DIY Website Content

Ryan Young Published by: Ryan Young Published on: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Writing content yourself can be just as easy as hiring a pro

 Photo via Strartup Stock Photos

When it comes to writing content for your website, there are really two options:

  1. Hire a copywriter or a professional web consulting services

  2. Do it yourself

Most small business owners and even larger companies with internal marketing teams tend to lean toward the DIY option. And that’s not a bad thing – mainly because they know their business inside and out.

They know the types of customers they want to get. They know how to explain their business in layman’s terms so it is easy to understand. And they have the resources (time and/or employees) to do the job.

But even if you’re not blessed with a writing staff or even a lot of free time, you can still write web content yourself.

When the task starts to feel overwhelming, and the thought of opening up a blank Word document sounds as appealing as sticking your head in a beehive, here are three things to keep in mind:

The web is meant to be scanned

Don’t worry about writing a 500-word essay for each of your services. Studies show that approximately 16 percent of people read every word on a web page.

That means your headers and subheaders should be descriptive and informative, not clever, and your paragraphs should be short and summarized.

Be objective and concise, and when possible, optimize your content for better scanning by breaking minor, related points into lists.

If you find yourself writing a lot about a certain topic, consider writing a summary, then publishing a more detailed page on your site to link to. This way, you’re not taking up key online real estate, and you can provide interested readers with an opportunity to get more in depth information.

Also be sure to put your main point in the first couple of paragraphs. In journalism, this is called the inverted pyramid, a tactic also used in blog and ad writing.

Web users are in a hurry. Don’t make them wade through flowery language to find the information they are looking for.

Think about customer personas

One reason you may feel intimidated writing content for your website is because you feel you have to write for a wide range of people. Casting a wide net will catch many fish, right?

As the cliché goes: You can’t please everybody. Instead, write with one person in mind.

Whittle your ideal audience down to one buyer persona – a collection of character traits that define the type of people you want to serve the most. Outline this person’s age, gender, social class, marital status, education level, hobbies, and interests.

This will help you establish your boundaries. If you ever start questioning whether or not you’re writing fluff, refer back to your customer persona.

Tailor your content to the people you want to reach.

Write to answer questions

Speaking of fluff, perhaps the easiest way to avoid jargon-laden filler copy is to just answer a question.

You’ve probably heard dozens of them over the years – some maybe more so than others. Put your answers down in writing, then showcase your credibility with some research and elaboration.

Authority and trust are a big when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. People go to Google seeking answers to questions, not to look at pretty homepage designs (unless they’re design geeks like us and deliberately searching for “pretty homepage designs”).

Plus, it’s much easier for a targeted interior page to rank well in search than one page crammed full of marketing talk.

Every page is a doorway to your website, and you have very little control over whether users enter through the front door or one of the side doors.

Treat every page like a hospitable foyer, not a storage garage.

Thinking of redesigning your website? You may just need to restructure your content. We can help! Before you dream up designs, contact us for a consultation today.

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