Content is something that has many uses.
That’s why your content marketing strategy shouldn’t be a ‘one trick pony’.
Recently, I was talking to a client who wanted me to create content for his company website with a ‘journalistic’ quality.
That started a debate that got me thinking about levels of website content and was the catalyst for writing this article. In fact, it’s three blogs that take a look at different needs and aims of each level and how they affect the style of writing.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me explain about the three levels thing:
|1: Main web pages||Conversational, customer focused, Plain English, concentrating on the benefits||SEO – engage – convince – convert
|2: Case studies and testimonials||Conversational, Plain English, focus on service, problem-solving and results||Engage – show expertise, service and problem-solving ability – convert|
|3: Articles, blogs, white papers, etc.||Conversational, Plain English, journalistic||Educate – thought leadership – demonstrate expertise – SEO|
As you can see, each should be written differently because every level has a different purpose. However, one thing they all have in common is the need for Plain English; even when writing a white paper, you must stay away from jargon.
In this first article, I shall look at level one – your main web pages
Websites are there to sell, not inform
“Oh no, my website isn’t there to sell. No one sells through websites unless it’s an e-Commerce one.”
You’d be amazed at how many times I’m told that.
All websites are there to sell – what’s the point in them otherwise?
The person who has just landed on your site has done so because either:
- They’ve heard about your company and wanted to check you out
- Someone else has recommended you, and they wanted to find out more
- You’ve come up in their search results because they’re looking for what you offer
In all of these scenarios they’re on your site because you can solve the problem they have and if your website doesn’t convince them you’re right for them, they’ll head off and buy from another business.
Writing to attract, convince and convert
The purpose of your website is threefold:
- Attract – the content should be written in line with your SEO strategy to maximise its visibility within the search results
- Convince – the writing has to engage and convince the reader that you can provide the exact solution they’re looking for
- Convert – they must be convinced enough to take action (contact you, buy from you, etc.)
To achieve all three, your writing has to be simple, focused on benefits and conversational. Writing in the second person helps you achieve that.
That means keeping away from jargon. It doesn’t matter how educated your audience is; they want Plain English that shows them how you’re going to make their life easier. Forget industry/marketing speak and hyperbole – use simple vocabulary.
What about SEO keywords?
I mentioned earlier that attracting readers is one of the functions of your web copy and that inevitably means keywords.
What it doesn’t mean is cramming as many of them as possible into your content.
SEO writing is all about writing naturally. Your text should be informative, interesting and non-repetitive.
The keywords your SEO section has identified as those they want to target should be included in your headings and subheadings (H1 and H2 tags). Because they’ll be directly related to the subject of the page you’re writing, they will also crop up in your main content, but don’t force them. Only use them they’re needed.
It’s also important to remember to include words that are related to your keywords.
Your website must sell
The whole purpose of your site is to sell your products and services. But that doesn’t mean prospects will buy from you just because you’ve told them how great you are.
They’re going to want proof, and your content has to offer that by focusing on the benefits you offer.
Now, this is the area that gets people thinking about adding lines into their copy about how professional they are, in the belief that that will make someone buy from them.
Telling them you’re professional (or, dare I say it, a market leader) isn’t enough. You have to show them, and that’s where the different levels of content come into play.
Your level one content attracts and persuades your reader that you’re right for them, but happens when they want more proof?
That’s where level two comes in. I’ll look at that in more detail next time.
Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting, is an international copywriter that helps brands build reputations, market share and loyalty.