Building Great Website Content
Often, digital marketing campaigns drive a user to your website, but good website content causes them to stay and learn more about your business when they get there. Most users will spend just a few seconds on a web page before deciding what to do next. To beat the bounce rate blues, you need good website content. Well-written, optimized website copy will rise to the top of search results (part of a strong SEO strategy) and hold a reader’s attention.
It’s a challenge for any marketer — to build great website content, you have to know who you're talking to, what to say, how to say it, and all in a tone and voice that aligns with your brand. If you can nail this, Google will love it, and your content will serve you in more ways than one.
Website content affects the customer journey (the interaction with your brand from the point of awareness, engagement, and then conversion). A website is often the final place a user visits before making a purchase decision or fulfilling your business’s call-to-action (CTA), such as getting a quote, booking a consultation etc.
With the customer in mind, be sure to remove the emotion you might have around what you think is important and interesting about your business or service offering. You're passionate about what you've built, and that's awesome, but how you started your business or your company BBQ might not be the most important thing to your potential customers. Instead, think about what your customers are looking for and what brought them to your website. What problem are you solving for them? What makes you different (and better) than your competitors? This perspective will improve your content.
"It’s harsh, but your customers don’t really care about your business beyond how it can help them solve a problem and make life better." – Donald Miller
Steps to creating great website content
Start with HEPA
HEPA is an acronym for the four basic building blocks of any website's homepage. HEPA — Hero, Explanation, Proof, Action— is a recipe for both the structure and supporting copy (writing) for your website or landing page.
The Hero message is located at the top of a webpage. For this example, we'll focus on the homepage. It clearly states your unique value proposition. It should be a short and punchy message that speaks directly to your business offering and the value you bring to your customers.
This message should be simple and easy to understand. Being clever can work, but beware of crossing the line into confusion. Remember, you have less than a second to make a strong first impression. Marketers will often look for ways to incite emotion and speak to the customer's future state (after hiring/working/buying with you). As mentioned earlier, think about the pain points your product or service solves and what gains or value you create in a customer’s life. Start by drafting up a few options for your hero message, and then edit, edit, edit.
The Explanation provides supporting information that expands upon the Hero message. Before diving into this area, determine the key takeaways your customers need to know about your offering. Meaning, if there are three or four things they need to know before making a decision, determine what those are and find a way to weave it into the Explanation copy and be sure to answer the obvious questions they might have.
It’s good to organize explainer content into understandable and digestible sections. Each section can include the features of your product or service, the benefits, and who it's for. Create concise descriptions for each. In most cases, you'll link to a page with more detail deeper within your website with an option to "learn more."
Once your user is engaged, they will need to decide if they trust you. The Proof content addresses this by establishing your credibility. You can do this by highlighting credible organizations your business belongs to, like the BBB. Any recent awards your company has been recognized for, or trusted partnerships you might have, like Nimble being a certified Google Partner (😉). You can also survey your recent customers and feature testimonials from happy clients.
Depending on your industry, there are all kinds of ways to establish proof and trust. You can even provide positive results you have affected, like statistics, numbers and charts.
To finish off the HEPA recipe for effective web content, you need to craft a clear and compelling Call-To-Action. You've guided your visitor through the page with relevant and helpful information, and they are here for it. It's time to drive them to action. It's essential not to dilute this with multiple options. It is best to highlight the single most important Action that you want them to take. Complete your page by asking the visitor to take the next obvious step. Determine what that is (start a free trial, book today, etc.), and that's your Action.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Content-related SEO or Search Engine Optimization means crafting your website content in a way that Google likes, allowing your site to show up more prominently in online search results. A good SEO strategy gives your site the power to reach people actively searching for information related to your products and services.
First things first, if any person or agency tells you that they can get you to the top of Google or the first search result, you need to put on your Olympic sprinting shoes and run away. It's not that simple, and while there are best practices to help achieve better organic ranking through multiple factors like mobile-friendliness, content and more, there is no way to guarantee a top ranking. That's up to Google's algorithm. That said, there are some simple things you can do to give yourself a head start when writing your web content, like researching industry keywords. To put it simply, when users are searching for something online, they enter search terms and keywords into their preferred search engine, i.e. Google. Having industry-specific keywords incorporated (in a natural way) into your content helps tell Google what your content is about. Keywords make your website and its content more relevant based on a users' specific search. So, the better and more relevant the content, the more likely Google is to think your website is the best result to a users' search, yielding a positive search result for them and a higher ranking on Google for your site.
The Google algorithm has become increasingly sophisticated, so you must avoid filling your content with keywords in a way that seems forced (aka "keyword stuffing") or writing "thin" content (not enough words or fluffy filler). Each of your pages should be well thought out and only contain helpful information. Having many ideas grouped on a listing page with smaller chunks of content is better than having several web pages with sparse content.
A great way to see the effectiveness of your content is to make sure your site's analytics is set up correctly. Reviewing them regularly helps determine what keywords direct people to your site and how users are finding you.
Copywriting and messaging
To write the best website content, you need to put yourself in the user's shoes, understand your brand and business, and have a strong sense of who your audience is. Finding the right words starts by identifying how you meet the needs of real people.
Do your best to stay honest, authentic and helpful.
When writing your web content, keep these three tips in mind:
- Keep it concise and straightforward — Write to a Grade 5 level, and don’t lose your reader by going into unnecessary detail.
- Edit, edit, edit! — Read over your sections and cut areas that are too wordy. You can use a tool like Hemingway or Grammarly to double-check your work.
- Keep it current — Don't let your content go stale. The needs of your readers are constantly changing, and your content should be too.
Working with Nimble
With the experience of hundreds of successful website projects under our belt, we know that developing content can feel like an overwhelming task for our clients. That's why we are right by your side throughout the process. Our team of experts does a content assessment on any existing content you might have, using data and insights to tell us what's working well and what needs refinement. Your new website content will engage users and help to grow your business and credibility.
Ready to get started? Learn more about Nimble websites and SEO program from a Nimble Guide today. Get in Touch
Ready to grow your business?
Get started with tested conversion patterns, industry-leading performance and enhanced security.