Writing website content

Wed 2nd Oct 2013

Good quality website content is important, it can also be incredibly difficult to do. From the very beginning of the process of gathering content for your website through to writing news and articles or presenting case studies, you might have a head full of ideas and then you get sat down in front of the computer to put it together and then... nothing. Blank.

You are likely to be writing about something you know inside out - your business, your services, your products - then you try to sit down and explain it to somebody who might know nothing about it!

There are a few things you can do to make your life a bit easier.

Aim for the user to know what the page is about within five seconds of landing there. There is little more frustrating than arriving at a website or on a web page and not being able to work out what it's all about. The homepage of your website should answer three key questions:

  1. Who you are
  2. What you do
  3. Where you are (if your business is location specific)

If the page is explaining a service it should then offer an easy way to contact you to make arrangements, if it is a product there should be a 'buy' button or information leading the customer to where they can buy the product.

Have a motive. Think what you are trying to achieve with the text you are writing. What does the reader need to know and what do you want them to do once they have read it?

Don't use words you wouldn't use in normal conversation. Write intelligently but don't use words you wouldn't use everyday, you'll alienate your reader by making it hard work. On a similar note, don't use five words when one will do, get to the point because your potential customer could quickly get bored and go onto the next website listed in their search results.

If you're still struggling, ask for help! It is very hard to write about yourself or your business, so it might be useful to ask someone else to give you a hand. Sit down with a friend, a colleague, or your web designer and talk about your business with them. Give them a pen and paper and get them to write down the things that they think are relevant and useful to know. I often do this with clients and write or edit their content for them.

by Rachel Watson