Guest Author - Christin Sander
Not only are the aesthetics and layout of your design important, so is the content. Your content should be written in an engaging way that encourages your visitors to stay on your website. It should also be designed to meet their needs quickly, since website visitors are almost always looking for an answer to a question or a solution to a problem. This is particularly true of visitors finding websites from search engines. If your website lacks clarity and does not give them answers right away, they will click away and go elsewhere. What follows are 10 quick tips to ensure your content is solid.
1. Make good use of subheadings and break your content down into small digestable pieces. Less is more and paragraphs should be short and concise.
2. Ensure your content is written in an engaging style that blends the use of good research and personal experience. This develops your credibility while also developing a personal connection with your readers.
3. Use, but never overuse, bold and italics. Use these only periodically to highlight an important key point. This is great for visually breaking up larger paragraphs and blocks of text.
4. Your content should include the use of visuals as well as just text. People are very drawn to infographics and things that highlight information quickly. Appeal to the “skimmers” with content that is easy to scan visually in both your text and graphics.
5. If you outsource your content development, stick with one or two trusted writers and always fact check the information from their articles. You want your content to have a consistent feel and voice to promote a sense of authority and trust. Too many writers, or posting information that is inconsistent (or untrue) can ruin your reputation.
6. People love lists, so use them. People love lists so much, that whole books of lists are popular sellers in the bookstores. Use what people are naturally attracted to and they will stick around longer.
7. When appropriate, cite your sources. This establishes trust and credibility. Anyone can say anything on the internet – and they do. Back your claims up with credible evidence and visitors will return to you for your knowledge regarding your niche or topic.
8. Allow users to comment or leave feedback on your content with a rating system or comment box. This opens the lines of communication and gives you a chance to engage with your visitors and potential paying customers. People appreciate it when they feel their opinions matter. Let your visitors input help determine your future content.
9. Write for your visitors/customers and not for yourself. When we write about things we are passionate about it can be easy to get carried away, writing for ourselves and not in a way that our visitors need. Consider their questions and their reasons for seeking out your site in the first place and then meet those needs.
10. Finally, use good grammar and spelling. These types of errors are often glaring and reflect poorly on your credibility and image. Take time to not only use spellcheck, but have someone proofread your copy before publishing it. Nothing is more offputting than visiting a website for information and seeing numerous typos and mistakes.
Follow these ten simple rules and your content will sparkle. Design is important to catch your visitors attention, but awesome copy is how you keep it. Both truly do go hand in hand to create a positive web experience.