Jessica Cox

Jessica Cox is the founder and CEO of Harvest Media.  She helps her clients drive targeted traffic to their website, gain new customers, and increase conversions with custom web content. Contact us today to secure professional service from a writer with a journalism degree and web writing background. To get a head start on SEO for your website, find out if your website meets basic Google Quality Guidelines.

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Ten Website Content Tips

Creating Website Content That Flows

Jessica Cox

December 07, 2006

1.0/5.0 (1 votes total)

Choppy, unfocused websites abound throughout the landscape of the Internet. Eager websites hear about the importance of keywords in SEO, and immediately stuff their website copy with as many references as possible.

Ironically, keyword-stuffed pages can actually hurt search engine optimization efforts in addition to lowering conversions on a website. Choppy web content prompts visitors to immediately hit the back button. It's like a glaring sign that reads “search engines welcome, everyone else please take a number.”

On the other hand, smoothly flowing web content can draw visitors further into your website. To make the most of your SEO efforts, focus on polish and quality to differentiate your site from glorified keyword lists.

Begin with the end in mind

To avoid a scrambled message, you must provide a mission statement from the start. What is your ultimate goal for the site? Are you persuading customers to buy the newest technical instruments, informing them about the dangers of global warming, or promoting an upcoming conference? Whatever you decide, the content for the website should focus on supporting that goal.

Narrow your focus - the world is not your audience

Who are you writing for? In order to craft a cohesive message, you must speak to a specific audience. What tickles the fancy of a middle-aged soccer mom will not catch the eye of a neurosurgeon.

You can not expect to be all things to all people. Attempting to reach everyone in the world guarantees your message will not stand out. Luckily, the world is not your audience. You are only interested in speaking to people with a problem you can solve.

Who is your ideal client? What do you know about them? Go beyond demographics. What motivates them? What are they interested in? Where do they go for information? What are their priorities and how can you speak to their needs?

Investing time in understanding your clients will greatly increase the effectiveness of your web content. Once you have a clear picture of your audience, communicating a cohesive message becomes much easier.

Build a progression of ideas

Now that you have your audience in mind, you must present your ideas in a natural, engaging order. You want to avoid a harsh rhythm of unconnected ideas popping up one after another. Once you have decided on a structure, information should flow in a descending order of importance.

Note: Judge by what your customers consider important. They are concerned chiefly with their problems and how best to solve them. They are not interested in you per say unless you can understand and offer solutions to their problems.

Build this progression of ideas into your headlines to form a cohesive framework for your web copy. Web readers skim rather than scrutinize every word on a webpage. These headline elements should communicate your message even when taken alone.

Keep momentum going

With your structure in place, give visitors a reason to keep reading. You've aroused interest with your headlines. Now seize the opportunity to back up your claims and expand your point with strong, targeted content.

Use vivid language to hold audience attention and present your subject in the best light. Utilize action verbs when possible instead of weaker verbs like “is” and “are.” Build on the energy of your headlines to turn their curiosity into excitement.

Provide smooth transitions

Ideas should progress naturally from one section to another. To achieve smooth copy, connect your ideas with transitions between paragraphs. These act as a buffer zone to move your audience smoothly from one idea to the next.

Utilizing this technique helps maintaining reader interest. Splicing ideas and together haphazardly strains the already short attention span of your visitors. You can easily lose your audience with wild leaps between unconnected points.

Guide readers to the next page

Short attention spans also give web readers a tendency to glance over a page and move on. Recapture attention and desire at the end of each page with writing that shifts them to the next page, the next step.

Think of the teaser previews at the end of any TV series episode. They do everything in their power to make sure you will “tune in tomorrow.” This can be a very powerful tool for your website. At the end of each page, provide a hook to keep visitors clicking. Give them a path to follow to draw them further into your website.

Make your message clear

An effective, cohesive message demands clarity. Stick to one main idea per page to avoid weighing down your message with too much information. All supporting information should relate to your main point.

If you find unrelated material clogging up your pages, either relocate or trash it. Sticking unrelated ideas into webpage content pulls reader attention away from the point you were trying to make.

Avoid stumbling blocks

Grammar, spelling and other bumps in the road can jar the reader out of your carefully crafted message. With hundreds of websites listed right after yours in search results, visitors don't need much of a reason to click to the next site.

Not only do these mistakes put a dent in your professional reputation, they can annoy potential customers. It's the equivalent of running a PowerPoint presentation with moths buzzing around the projector.

Do only what is necessary

Cohesive web content should not be mistaken for a license to ramble. Filling a website with unfocused writing diffuses the impact of your message.

Ask yourself “Does this information significantly enhance my message?” or “Will my visitors care about this information?” If you cannot answer “Yes” with conviction, the website could probably do without it. For even better results, get feedback. Find out what your visitors like, what they don't like, and what they want.

Gain a unique competitive advantage

Flowing website content stands out in the harsh Internet landscape like an oasis in the desert. Give those eight-second visitors a reason to slow down and immerse themselves in your website. With a little planning and polish, quality content can give your website a significant edge in a crowded marketplace.


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