Online marketers are routinely frustrated when they check their analytics and see high bounce rates. No matter, how much they tweak their copy, the layout of their website - the dreaded bounce rate never drops! What to do?! It's most likely that your visitors are not finding what they want on your website and that's related to the content that you post.
To increase your readership, tailor your website to provide the most approachable content for your target audience. Remember, people reading online tend to be rushed and distracted, they are reading for information, not pleasure. Most often, they’re scanning for the information they want—not reading for literary purposes.
Writing with the online user in mind ensures that visitors will be more likely to spend more time at your site and to visit it often. Because people usually visit several times before making a purchase, your goal is to create a site that makes people want to return again and again.
Information architecture -Creating your content plan
Remember before you even set up the content, take a few steps back and start planning your goals, the site architecture and wireframe. You must ask yourself:
- What are your website goals
- What are your users goals and expectations
- What are your sites content areas?
- How are you going to drive users to those content areas?
Write for the web but do not write for the web
Writing for the web means being informal, showing your personality and providing relevant information. In short, it’s a conversation that builds relationships. You have a lot of tools to use to be able to do that.
But what you should not do is write as if you’re writing for the web..Don’t call attention to the “web” by putting phrases such as:
- Click here
- Follow this link
Keep sentences simple and paragraphs short.
If your sentences are long, cut them up into digestible pieces. You’re writing for the 6th grader, so that all potential prospects can understand.
Long sentences and paragraphs scare people away, and anything that looks like it’s going to be a slog to read will turn readers off. No one has the time or inclination to want to read the whole thing.
And keep the sentences personal – get used to the word “you”. The web doesn’t go well with formal sentence structure. It’s an informal world, and if you want to build relationships with your readers, use the word you as much as possible.
Quality, Quality, Quality
What does quality mean? In the online world, quality means relevant and fresh.
Always keep the audience information needs in mind. Your reader wants to feel that they came out of your website learning something new or had a positive experience in their interactions.
Whether you’re selling soccer balls or vitamins, it’s important to keep the information clear and to the point. Articles should be concise and informal. The web doesn’t go well with formal writing but more of an informational tone.
Your customers are looking for answers to their questions—about their health, their activities and the products that will enhance their lives.
Lots of people have problems trying to find new things to write about on a regular basis. Especially for blog posts – which compose 85% of Fluide Media’s contracts. Here are some tips that you can take for creating quality ideas and posts.
- Find a new angle.. Like PR pros say – find a new angle to pitch. The same topic can be turned around so many different ways for different audiences. You can do the same.
- You have a personality. Use it! Do not be afraid to show your true side! If you want to be the wild and crazy guy then put it down… Your readers will relate to you better, and know that there is a human being on the other side.
- Tell a tale. When you write, it’s more interesting to tell a story with a point to it. Don’t just write a dry article, use analogies, draw from real life experiences, make fun of situations….
- Stay fresh. Keep yourself updated on a regular basis. Hook yourself up to what’s going in the industry or category. Subscribe to RSS feeds and at least scan them on a daily basis.
- Be opinionated. Got an opinion, don’t be afraid to say it. It’s a free country.. You should also say things as it is based on your knowledge and analysis, even if it could create controversy.
Less is more – using design with content
Give the copy life! Ask yourself these questions.
- Is the content interesting?
- Does it grab you and address your needs?
- Does it have a rhythm to it?
- Do you use your action in the verbs?
Don’t get all emotional on me…
When you think of Apple, what do you feel? If you’re diehard Mac fan, you probably swoon at their ads and can’t help drooling while you browse their website. Apple has done a great job in invoking emotion to their brand and their ads.
You must do the same thing. When you’re writing for your website – take a step back and see if your readers are responding to your words… Does it grab their attention/interest and create desire?
Or best yet, does it make them act? Use a style of writing that people will like when talked to.
Design: Less is More
Don’t overcrowd your pages, let the copy breathe. Include plenty of white space, and keep content pages short—300-350 words. Complicated menus or loads of graphics make pages visually confusing and may lose you customers. Make pages easy to see and easy to use. Help your reader concentrate on the content by placing ads out of the way.
Easy navigation – make the content easy to follow
Take a look through your analytics program and see how long it takes your readers to find what they need on your site. How many clicks does it take – keep it between 3 -5. But what’s important is how intuitive is it for them to find what they want, not the number of clicks they take.
Headlines and bullets make scanning a breeze
Notice the way this article is laid out? Headlines tell you the general contents of each paragraph, which is helpful because more than 2/3 of your readers will actually be scanning the pages, not reading them. When you use headlines and bulleted lists, you provide information that’s quick to access and easy to read.
Consistency in patterns
Take a look at your pages, do they have a consistency in look and feel? Do your words have the same tone and style from page to page? Also take a look at your graphics, menus etc.. and see if there is any variancy between the pages. Any differences will throw your readers off and navigate away to other pages.
Writing for the web doesn’t have to be complicated; keep it simple and easier to use, and make sure the content is relevant and fresh!
- Analyze your copy by looking at your choice of words. Do they connect with your readers and tell a story?
- White space is important. Use bullets and lists to allow for quick scanning. Use headings and sub headings to help break up the page.
- Keep your word count per article between 300-350 range. It allows for easy digestion of your content.
- Use emotion to sell. Write as if you’re talking to your reader face to face.
- Balance design with content. Test the site usability. Can the reader find what they want easily?Be Authentic! Show your true personality, warts and all. Quality is better than quantity when building relationships.