When writing content for your website, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind. These guidelines are designed to help you ensure the content you write for your website is easy for your readers to understand, digest and take action based on.
Guideline #1 – Skimmable Headlines
It’s rare for people to read all the words on a webpage. Most of the time, people skim headlines and pictures. Therefore, you should have frequent headings and subheadings. These headings and subheadings should stand alone in clarity. Additionally when the headings are read together without the paragraphs below them (ie, when people are skimming), those headings should, on their own, tell the narrative of your page. The paragraphs below each heading should fill in the details of that narrative.
Guideline #2 – Clear, easily digestible content.
Content for the web should generally be written at no higher than an 8th grade reading level. This is true even if your target audience has an advanced degree! Additionally, paragraphs should vary in length, with none being too long. As noted above, people often skim content on the web. Visitors to your website might be viewing your website on a phone, while in a hurry, or while upset or in some other state that makes it unlikely they’ll want to digest long, complex sentences. To help you check the reading level of your content, I recommend using this resource: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/
Guideline #3 – Clear Call-To-Actions embedded in context throughout site
A “Call to Action” is a button with a clear, action-oriented direction on it. “Buy now,” “Schedule a Consultation,” and “Sign up for my newsletter” are common Calls to Action, but there are many more. It’s important to include these Calls for Action throughout your website, If you’re worried that including Calls to Action would be too “pushy” or you’re unsure how to include them on your site, I recommend this resource: https://www.leverwebsites.com/2019/11/02/calls-to-action-for-mission-driven-businesses-and-non-profits/
Guideline #4 – Tell a Story about your client
I’ve heard this described as “frowny face to happy face.” This doesn’t need to be a long narrative, but you should state plainly the problem (“frowny face”) and solution (“happy face”) that your service provides. Remember that this story should be about your clients, not about you. Talk about your clients’ problem, challenge or need. And then talk about what your clients will experience as a result of working with or buying from you. Creating personas can help you achieve this.