A business owner’s excitement about his or her new web design often gets torpedoed by one simple question: “When will you be writing web content? The site can’t go live until we get it.” Many small business owners bluff, mumbling that they’ll be writing web content that very weekend. At home, they search the web to figure out just what web content actually is. Once they read a couple of online posts about keyword optimization and the 12 critical elements of persuasive sales copy, stress sets in. Then, not too much later, in front of the computer . . . complete paralysis. Print copy was lucky. Its only audience was a human reader. Website copy has two readers, people and search engine robots. To do its job, the words on a website must please and even motivate a human reader while signaling to search engines what it’s all about . . . tall order. Most business owners have no idea how to even START writing web content let alone writing web content for SEO (search engine optimization). It’s no wonder web content writing experts (like me!) have sprung up like Starbucks stores. Use these 5 parameters to scale down what may seem an impossible website copywriting job:
- ASK your web designer, internet marketer or search engine optimization company what your primary keyword and secondary (or supportive) keywords should be for each page. BETTER, tell them to send these to you via email with primary on top and secondary beneath. If they sound confused, get a new service provider.
- Aim for 300 – 500 words per page
- Use your primary keyword once for every 80 -100 words. Use it throughout the text. I always like to get the primary keyword twice in the beginning, once in the middle and then mention it again in the last paragraph.
- Shoehorn in 4- 5 similar, supportive keywords one time each throughout the text.
- Don’t focus on what your business offers, focus on your customers’ needs. For example, rather than saying, “Bow-Wow Kennels has 200 clean pens for dogs,” say “we ALWAYS have space for your precious pooch, even if you’re going out of town at the last minute.”
3 TRICKS for Writing Web Content for SEO
- Copy from your competitors. The website has to be up in order for you to make money, get calls or subscribers. If you need to get your content up fast, read the pages from competitor websites that come up first in the search engine rankings. Their high rankings indicate that the website copy is well-written and search engine optimized. Google picked them, after all! Don’t plagiarize, however. Google’s alarms go off when just 7 words duplicate 7 words on an older site. And they know who was first!
- Write simply. Don’t get hung up trying to sound big, impressive or important. The big, impressive and important corporations hire website copywriters like me to make them sound approachable and friendly. Write like you speak.
- Keep in mind that bullet points, particularly when describing product and service benefits, can convey as much information as paragraphs of prose. More, people like to scan online. They save long-form reading for when they’re in bed relaxed and sink fully into the writer’s world for an hour or so. Sitting up at a desk? People just want questions answered quickly.
When writing web content, keep in mind that your pages are never, ever, set in stone . . . just ether, and it’s ephemeral! Web copy’s great advantage over print is that it can be changed easy and inexpensively. I’m old enough to remember the days when, if the printing company made one typo, all 1,000 brochures had to be trashed. That’s a lot of money in the circular file. Try to get control of your content management system so you can make changes at will. Web content writing guidelines crowd the internet and chances are, every time you read a new article about what words should be on your site, you’ll want something changed. Why not have the luxury of being able to change small things yourself? You can do this . . . Informed Web Content can help! What stumbling blocks have stopped you from getting your web content completed? I’m happy to answer any questions here!