Website content creation – a guide

Despite being able to write well, marketers cite content creation as one of their biggest challenges. As an established digital marketing agency with vast experience in getting new websites live, we've put together this short guide - it aims to inspire you to write quality content, simplify the content gathering process, and eliminate that feeling of dread as you open a blank document.

Writing good content for websites is hard

And shouldn’t be underestimated. The following tips are basic but offer a good starting point for those who may not have written content for an entire site before – or perhaps you’d like a refresher?

Digital content creation tips:

Write for your audience

Before you even begin, profile your customers. Creating detailed portraits of your customers complete with their characteristics, challenges, and objectives (relating to your product or service) is more likely to result in compelling content. 

Don’t repeat yourself and have your website structure laid out in front of you

When writing, have the pages of your website mapped out clearly and ensure each page has a clear purpose. If it’s difficult to determine what should be on a page, consider if it should be merged with another or removed entirely. This approach will also avoid repetition and thin content – thin content refers to low quality pages adding little to no value to users of your site.

Write with authority

As a provider of your product or service, you are an authority on it. Write with assertiveness and the reader is more likely to trust in what you are saying and convert.

Be original

What can you offer that nobody else can? Can you provide any unique insight into your industry or sector? Writing original content will engage your reader and lead to SEO benefits too.

Write backwards

When creating content for a new page, state your conclusion first, then write the copy you need to meet that conclusion – it’s often quicker than starting with the introduction. 

Enlist your core team and outline your approval process

Before you even begin, you should be thinking about your approval process. It can take time to get content signed off in busy workplaces (this can impact deadlines and that all important launch). The person responsible for signing off all web content should be kept in the loop with timelines and make sure that they have sufficient time for editing. It’s also important to clearly define roles within your content team – content creation can quickly spiral into two or three people making decent progress to an entire team pulling in different directions – ultimately getting nowhere.

And stay away from sending files backwards and forwards – use the right tools

We’ve learned that Word documents (other word processors are available) are not the ideal medium to craft web content in. Files get lost in emails and there’s often multiple versions of the same document – an organisational nightmare when dealing with large and complex sites. As a result, it is difficult to determine which one is the approved version, or the most recent. A content gathering platform or a cloud-based word processor (such as Google Docs) will provide a much more organised and dynamic approach – especially for larger websites. Content creators can work on the most recent version, wherever they are, and tag other users in any changes or suggestions. 

Complete keyword research and write for search intent

As a marketer, you will have an idea of what your website should be appearing for on Google. Your core product and service pages should be targeting specific keywords (or topics) - but you shouldn’t fall into the trap of creating content for high-volume (popular), low competition keywords rather than your actual customers. In doing this, you’re going to be presenting a website aimed at generating traffic with little regard to how relevant that traffic actually is. Increasing your sessions by 50% is fantastic – but not if it compromises other metrics such as conversion rate and bounce rate.

Find the balance – if you can create content for search terms that are highly relevant to your business, match search intent (the reason the user is searching in the first place) and convert, you’re on to a winner.

Some useful keyword research tools include:

Get time with subject experts

Those who are most knowledgeable in your new website’s offering are often so wrapped up in the day job, they do not have the time to assist in content creation. Sending them documents and asking for feedback may stay buried in their inbox for some time and impact negatively on your deadline. We recommend scheduling in some time to interview your colleagues/specialists on their area of expertise (and recording this interview). The detail you collect should be used to inspire your content and provide some of the finer details and facts later on.

…but don’t forget it’s still marketing content

Technical information, facts and figures are great but the benefits of your product and service should be clear to anyone reading your content. Ensure that calls to action are clear and that the user understands what you want them to do next. Should they send an email, complete a form, or give you a call? Or perhaps you’d like them to share your content on social media?

Expand on the media used

The ever-changing internet has resulted in a demand for new and diverse content formats. The “ideal” content creation team would include graphic designers, videographers, and social media experts as well as content writers. But we understand that this isn’t always achievable.

As a starting point, consider how you can diversify your content with the resource you have. For example, there is an abundance of video making apps available in which you’d be able to create 360 videos of your workspace or even a time lapse of your product coming to life – little to no previous experience required.

We offer copywriting services for websites. Take a look at some of our previous projects.