11 Secrets to Writing Effective Web Content

When was the last time you read an online article that truly impressed you? Do you think the most recent post you shared did that to your audience?

Writing effective web content takes time and practice. Not to mention, there are various writing styles and techniques able to connect with users and perform well on search.

Some writing is mostly technical; it focuses on things like keywords, tags, and links first, then gets to the topic at hand. Other writing styles are more creative. Such articles want to make a brand’s voice shine and hook users from start to finish.

The truly best website copy, though, is a mix of both. It’s good to know the tactics behind what makes an article perform well, but at the end of the day, you have to write for the reader.

If you want to improve your copywriting in all aspects, use the tips listed below.

1. Capture a User’s Attention from the Start

Before you jump into all the ways to make an article more search-friendly, focus on improving the quality of your writing. It doesn’t matter how well you can get an article to rank if someone doesn’t read it the whole way through.

In fact, you can almost guarantee a high bounce rate on a post if it doesn’t have a good hook. The hook is the first few sentences of an article, and it needs to excite people enough to make them keep reading.

A few great ways to write a good hook are to ask a question, tell a story, or to make a big claim. If you ask a question, make it relatable, if you tell a story make it quick, and if you make a big claim, be ready to back it up.

2. Make Everything Flow

Once you get the hook out of the way, you have to go straight into the article’s topic. Guide your users from one part of the article to the other, though. Support your first few sentences with a few more details in order to create a full introduction.

The introduction clearly states what you’re going to cover. This leaves no doubt on what’s to come in the rest of the post. Sometimes writers will even tell the audience how they’re going to explain something before they dive right into it.

A nice introduction also allows you to break up the rest of an article into small parts. Set up all your headers and subheaders so you’re able to create flow in your writing.

3. Be Approachable

As much as you want an article to set you up as an authority in your industry, you also have to be approachable.

Think about a medical clinic or a legal office looking to rank, for example. These professionals deal with complex situations every day; they have to make tough calls and know how to stand their ground. But when writing to their audience, it’s best to word things as if speaking to a friend.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, you’ll do better following this rule than writing without it. When an article has a sense of transparency or authenticity to it, it’s much easier to read than something that is just by the book or outright dull.

4. Simplify Everything

Keep in mind that part of being approachable is to make things simple. You can have the friendliest voice possible, but if you’re talking about technical terms no one understands you’re still going to lose readers.

Take a second to consider who your target is. If you’re writing with industry leaders and highly-experienced individuals in mind, you don’t have to dumb things down too much.

If your writing is geared toward those who may not know too much about your services or industry as a whole, the simpler, the better.

5. Focus on Good Formatting

The final creative piece of advice for your writing is actually a basic technical rule of writing web content. You have to have good formatting.

Some of the best practices for formatting are:

  • each paragraph should only have a few sentences
  • vary the length of all sentences in the article
  • use headers and subheaders when appropriate
  • make the introduction and conclusion clear and concise

Put simply, you want all of your website copy to be friendly on the eyes. It’s hard for people to read a lot of lines bunched together on a screen the way they would in a book. Separating every single line, though, is unnecessary.

6. Use Header Tags

A cool thing about using headers and subheaders is that this writing tactic pays off in SEO. Try to incorporate your article’s keyword in one of the headers, and make sure there’s a balance between every section you separate and how much content is actually in each section.

Check to see if each header is the right size before you publish something.

Even minor details like keeping numbers with numbers (1,2,3) and letters with letters (a,b,c) when making your points matters. It cleans up all your headers so readers know when they’re moving from one supporting point to another or a different section entirely.

7. Research the Best Keywords for Your Business

Whether you want to write better headers or make all of your web copy more exciting, you have to focus on the keywords. These should go hand in hand with the point you’re trying to make. More so, you have to use the keywords that are going to give you the best ranks.

The success of marketing writing’s SERP position doesn’t depend on a keyword alone. But, it does help to know which keywords have the most potential for success. This puts you on the right track toward getting a first-page spot for a user’s inquiry.

8. Get Comfortable with Link Building

Sometimes, a user won’t find you via a search engine input but rather through a link on someone else’s site. This usually happens when you’ve created enough authority that people are referencing you in their articles.

As you write your own pieces, though, it’s good to include outbound links, too. Outbound links expand your online footprint. They show Google you’re playing all your cards right and tell users you’re staying on top of industry trends.

Be sure you have internal links in all of your articles, too. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing persuasive articles to sell something or explanatory articles to show off your knowledge, internal links matter.

They guide users through the buying process by showing them more of your website – which explains more of who you are and what you offer.

9. Optimize Your Images

Here’s an interesting thought: you can improve the success of your website copy by leveraging your images. Remember, all of your web content is intertwined; when you know how to use everything together, you’re doing something right.

Images in your post make the copy more appealing to the eye. But optimizing the image with photo tags and captions make the whole article more appealing to search bots.

It’s a simple trick that has powerful results. The next time you go to add a photo to your article, take a second to name the image using your focus keyword. Then, write something under the image that adds to the points you’ve made with your copywriting.

10. Write Engaging SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions

Another way to make your web content more successful is to edit how it shows up on a SERP. You’re only allowed so much room on a list of results, and you want to make every character count.

Write a title tag that is exciting yet to the point. Make it stand out to users and answer their question directly. Then, work on spicing up the Meta description a bit.

This is almost like writing another hook for your post. The hook in the article itself gets readers ready for what they’re about to learn from you. The way you hook people with the Meta description, though, makes users pick your article over someone else’s.

11. Use Your Skills to Write Guest Posts

One more thing: don’t forget about guest posting!

Guest posting is a great way to give your web content a bigger audience. Maybe your site is struggling to rank well but you know you have valuable material to share. Maybe you’re not concerned about rank as much as you are about being a bigger authority in a competitive market.

Guest posting can help you. When you reach out to other sites and write a post for them to share, you’re reaching users you otherwise wouldn’t be able to on your own. More so, you’re showing people who already know a bit about your brand that you’re a company to watch out for.

Just be sure the guest posts you’re writing are always original. Never take an old article from your blog and put it on someone else’s.

Make All Your Web Content the Best It Can Be

It’s one thing to understand how great web content is written and another to be able to produce it on a consistent basis.

Some days, the creativity flows and others, it can be hard to get just a few sentences out. Not to mention, you won’t always have the time to use all the SEO tools out there to boost a blog.

That’s why it’s best to work with the professionals, like us. For all your web content creation and optimization needs, contact us today.