Looking for the Holy Grail of web content? You know, the blog post people can find through a quick Google search and leaves them happy they took time to read it. The article that they will want to share with a friend. Writing that instills trust, shows authority, and leads them to take action. It’s attainable. Really, it is!
Write it with Your English Teacher in Mind
What will writing full of errors say about your company? Nothing much, that’s for sure! Does this mean that you need to be a career writer to write articles, blog posts or marketing messages? By all means, no. But you do need fundamentals like using solid grammar, writing concise statements, and having a logical flow of ideas. Need help? Useful online tools include the Grammarly plugin and the Hemingway app. If you are still struggling, don’t be too proud to call in help.
Keep it Audience-Focused
To take clean writing to the next level, it needs to be audience-focused. Start with the utmost basic questions:
- What information does your intended reader want and need?
- How do they want and need to receive said information?
There’s a big difference in writing for an audience that wants a top 5 list with loads of pictures an one that is relying on data and case studies. That said, make sure you are asking plenty of questions to get on the right track. The more customized the writing for your intended audience, the more likely they will be delighted and keep coming back. So don’t settle with the starter questions – getting to know your audience well is not only a must-do if you want to write well for them but it will also lead to all kinds of other discoveries.
Make it Useful to the Reader
Few of us these days have the time or patience to dig through articles looking for the information we need. In all seriousness, haven’t we all clicked the promising headline only to find out the underlying content is utterly useless? That’s a frustrating feeling; don’t pass it on to your readers. Deliver on your promised content. It’s what is going to seal the deal when it comes to earning your readers’ trust. Here’s a pro tip especially for those writing on a topic they know in-depth: use a proof reader with less familiarity. Does their take away match what you intended? Kudos if it does. If it doesn’t, get moving on some revisions.
Optimize it for Search
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a broad field with ever-changing techniques. There is a tremendous amount of information to learn before considering yourself a master, but don’t let that stop you from implementing the basics. Start with brainstorming a list of words and phrases people will use to find you online. Compare those to the writing on your own website pages. Do they match? If so, give yourself a high-five. If not, see how you can edit your content to weave in those words and phrases but do so in a natural tone, make sure to write for people, not robots. Get bonus points with SEO if you can implement these things in the first paragraph of text, titles, and headers.
In general, don’t write for someone in a way you would not speak to them. It does get noticed and not in a way that is in your favor. Put in the time and effort and you’ll be rewarded with increased web traffic, leads, and sales.