How to Write Content for Your Website

As a part of creating a website you need to fill the site with original content that will tell people what you're about and persuade them to get in touch with your business or take any next actions you’d like them to take.

This might seem intimidating if you don't consider yourself a writer, but getting a simple website up and running isn't too much of a challenge when you follow a tried and tested approach. We've broken down the main steps to writing content for a website below.

If you only need help in certain areas, skip ahead to the relevant sections:

  1. Planning your website – deciding what content you need
  2. Planning content – defining the goal and structure of each page
  3. Writing style – how to make your content clear and persuasive
  4. Page elements – specific features your content should include

Let's get started.


1. Planning your website

What content do you need?

Users have expectations of what should be on a website, so your site's structure should make sense to users and search engines like Google.

While some pages are common across most websites – like the main homepage and contact page – other pages will depend on what the purpose of your website is. You may want individual pages for each of your products and services, category pages to cover multiple products, or just a few pages to introduce your brand and offers.

All these pages will benefit from content to give information to users and help the pages rank on Google and other search engines.

What are similar sites doing?

It's always useful to check on what competitors and – more importantly – the leaders in your industry are doing with their own websites and content marketing, so you can see what works and what doesn't and take some notes.

Important: Never copy text from other sites directly. Not only will this make you look untrustworthy and unprofessional, it will also be detected by Google and harm your search engine ranking.

2. Planning content

What's the purpose of the page?

Every page on your website should have a clear function and goal. The copy on the page should guide your audience towards the action you want them to take.

Some pages may be aimed at conversions – whether that's making a purchase, contacting you for more information or something else.

Other content may provide more information about your company or products/services to keep users engaged or break down barriers to making a sale.

The most common types of pages on websites are:

  • Homepage – introduces your business and offers at a glance, with suggested steps for users to take next
  • About page – more detailed information about your company and values to overcome objections
  • Product/service pages – highlight features and benefits to encourage transactions
  • Contact page – encourages users to get in touch through various methods
  • Blog – news, updates, useful tips and a way to grow your website with fresh content
  • Landing pages – specially designed pages or mini-websites used in marketing to attract more customers and sales due to the type of content on the pages they directly ‘land’ on.

Create an outline

To make sure your page covers everything and flows well, it's useful to work from a plan. You might find that this plan changes as you're writing, but it can help to map out sections such as:

  • headings and subheadings
  • features and benefits
  • objections and responses
  • quotes and testimonials
  • call to action (CTA)

Most successful web pages follow the 'inverted pyramid' model, which has long been used in advertising and suits the way people read websites. This means putting the most important information first (in the page title and introduction) and using the rest of the content to explain more.

How long a page should be depends on its purpose and how much information the reader needs to persuade them to take the next step.

3. Writing style

Keep it simple

Short sentences that use simple language are more appealing to the average internet user. Only use complex technical terms if you're sure your audience will understand them, and don't clutter the page with unnecessary paragraphs for the sake of filling space.

Eye tracking studies have shown that English-speaking users focus more on the left side of page when scanning for the information they're looking for. You can help them to locate it by:

  • keeping paragraphs short
  • breaking up the content with relevant subheadings
  • using bullet points or numbers for lists (like this one)
  • highlighting key information in bold

Keep it relevant

Put yourself in your readers' shoes (buyer personas help with this) to make sure your content tells them what they want to know and answers the questions or objections they might have.

When introducing products, services and other offers, focus on benefits, not features. People want to know how you can help them; they don't always need to know the technical details.

Be persuasive

Even if you're not hard selling a product or service, you still want the reader to reach the end of the content and take the next step. Good copy is engaging and persuasive without being pushy.

Writing in the second person (addressing the reader as 'you,' rather than 'our customers') makes copy more personal and helps the reader to imagine they're experiencing the benefits you're describing.

Use active rather than passive voice to encourage action ('click the button to...' rather than 'clicking on the button will...') and don't hesitate to tell the reader in clear terms what they should do next.

If you're asking for a commitment – whether it's a sale or giving out their email address for your mailing list – back up your claims with statistics or social proof, such as testimonials from satisfied customers.

4. Page elements

Headings

The heading is the most important element on the page for attracting readers, so it needs to be thought about carefully. As well as targeting your primary keyword, it also needs to entice readers to click through from search engines, social media and other channels.

Subheadings

Subheadings help to break up a page into more manageable chunks, help readers to find the information they're looking for more easily, and provide opportunities to rank for more keywords.

Using a question and answer format (the Limecube FAQ element is perfect for this) for sections helps to answer users' questions and can also help with your Google rankings.

Calls to action (CTA)

Every page should have a clear goal for the user, whether it's to follow a link or contact your company. This action needs to be clear and persuasive.

Avoid giving too many options, as this can cause second guessing and result in no action being taken at all.

Images and video

A picture is worth a thousand words, and pages perform better when they include relevant, attractive images. Video is even more engaging, as long as it's relevant to the content.

Make sure image files are well optimized so they don't slow down page loading times and make sure you have the right to use images before publishing content.

5. Advanced tips

Once your website's off the ground, and you grow more confident and experienced writing content, you can look into ways to improve your website's performance through marketing strategies and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Writing for your target audience

It helps to have a specific person in mind when you're writing content to make sure it's suitable and appealing to the people you want to target.

If you haven't researched your audience before, important things to know about your target users are:

  • their background (e.g. age, gender, industry, education level)
  • what problems they want to solve
  • what interests and appeals to them
  • their previous experiences with businesses like yours

When you've gathered this data from website analytics, surveys or other research, pull together the main traits to create one or more example customers and give them a name. These personas are the people you're writing your content for.

Using keywords

Keywords are still at the heart of SEO. Keyword research will show you what words and phrases people are entering in search engines to find websites like yours, which you'll want to associate with your own pages.

Some keywords may be obvious, but using a free tool such as Google Ads Keyword Planner will give you more detailed insights about other keywords and popular variations you should also be targeting.

Keywords should be used naturally throughout your content, but they carry more weight in key areas such as titles, headings and image descriptions.

Important: Don't overuse keywords to try to game the system. Search engines got wise to this practice a very long time ago and websites that use 'keyword stuffing' are penalized, as well as annoying for users.

Where to include keywords

Primary and secondary keywords for each page should be used naturally throughout the content, but they should be especially prominent in:

  • page titles
  • subheadings
  • the first 100 and last 100 words of the content
  • title tags and meta descriptions
  • alt text for images

Search engines favor websites that are updated regularly. Adding more pages or publishing a regular blog will help you attract more searches and improve your page rank.

Do you need a copywriter?

Good online writing takes practice, and many businesses delegate this task to an agency or freelancer with experienced copywriters who know how to write persuasive content.

If you need some help writing your website or keeping your blog updated with fresh content, there are network of copywriters that have years of experience writing for many industries and understand writing SEO content for Google.

One of our favourites is Copify, although doing a google search on ‘copywriters’ will bring up a lot of results. A key tip however is the more detailed information you provide to a copywriter about what you want (including examples you’ve seen on other sites) , tone of voice etc, the better result you will get from them.

Can't find the answer you are looking for?

Try using different keywords: