Not only do we need to be sure that search engines will like what they find, but just as importantly, it needs to engage and persuade our audience too.
Here are five things to think about when writing creative content for websites.
1. Do Your Homework
Before you can even begin to produce effective content you need to know who, what, why, and how.
- Who is your product/service aimed at? Are they male or female, old or young, from a certain geographic region, and so on.
- What are they looking for? Help with a certain problem, to buy something they have already been researching and looking for the best deal, advice, or maybe entertainment. Whatever it is, you need to know.
- Why are they looking? Are they still in the research mode or are they ready to buy? Is this search urgent to them or do they have time to decide?
- How can you help them? Remember that you are selling help and advice not tangible objects. If someone is looking for a car – what they really need is a safe, reliable mode of transportation; the fact that it’s a car is often times less important. If they have a leaky faucet, yes they are shopping for a reliable plumber but ultimately they want the leak to stop. The plumber is just a means to an end. Show how your product will improve the life of your customer.
The way you write your content will depend on these answers and many more so make sure you have asked and answered as many as possible.
2. Be Compassionate
Write from the point of view of the customer.
Many years ago when I first started out in the marketing industry, I went to a seminar and one thing that really stuck with me was a comment by one of the speakers, “Forget about your eyes.” What he really meant was “Is”.
Far too often we see copy on websites that talks about what the company has done and what they sell. E.g. ‘I started this company because’ or ‘Our xyz product is the best on the market’. While those things may be true, all the customer cares about is how your product or service is going to help them.
So I will slightly change what that speaker said and reword it to say – “Refocus your eyes”. Explain how your product/service can help your client instead of listing what it can do.
3. Be Unique
It is highly unlikely, even in a niche market, that you are the only person selling your product or service. You can already name your main competition, or you should be able to.
Maybe you need an outsider to look at what you do and to give you a different perspective. Perhaps your stuffy office is beginning to feel claustrophobic. Take your laptop, or notebook, and sit outside to write. It’s amazing how a different environment can give you a whole new outlook on things.
4. Keep It Simple
We live in a very busy world. We are constantly competing with others, ourselves, and time in general. When someone visits your website they need to know in an instant that they are in the right place and what you offer is exactly what they are looking for.
Avoid long running sentences that never seem to end and have no punctuation or one single thought (like this one).
OK so that was a rather silly, or some would say a ‘unique’ explanation, but you get what I mean.
- Use bullet points if possible
- Stick to the point
- Have one main topic per page (or at the very least per paragraph)
- Avoid complicated, technical copy unless absolutely necessary
- Keep your copy short and easy to understand (it may surprise you to know, the average reading age in the U.S. is only 8th grade)
5. Show You Care
By presenting your product or service in a simple to understand and unique way, you allow your customer to make an informed decision. But that’s not the whole story. If you genuinely care about them as a person and that comes across in your content, they will see you as someone they can trust. Trust is worth more than any amount of fancy gimmick or promotion.
How many times have you bought from a company because they were referred to you by a friend? Sometimes they might not be the cheapest option but because your friend trusts them, so do you. Your copy must understand the needs of your customer. Show that you care about them and they will be far more likely to buy from you.
Writing creative content is an art. With research, compassion, creativity, simple explanations, and concern, it can and will make your website stand out from the rest.
For a complete analysis of your website and how it performs against your competition, contact us today.