Grabbing a potential customer’s attention on your website means standing out among 1.9 billion others, with only about eight seconds to do it (the average person’s attention span reported by Statisticbrain.com). On top of that, only 28 percent of words are read on an average webpage.
Additionally, we are all trying to make visitors do something here on websites without sounding too pushy. We have to create a viable process for them to get to a product shopping cart or form submit page. So how do you stand out?
With these tips you’ll be properly creating written content specifically for websites in no time!
1. Use a Hero to Start Off with Interest
The pixels above the fold can be super impactful, or result in a high bounce rate, depending on your decisions. In addition to pulling in great design, writing something enticing, catchy that makes them wanting more. Say what’s unique about your company, use that slogan everyone loves or even include calls to action right there to pull them to the next reasonable step.
A great example is Stripe’s hero section, which includes it all: a great slogan to imply innovation and calls to action to push leads through to the next step. It gives you that desire to find out more.
2. Think: Easy to Skim
The general rule of thumb is to break up any unattractive long walls of wording with titles and short paragraphs. Since most visitors are going to skim the content anyway, make it stupid simple for them to do so.
Add titles (which is good for SEO too) to short paragraphs. People just don’t respond to walls of text anymore, social media has trained us not to. So deliver the points across concisely.
Where there is a lot of content, use tactics like listing bullets or images to break it up. Definitely use different H1, H2, H3 and body stylings so the level of importance is understood.
3. Use the Funnel Approach
Approach the user’s experience like you would introducing yourself to a new friend or business associate. The home page should serve as an initial introduction–this is who I am, what I do.
If they ask more questions, they have the option of clicking through to sub pages to find out the nitty gritty, whether that be more information about your services, examples of work, or pricing. Let them discover this additional information themselves, similar to asking questions in a conversation.
- Awareness = Homepage
- Interest = Sub page level one
- Decision = Calls to action
- Action = Submitting form, making purchase, etc.
Here is an example of a customer journey landing on the Tangerine website. Most likely if someone is visiting, they want to find out more information about banking with this company. They are immediately offered an attractive promotion to learn more about, or have the option of browsing products. This introductory information is general and not too cluttered, pushing forward the main points.
Then, they are offered the promised additional information with a call-to-action to sign up. This page addresses the main questions that customers may have and can even have additional detailed pages with prompts to “see details”. There should always be enough information to pull people towards a decision and ideally, an action.
To pull customers down the funnel into decision and action, writing attractive call-to-actions that are not too “selly” is important.
For example “We’d love to learn about your business! [Contact Us]” is a lot more enticing than simply “Pay deposit now!”. What wording will help push your customer towards a decision, even if they’re hesitant? Put yourself in their shoes.
How much do you want to click Netflix’s giant red button? It’s a free offer, why wouldn’t you? This is a great use of design plus writing to create an eyecatching call-to-action that visitors can’t refuse.
5. Know your audience
Write as if you are speaking to your customer. To do this, you have to know them well and put yourself in their shoes to deliver what they’re looking for.
Ask yourself these questions before thinking about the tone and language you need to use:
- Am I selling to a niche industry or a mainstream audience? What wording do they understand or are they looking for?
- Do I need to show professionalism and credibility or be authentic and approachable?
This is how they sell the newest iPhone to customers:
“Super Retina in two sizes — including the largest display ever on an iPhone. Even faster Face ID. The smartest, most powerful chip in a smartphone. And a breakthrough dual‑camera system with Depth Control. iPhone XS is everything you love about iPhone. Taken to the extreme.”
In comparison, on their business site they address considerably different points:
“Just as we design our products to be simple, intuitive and capable, we design them to be secure. iOS and macOS are built on a UNIX foundation, making them both stable and robust…To ensure longevity of Apple products, we put our hardware to the test in our Reliability Testing Lab using methods that mimic real-world experiences.”
The language targeted at customers is the flashy features and tech specs of new products. On the business side, they emphasize completely different points: security, reliability and cost efficiency.
6. Incorporate SEO keywords but do not sacrifice natural readability
Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to figure out the exact wording your potential customers are using to search for your product. The grammar or word variations that are actually being searched for may surprise you!
Incorporate these, but not at the expense of readability. For example, repeating the same three words in a phrase over twice will seem unnatural. Both Google and customers will pick up on what you’re doing and it can become a deterrent.
With these tips, you’ll be able to craft effective content for your website in no time!