different paragraphs give information relevant to the ones before and lead to the ones after. Do not repeat yourself, writing the same thing in three different ways does not make for good content.
Rule 4: PROOFREAD!
This rule is a simple and easy rule to follow. Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct and that you form your sentences properly. Do not rely on spell check to catch every mistake. It won't. It will not pick up on commonly confused words or typos that form real words. It is hard to be critical of your work, so the best way to check for these things is to get someone you know who has a fairly good grasp of English grammar to help you out. Or call Jasper Consultants, we have editors...
Rule 5: Make it relevant
Give your readers what they want. Give them the information that they are looking for. Make it easy for them to find. Do not make your readers hunt through thousands and thousands of words of text before they find out what it is you do.
Keep your text simple and informative and you will convince people to read your blogs and articles. The way you write the content for your site will determine whether or not your online marketing pays off. Good website content is also good for pay-per-click advertising. If your ads take people to pages that have relevant information on them, you are more likely to do well and see some return on your investment.
Next week we will be discussing pay per click advertising, how it works and how it is your most valuable marketing tool online.