Oct 16th 2018
Guide: How to Write Good Content for a Website
Knowing how to write good content for a website can be difficult, especially when you’re new to the process and you are unsure about what good website content looks like. It is important to understand the basic steps when writing a blog post, so you can make it the best it can possibly be. Things to keep in mind include, knowing your audience, using facts and figures and keeping your content original. This guide will take you through the key steps you should consider when writing quality content for your website.
1. Pick a topic and stick to it
Firstly, you must know what your topic is before you start writing about it. If your content lacks clarity about what your chosen topic is, it will confuse your readers and it will discourage them from reading your content. One of the keys to writing great content for your website is to write about topics you are interested in, excited about and wouldn’t mind researching intensively. However, you should aim to write about topics that are relevant and fresh (scroll to number 8 to learn more about ‘evergreen content’). Make sure not to go off your topic and maintain consistency within your post by keeping your content simple and precise. If you're struggling for content ideas, follow these 5 useful tips.
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2. Target your audience
If you are keen on knowing how to write good content for a website, you must know who your audience is going to be. What age range are you targeting? Are they younger than 14? Are they 15-25, 26-40 or 50+? Depending on this, you will have to decide how to write your post.
For younger readers, you will need to be more engaging with your post by including more visuals such as images and gifs. You may also need to use simpler vocabulary to enable them to read your content more easily. If the audience you are targeting are over 50 years old, they might be looking for more formal, complex and informative content.
Also, when writing good content for your website, be sure to think about whether the audience you are targeting are professionals or beginners. If they are professionals; make sure to use industry-specific words and more formal language which they will understand. Try to use reliable and specific sources to inform them on a topic. For example, if your target audience are politicians, include information from websites such as gov.uk or parliament.uk. Contrastingly, if your audience are beginners and learning about a new topic/subject, you can write detailed ‘How to’ guides to help them. Be sure to give them tips and advice, cut out all the complex jargon and keep it simple. E.g. this post – ‘How to write good content for a website’.
3. What is the purpose of your content?
It is important to know what the purpose of your post is when creating content for a website. Are you writing so that your audience is entertained (you can do this by adding humour, videos and gifs and incorporating a more playful and interactive voice)? Or are you aiming to provide information for your readers? This can be achieved by using statistics/figures, suggesting helpful tips and answering questions which will provide them with knowledge on a certain topic.
Also, it is important to consider the ‘user’s intent’. By ‘user intent’ we mean: what are the readers looking for when searching various terms on their search engine?
There are 4 types of user intent:
- Informational: Individuals are searching for information on a certain topic.
- Navigational: Individuals want to access a specific website as soon as they search for it (they already know what they are searching for).
- Commercial: Individuals are looking to buy something and so are doing their research before their purchase.
- Transactional: Individuals are looking to buy something after they’ve done their commercial intent searching.
If you are aware of the purpose of your content and you know what the user’s intent is, then you will be one step closer to knowing how to create good content for your website.
4. Structuring your content
Nobody wants to see a blog post without paragraphing and without a good structure. It’s also off-putting to see a blogpost filled with great chunks of information and a lack of visuals. It is imperative to structure your content in a way which engages your readers and keeps them on your page until your very last word - a messy structure will leave you with a very high bounce rate (which you can decrease by following 5 useful tips).
If you want to be a pro at knowing how to write great content for a website, you should consider taking on-board these guidelines for structuring your content effectively:
- Create a perfect headline
- Outline what your content will be about
- Use subheadings for different points or angles of your specific topic
- Paragraphing is essential
- Use bullet-points for lists (as shown here)
- Order your information: level of importance, worst to best, best to worst, steps to follow in an order (e.g. the method used to make a recipe)
- Include relevant and reliable links
- Use coding (e.g. create a clickable contents at the beginning of your post)
5. Get the most of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a crucial part of your post. The aim of creating content is to get readers and make your page popular for the topic that you’re writing about. The best way to do this is by noting down the specific keywords, around the topic you are writing about, which get a lot of volume (searches) per month. The volume shouldn’t be too low or too high – ideally it should be between 10 and 1000 per month. Likewise, it is important to note the ‘keyword difficulty’ - how hard would it be to rank for a specific keyword. If the keyword is too difficult, it may not be worth using. Be sure that you use variations of your keywords and phrases to avoid being too repetitive. Even if you already know how to write great content for your website, don’t overlook SEO - make sure that you are consistent with the keywords which you want your blogpost to rank for.
A great tool which will help you with finding the right keywords for your content is ‘ahrefs’. It would also be beneficial to download ‘Keywords Everywhere’ , which you can add to your browser’s extensions. SEO can be a hard concept to wrap your head around, so here are some SEO basics you should know about that will inform you on how SEO can help you on how to create great content for your website.
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6. Include fun, facts and figures
You may be wondering how to write great content for a website that is both informative and engaging… well look no further – infographics will save your post and appeal more to your audience. According to an essay from Pearson, 65% of the population are visual learners, meaning that infographics can be useful for more than half of your readers.
Use relevant images so that you can explain your points successfully. For example, if your post is about how to fix something on a car, you might want to show a step by step guide using images with captions – this will make your post easier to understand.
Include facts and figures which can be backed up by reliable research. Statistics, numbers and graphs demonstrate that you have thoroughly explored the topic and you know what you’re talking about.
If your post is more light-hearted, don’t shy away from gifs; they can be a great way to add entertainment to your post.
7. Do your research
Readers aren’t looking for your sweeping statements. Make sure, when thinking about how to write quality content for your website, that you research your topic carefully by checking multiple sources for the same information and double-check that it’s consistent. Avoid quoting and providing links to Wikipedia and other discredited websites because your post will lose some of its value if it’s associated with these.
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8. Keep your content up-to-date
When trying to write great content for a website - making sure that the content you create is up-to-date is very important. This is because if readers find information on your website that has changed and is no longer accurate, it can be misleading for them and they would, consequently, be reading information which is incorrect. For example, if you say that something was ‘built exactly 123 years ago’, the following year it will not be the same figure, so you will need to update the information each year. To avoid this, you could say ‘more than 120 years ago’, which would stay the same for at least 7 more years.
Additionally, you should try to keep your content evergreen and relevant for following years. For example: ‘how to keep fit’ or ‘how to eat healthy’ are topics that are often searched for and are trending most of the time.
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9. Keep it original
Creating content for a website requires you to be inventive and unique. You can achieve this by:
- Finding new angles for topics that have never been explored before.
- Carrying out new primary research and investigations to use within your posts.
- Making sure you don’t copy and paste – use your own words.
- Using examples to explain a certain point, making it clearer for your readers.
- Taking photos yourself, so you can include original images in your post.
10. Be sure to edit and amend!
You may be thinking, “great, now that I have followed this checklist, I know how to write quality content for my website.” However, the reality is that you cannot successfully write content for a website if it isn’t proofread, edited and checked for mistakes, multiple times. It can be tedious doing this, but it’s worth it if it means that you will be providing the web with immaculate, high quality content. It is recommended to use websites such as Grammarly to check through your work and make sure you haven’t missed something (spelling mistakes, wrong use of grammar, punctuation errors etc.) when checking through your content yourself. Alternatively, you can ask somebody to check it through for you and give you feedback on how to improve your post.
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If this guide has made the concept of ‘how to write great content for your website’ seem like too much work and effort, you could always consider getting help from content writers to write quality blogposts for you and support you with the complexity of SEO. Here is some useful information if you would like to know more about how to choose an SEO company or what to search for when looking for content writers.
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