You’ve invested in programming, plugins, fiery hosting, and a wonderful logo. Your portfolio ready and now what’s left is writing the content or have it written by a copywriter. Writing a few texts shouldn’t be rocket science, and you already have a little experience writing for your school journal. Alas! You find yourself facing a challenge when writing your texts and having to consider about SEO, buttons and keywords. ????
But HOW do you write for the web? Words aren’t words? As different as writing poetry versus a horror novel, the web is unlike any other way of writing. Here we give you the magic recipe for writing for the web and if that’s not enough, we offer a writing guide and even a blog writing workshop! Let’s go!
STEP 1: Think about your audience
We’re not just talking about your target audience and what language to use. This is about how your audience will receive the message you send them. Will your customers read your texts on mobile? They probably won’t like having to read the entire Lord of the Rings on your home page. What do they want from your website? How do you refer them to your site. What will they look for there. What should they find there? Do you already have social networks that take care of some of the things you want to say to your audience? These are a set of questions that will help you identify what will drive your users to come and stay on your site.
Focus your attention on your audience.
Don’t think in terms of: what can I say about myself? Instead, think: what do my customers want to know about me? People are going on the web because they are looking for something. Answer their questions.
Make it short.
Once your text is written, reread and cut the MAXIMUM text. Remove all the superfluous. (Too many adjectives, long words, scientific terms, transition words, etc.) Be ULTRA concise! Group your ideas into small blocks that they can scan with their eyes to find what they are looking for.
Keep the essentials only (to achieve your goal).
Don’t say EVERYTHING. Really, people will read 10 maybe 20% of the content on your site. Anything from did you know, promotions, etc. can be found in a publication or a blog. Anything that is superfluous can be used as content on your networks or in your articles.
You have to write differently for the web than for anything else. The web is focused on taking action: the presence of buttons, links, icons. People expect to be led to do something. Write your sentences with an active tone. Make a plan of what to say and what it should cause for your user.
Look at popular and recognized sites in your field to give you an idea of how the texts were placed, their length, the words used, etc. Observation is the first step in understanding. Learn to recognize bad sites: those where it’s hard to read (find out why), to find the information or to expect what is going to happen.
Make a list of keywords before writing sentences.
Develop lists of words that are representative of your field, but from the perspective of your audience. Find the words people usually use to find you: If you work in heat pumps, your customers may be looking for air conditioning. Indicate both. Always use the vocabulary used by your customers. This will help them get to your pages.
Use lists / bullets
Instead of making continuous texts, you can use bullets, numbered lists, icons with short description.
Example: we are a company working in the manufacture of small clay poodle figurines in the Mont-Tremblant sector since 1988.
Replaced by :
- Local company
- High quality clay
- Over 30 years of experience
A unique figurine for your beloved poodle companion
Use universally known terms.
Use common and universal words for web comprehension. Do not try to be innovative in your sentences, navigation, buttons, descriptions of your products. You are not writing H.P. Lovecraft. Stay clear: eco-responsible, local, 24h service, free delivery, etc. Use clear, simple, action-oriented verbs: do, have, be, see, take, etc.
Don’t limit yourself to text, images can sometimes say the same and fitting your text to your images creates consistency vital to your site’s accessibility and comprehension.
Take into account your page template.
Think about your text in relation to the Visual template that will be provided to you. This will give you a good idea of the blocks of text to write and how much information to enter. If you don’t have it yet, use page templates you like and replace the text in it with your own.
STEP 2: Think about your SEO
Okay, let’s talk about that darn SEO. SEO makes people see you when they search for words related to your domain. How does Google recognize you? By scanning the words (visible and invisible) on your website. Okay, he does more than that and your choice of vocabulary isn’t the only thing that impacts his ability to refer you, but this article is about web writing so that’s where we are …
Sort your keywords.
Your word list from point 6 above = your keywords. What people are going to look for the most to find you are the words you want to use to help your SEO. There are tools to find the most searched words in a given environment. Keyword lists are the most likely words to return in a search engine query. Keep it simple and use only words that are absolutely relevant.
Use a meta title.
Define a precise and relevant meta title and repeat it often in your text. Especially in the first sentence of your first paragraph. The meta title is THE word or group of words that describes what you are doing.
Select good titles ans subtitles.
Don’t neglect your titles and subtitles. These are the first elements “scanned” in order to know what your text is about. They also help locate information on a page. Remember, people don’t have time to read. Help them locate what they came for.
Lead people toward your goal.
People go on the Internet because they are LOOKING for something. Draw attention to your other pages on your home page. Imagine the lady greeting you at the store directing you to exactly where you need to go. Your home page text should anticipate the wishes of users and lead them accordingly.
65 characters sentence.
Keep your sentences short (around 65 characters) your paragraphs should be between 300 and 500 characters long.
Name your photos.
Name your photos with a description of what’s on them or the page they’re on. It will also help you see where your images will be placed. See the article: How to properly name your photos?
Haha! You didn’t think one point would be to write more when people keep telling you to write less! A blog is a great way to include more keywords, internal, external links, titles, etc. It’s also a way to keep a certain influx of content that renews people’s enthusiasm for your new articles. You can also use your articles as a publication on your networks to send your customers to your site. They can be used to explain in detail your techniques and what you may not have said on your home page.
Keep your goal in mind.
Write consistently to boost your goal. If your goal is to sell, all of your copywriting should get people to check out your store or your offers. Your sentences should contain the words: sale, products, promotions, seasons, new, shopping cart etc.
Ask for advice and have your text revised by your programmer / developer / SEO expert
Use SEO tools.
Use your SEO assessment tools and readjust your text accordingly. Remember this is lifelong learning and you will keep improving.
In short, to write for the web you need to be able to define your audience, understand what they will be looking for on your site, craft concise, action-oriented text, and optimize everything for SEO. Phew! It may seem complex and we won’t hide it, it is. But we’re here to help you through the process with advice, tools, and even training. We look forward to writing your site with you!