Want an awesome website? Here are five ways to help get you there.
1. Target your audience
The best websites attract new and repeat visitors. Why? Because the content benefits the readers.
Before you begin writing your website content, know the audience you want to target. Do they belong to a specific age group? Do they come from a specific geographic area? Are they interested in a particular item? Tailor the tone of your writing and information for your target audience.
An effective website will encourage repeat visitors because the content offers them something that they need or want. This could be in the form of entertainment, information, news or educational material. For example if your audience is mothers looking for toys, you might offer reviews of educational toys.
Use language that speaks directly to your audience. Not only will you better communicate with them, you will also assist your audience to find you. The reason why is explained below in point number two.
2. Understand the concept of specific keywords
Done well, keywords bring the right type of visitors to your website.
Keywords are the words or phrases used to describe the content of a web page. So ideally, you will optimise your website, using the keywords that your ideal audience uses to describe your service or product. This means you will use your chosen words when you write the text for specific web pages.
This is why it is so important to understand who your target audience is. Avoid using industry jargon or terminology that your audience is not likely to use. For example, a mother looking for toys may be more likely to use the keywords: “teaching toys for 3 year olds” rather than “award-winning toys for preschoolers”.
Search engines are rapidly becoming more sophisticated. They do not match searches to one particular word. Instead search engines list content that best matches the specific theme of your query. Therefore, website content that is written for very specific themes has the potential to rank better.
For example, it would be very hard to rank well if you were trying to optimise your website for a very common search term, such as “lemon trees”. Are you offering advice on how to care for or buy a lemon tree? A theme such as “Find and buy lemon trees online” is more specific and would have the potential to rank better.
3. Solve a problem or give people something they want
Good marketing and sales is about understanding and addressing the needs of your customer.
People buy to meet a need or a want. When they buy a car for example, most consumers are buying because they need convenient transport.
Likewise, many people are not searching the internet because they want to buy your product or service. They are searching for a solution. They also expect to find information for free.
So, if you are selling a product, give people a reason to stay on your site. Make the benefits or your product obvious straight away. If you sell shoes the benefit may be comfortable feet, if you are selling massages the benefit may be to feel better and de-stress.
Good marketing and sales is about understanding and addressing the needs of your customers. Of course, the more you understand the needs of your customers, the more you will be able to address what they want.
This brings me to the point below.
4. Keep things simple & brief
People don’t read web pages, they scan them for information.
So if you want your website content to stand out, follow these principals:
- Use headings and subheadings
- Use short, concise sentences and paragraphs
- Make lists or bullet points
- Use active voice.
Active voice tends to be less ambiguous and clearer. Active voice is where the subject does the action rather than having the action done to them. For example: “The dog caught the ball” is active. “The ball was caught by the dog” is passive.
5. Optimise titles and meta data
In search engine optimisation the meta data on your site is the data that allows search engines and people to determine your content. Meta data includes meta descriptions and meta titles.
Meta descriptions are the brief outlines of your website which shows up when you conduct a web search. Think of them like a movie preview or blurb on the back of a book. They provide enough information to spark interest and can be read at a glance. The accepted best practice is to limit meta descriptions to 160 characters. Good meta descriptions are essential because they entice people to visit your site.
Meta titles are the headings that tell people and search engines what to expect from your web page. Ideally include your most important keywords in the first part of your title. Using correct meta titles and keywords (see point two above) are widely regarded as essential elements in search engine optimisation techniques. For better search result listings, aim for each page to have a unique title and keyword theme.
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Emma Reeves is a copywriter and editor based in Melbourne, Australia.