When is the last time you read clear, useful, and engaging content? Content where the tone of the writing was easy to connect with, there were no grammatical errors or misspellings, and you left with the information you needed. Chances are you’ll return to that source because you had a good experience with the content already. Great content is an opportunity to create customer loyalty when it’s strategically planned and used in line with great UX/UI design.
We recommend getting your content written and finalized before starting a website design. In our experience, having final content done first sets a design project up for success. If your designer knows exactly what the website is going to display, they can create a better design and the development process is smoother.
Check out our post on planning your content if you still need to plan your sitemap and what will be on the website. If you don’t have a thought-out structure for your website, how will you know what content to put and where? Content can be placed willy-nilly but without a proper plan and flow for your website, no one is going to want to look at it. Good content is original, clear, useful, and concise. People are coming to your website for answers, whether it’s about the services you provide or a topic you’ve written a blog for. Content should always be useful to the reader and fulfill their needs, not just sell a product or service. Here are some tips for writing your own content.
Always Write Original Content
The infamous Google algorithm has been a hot topic for several years. As businesses have seen their SEO rankings drop, quality content became very important. As Hubspot outlines here, Google does not reward copied content. If something is important enough to be on your website, then it should be something you’re well versed in. It's ok to reference or link another piece of content but don’t copy and paste part of the article into your post. We are here to discuss how to write your own content, after all. As long as you aren’t stealing content then you don't need to worry about your site being penalized.
Audience and Readability
We've discussed the importance of understanding your audience as one of the first steps of content strategy. It’s also important when choosing the tone and language of your content to ensure the information will be easy for them to absorb. Your content will be more successful if you write using language they relate to and use themselves. Show your audience you understand their problems and their joys by choosing relevant topics.
Readability refers to how easily a piece of content can be read. Factors that contribute to readability include complexity of language, familiarity, and word count. Many readers are going to quickly scan content to get the general idea so keep sentences short. A wordy explanation of something simple will most likely get skipped or cause them to leave the page. This goes hand-in-hand with understanding your audience.
The Hemingway app is known for helping writers edit lengthy sentences and common errors. It counts the number of adverbs used, how often you use a passive voice, and highlights difficult sentences. As you edit content for clarity it evaluates the readability and gives you the reading level. This is one of the most helpful tools for writing content that a wide audience can absorb.
Get to the Point
Think about the last time you started reading an About page or blog post that was so wordy you weren’t sure what their point was. You probably didn't want to stick around for long or explore more pages on their website. Concise content is a key ingredient to quality content. You know the phrase, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all"? That's how we feel about unnecessary content. If it isn't helpful to the reader then don't include it. Content is always for the user, so provide the information they need clearly and quickly.
Check Grammar and Spelling
This may seem like a no-brainer but we see grammar and spelling errors on websites all the time. Errors like this are unprofessional and very easy to avoid. If these aren’t your best skills, find someone to proofread content or simply use the tools we’ve listed below.
Grammarly is a tool that can be used by everyone, ranging from students to our 95Visual team. Sometimes even the best spellers miss an error because they’ve already looked over the content several times. Grammarly will catch spelling and grammatical errors to aid you in making content clear and effective. It detects tone and plagiarism as well! Chrome users can easily add an extension and it will make suggestions as you write emails, edit documents, and more.
Writing your own content is an adventure and we hope these tips will help! If you’re interested in our Content Strategy services read about them here or let’s set up a call to discuss your content needs.