Effective content writing is an important part of website development. When designing a website, writing the content is often the last thing that is done after the whole website has been designed and set up. Ideally, website content should be one of the considerations during the website planning phase so each element of the design is closely linked to the message that will be conveyed.
Let’s say you have designed the whole website, went through weeks of development and are now ready to put in the content. The client sends you the content they want, but, unexpectedly, they have now added five new things. Maybe they want all the buttons on a specific page to be a glowing red to match the symbolic theme their content writer put in there. Or perhaps they want all the images on 3 pages to be bound by big bold frames colored green to match the theme of green environment that they decided to add in the content.
All of this, and much more, can be avoided if the content decisions are made at the same time as the design decisions. Here are some great content writing tips for all you web designers out there:
Research and Use Appropriate Keywords
First and foremost, no website will ever perform effectively if it has not been optimized for search engines. In addition to off-page SEO, on-page SEO is an important factor in determining a website’s ranking in search engines. Apart from the technical aspects of SEO that are handled during development, another part of on-page SEO is identifying and using proper keywords. For example, if your website is selling shoes and you want to target people who would be interested in buying your product, you will conduct a thorough keyword research which will include
- identifying highly searched for keywords
- identifying long-tail keywords
- keywords that your competitors are using
This will guide you during the development and content creation of the website.
Content Should be Relevant and On Topic
Nothing is as frustrating and annoying to readers as content that is irrelevant, lengthy and goes off in all directions. Make sure the content you write for your website is concise and addresses the topic at all times.
Write for the Reader Not Yourself
It can be very tempting to gear your content according to what you think is right however, it is also quite mistaken. If you have spent the time to research and identify your target market; their needs and interests; and the kinds of words/phrases that appeal to them, you will know exactly what they want to read on your website. As a web designer, you know that the website needs to be user friendly, contain clear navigation and menus so the visitor does not get lost. In the same way, when creating content for your website, you need to make sure you give the reader exactly what they are looking for – not what “you think” they are looking for.
Content should Be Formatted for the Web
Search engines use special programs, usually known as “crawlers” or “Spiders” to crawl web pages so they can be indexed. You can make it easier for them to understand what your page is about by formatting our text in a way that is easily readable and organizable by these bots. This includes:
- Adding lists like this one
- Making sure each paragraph focuses on one topic
- Keep paragraphs short and to the point
- Make use of sub-headings so crawlers know what each paragraph is about
- Add internal links to other relevant pages so crawlers know what aspects of a particular topic your website covers
Check, Re-check and Check again
Spelling and grammar mistakes can mar the effectiveness of a perfectly well-written copy. Always make sure you check your content at least three times before you hit publish. Even a small mistake can turn away a perfectly good potential customer.
The above are our top five content writing recommendations for website designers. Always remember: you are not only writing for search engines, you are also writing for real people who will judge you for each missed comma, annoying color, and wandering word. Do you have any other tips that you would like to share?