If you’ve ever wondered why some websites perform well and others don’t, the difference is in the website content.
Website content is by far the most important element in any website yet most Malaysian web designers aren’t at all concerned. This is why our websites are designed with website content. We don’t ask you to give us the content – our writers will do the work (and they’re the right professional for the job).
When you anchor your website content well, your website will perform much better in terms of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Good quality website content makes the world of difference!
Website content enables your prospects and customers to browse and stay longer at your website. It holds their attention and convinces them that you are a better choice compared to your competitors.
But how do we ensure this happens? Here are some design and writing tips that help your prospects stay hooked on your website.
Tip #1: Narrow and Short
Think newspaper style when you are placing text on your website. Text in short, narrow columns are easier on the eyes. It helps the web user read faster.
Never make the mistake of allowing your text to span the width of your webpage because this strains the eyes of the web user. If in doubt, use this rough guideline: aim for 15 words per line or about 60 to 70 characters per line. (A clear example is this article: each line is limited to 15 words or less. Makes it easier to read, right?)
Tip #2: Aim For No Scroll
If you offer long form articles on your website, it is better to break up long articles into a few pages than putting it all on one page. Putting a long article on one page means your web users have to scroll a few times in order to finish reading the article which is tiresome for most web users.
Another benefit of breaking up your long article into a few pages is that you hold your web users’ attention for a longer duration. As the web user can only see a portion of the article at any one time, s/he won’t be scared off by the long text. By doing this, you can also track whether your longer articles get read or whether the web user leaves after the first page.
Tip #3: Think Global
Write with your international web users in mind. Do not assume people know what you are writing about, especially when it involves currency. Does the dollar sign mean American dollars? Do not assume people know the abbreviations or acronyms you are using. Spell it out.
Above all, strive to be specific and clear. If you offer your products in more than one currency, link to a currency converter tool such as XE.com Universal Currency Converter.
Tip #4: Use Common Fonts
Fonts are tricky because not all fonts will appear as what you see on your PC screen when you first use them. Going for stylish fonts or designer fonts may be cool to you but it’s not so cool when your web users don’t have these fonts (in their PCs) and all they see is a substituted or garbled font!
So when it comes to using fonts, try being on the safe side. Use Arial, Verdana, Georgia or Times New Roman so that everyone can read what’s on your website.
Tip #5: Avoid Hype
Online selling, unfortunately, reveals a lot of hype. Hype is over-exaggeration, overblown claims, overexcited tones, extreme use of superlatives and adjectives (like ‘biggest ever’, ‘most mind blowing’ or ‘most important tool you will ever see in this lifetime’). It creates distrust and suspicion besides ruining credibility and reputation.
When you look at your website content, do you see any hype or unsubstantiated claims? Do not capitalize your words like this “THE BEST DEAL EVER!!!”. Do not overuse exclamation marks as they also point to hype and exaggeration.
Tip #6: Write Like You Speak
Writing for the web means you can be informal. You have to come across as a believable persona behind the words. So try to write like you speak. Most of all stay clear of jargon, buzzwords, and corporate-speak (which essentially don’t mean much and leave people confused). Make it personal. Use words like you and I to encourage rapport and relationship. Using contractions (such as it’s, you’ve, I’ve, etc.) are all right.
Writing like you’re speaking does not mean you can forget about your spelling or grammar. Be sure to spell-check and aim to be grammatical. Or get the use of an app like Grammarly.
Tip #7: Lots of White Space
White space is important for the copy on your website. That’s the reason why you have to break up long paragraphs into shorter ones. White space is ‘breathing space’ and gives your web user a chance to pause. White space also helps keep your website focused because web users can concentrate on what’s on it, instead of being distracted by too many items on the website!
Tip #8: Pull Quotes for Attention
What if you want to highlight some important text which you don’t want your web user to miss out reading? Try using pull quotes. A pull quote is a few lines of text extracted from a main body of text and quoted in a larger typeface to differentiate it from the main body text. It is usually placed within the article or sometimes in an empty column near the article. A pull quote helps to break the monotony of huge blocks of text besides attracting the reader’s eye. Not every sentence can be a pull quote though.
To select a good pull quote, make it a phrase or sentence that is intriguing and thought-provoking. This ensures the web user will want to read more. Limit the use of pull quotes (use too many on one webpage and you lose the effect) and limit it to no more than five lines of text.
Tip #9: Use Headlines
Another clever way to attract the web user is to use headlines. Remember, what we see online now is basically a transfer of some of the methods and tips used by newspapers to induce people to read their news. Like pull quotes, great headlines makes a reader want to continue reading!
A headline should hook your web user by being provocative or creating a promise of a solution. Make your headline stand out by creating curiosity (humans are naturally curious and would always want to know more!), inserting a question or statement which is out of the ordinary. Remember that an effective headline should tease the reader into reading more. At the same time, your headline should include the keywords that you want to rank for. This is why writing for websites isn’t just about writing, it’s about attracting search engines and humans.
Tip #10: Be Specific
Which is more believable? 3,581 or 3,500? Ms Tan or Mrs Tan Bee Kim? When you write, be as specific as you can, especially when it comes to numbers, names or places. Being specific adds to the credibility of your web copy. Also, give facts (but always check them thoroughly) whenever possible. Again, facts can help bolster your case and can help inspire confidence in your product or business.
All our website design packages for businesses come with website content. We understand what it means to be a busy business owner so by helping you figure out the most challenging aspect of website design, we help you get your website launched faster. You never need to become your own website content writer or try to do something that you were never meant to do!