How to Create Easy-to-Implement Website Content That Converts
How to Create Easy-to-Implement Website Content That Converts
If you’ve been around the online marketing world either as a marketer yourself or as a small business owner, you’ve most definitely heard the saying “content is king” more than a few times. But what does it mean exactly, especially when it comes to creating website copy? One could, presumably, hire the greatest writers in the literary canon to weave your company a masterful “About Us” page, but unless it leads to more customer conversions or referrals, the ROI on all of that lyricism isn’t going to be high. In fact, taking the time to think out a clear organizational strategy for your site content can be just as important as keeping that content typo-free. In that way, the key really is not to think of content for content’s sake, but to view content as the driver of all actions you want your customers to take.
What does that mean, exactly, in real terms? Let’s take a deeper look.
Where to Start: The Content Map
Remember all the way back to high school English class, where your teacher pleaded with you to create an outline before diving into your essays? Well, the same thing applies when creating powerful and motivating content for your site, though this time your “outline” will come in the form of a content map. Starting here will not only help you get those big picture goals clarified, but doing so will also help you organize your site in the most logical, intuitive, and easy to navigate manner. Both of these things are crucial when it comes to effectively communicating your key messages and creating an intuitive — and highly convertible — navigational experience.
To begin your content map, we highly recommend creating a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Spreadsheets rather than a document, as this will help you think out the various layers of the site. Create columns for the main page, the subpages that will fall under those main pages, and the main message for each page. You’ll also want three columns for Calls to Actions (which we’ll focus on in greater depth below), labeled gold, silver and bronze for their level of importance.
As you think through your content and determine which pages deserve to be main rather than subpages, it’s important to consider a few questions:
- What are your potential customers looking for? What pain points do your products and/or services solve, and how do they do so? The answer to these questions will form the heart of your Products and Services page.
- What are your unique story and mission, and how are you different than your competitors? This is your “About Us” page.
- If website visitors like you, what’s their next step? This is your contact page.
Of course, some websites will require more main pages than this, but this should give you a broad sense of the high level thinking you should be doing to determine the overall structure of your site.
How to Develop Content From Your Content Map
Once you’ve done this higher level strategic and organizational thinking, it’s time to dig in and start creating all of that compelling page content.
First, you’ll need to decide on good header titles. You’ll want these to be as compelling and as unique as possible, while still adhering to all best SEO practices. It is wise, for example, to search the Google AdWords Keyword Planner or the MOZ Keyword Difficulty for highly searched terms related to your page, so that you can work those terms into the header. (Why? Because the header really, really matters when it’s time for the Google bots to index your site).
From there, it’s time to think about the kinds of images that will fit with the look and feel of your site and keep your site visually compelling, while still communicating your core branding.
And now, finally, is when you’ll want to open a Word document and start working on full-bodied blocks of content, which is really where those writing chops will shine. Ideally, you’ll bring in a seasoned SEO-writer for this, as they’ll have a great sense of how to capture the core of who you are while still adhering to SEO best practices. But at the very least, here are a few guidelines to consider.
Best Practices for Writing Content
1. Keep it Short and Sweet
As you work day in and day out in your business, you’re immersed in the many finer details of what it is you do. You’ve got a rich, nuanced mission. You know all the important technical nitty gritty that make your products and services better than anything else out there. You can speak the industry lingo with the best of them, and you know that you have a wide toolbox of solutions that you can apply to your customers in numerous different ways.
But keep in mind, your website isn’t the marriage proposal; it’s just the first conversation. Remember that all you’re trying to do here is to entice your visitors into learning more and forming a deeper relationship with you.
As such, it’s best to keep your website copy as concise as possible, while still driving home your branding and your most important messages. In fact, all of this needs to happen in — no joke — three seconds or less. That means that scrolling through lengthy pages of text or forcing your users to fill out long forms is out — at least as long as you’re gunning for high conversion stats and a low bounce rate.
To do this, again, stick to the higher level messaging you worked out in your content map, providing the nitty gritty only once they’ve converted.
2. Give Them the Why and Clear Calls to Action
That said, one essential for your copy is driving home the “why.” Not only should you communicate the core reasons why your customer should buy a certain product, but you should also communicate tangible incentives and benefits from buying that product exclusively from you. This needs to be more than a throwaway “Buy now!” line or a “Contact Us” button.
Instead, devote time to outlining the results with, say, excerpts from user reviews and case studies. Alternatively, you can employ specific, motivating Calls to Action that clearly give your visitors something in return, like receiving 10% off if they buy the product now, or a free consultation if they sign up for your mailing list. There are few partnerships more powerful than copy that really hits your potential customers’ pain points followed by compellingly phrased CTAs.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Your Voice
We’ve talked a lot here about the must-haves for any site owner to consider, but that’s not the same thing as asking you to do the same thing as everyone else. In fact, the frameworks we’ve articulated here are just that — firm scaffolding upon which to build your powerful and unique brand. These suggestions, then, are just starting points and organizational strategies for your company to speak in its most authentic voice. So, by all means, write like you talk, and focus on what you’re really passionate about. The more you your website feels, the more likely you are to win fans.
Content isn’t just that thing you’ll slap up on your new website, nor is it a work of art that will sit untouched in a museum. The purpose of your website is to convert your casual visitors into loyal customers, either immediately or somewhere down the line. Taking the time to think out the higher goals for your content before you dive in and to approach your content strategically will ensure you get the most out of your site.