For many, the thought of writing website content can be daunting. Web content needs to be carefully crafted—not cobbled together like the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. A disjointed content strategy can cause visitors to become frustrated and get stuck on your website without clear indications of what to do next. These four tips will help you create web content that fosters a delightful user experience.
Make Your Website Visitors the Heroes of Your Story.
Genres, themes, and settings may vary, but every story has a hero who’s facing a conflict. Whenever we read a book, watch the latest Netflix show, or go to the movies, the conflict at the heart of the story draws us in and captures us until the end. Your business’s website tells your brand story. However, here’s the catch: You’re not the story’s hero. Your customer is.
Why? Your customer is on your site because they’re facing a conflict and looking for a way to solve it. You have a potential solution. The key is to position yourself in a critical supporting role and guide the customer through the problem-solving process. By acknowledging your hero’s conflict, you create a user experience that makes your customer feel understood, your brand relatable, and your solution seem trustworthy.
Clarify The Hero’s Decision.
When drafting your content, be clear from the beginning what decision you want the hero of your story to make. Whether you want them to book a discovery call with a sales rep or buy a product on your e-commerce site, the path you offer needs to make sense for your business and the length of your sales cycle. If your business has a long sales cycle, for example, encourage users to book a discovery call with your sales team. Your website's content and calls to action (CTAs) should drive users toward this decision. Your hero might not be ready to make a decision right away, and that’s okay. Your content should empathetically support your hero no matter where they are in their journey.
Cut the Fluff.
Excellent web content doesn’t happen on the first draft. Put it aside for a while and come back to it. When you do, edit it ruthlessly. Ruthless editing refines your message as you determine which sentences are load bearing and which are fluff. The load-bearing sentences support the main point of your content and strengthen your writing. Fluff may be repetitive or just superfluous. If a sentence or entire paragraph is fluff, cut it.
Use Jargon Cautiously.
Jargon consists of terms that are specific to an industry. As such, website visitors who don’t work in your industry might not understand them. Avoid using jargon, as it risks muddying your message.
There is a time and place to use jargon, however. Here are a few things to consider before using jargon in your content:
- Know your audience. Unlike most users, industry experts will expect and tolerate technical terms in your content.
- Is it unavoidable? The legal, health, and IT industries are a few examples of those that use industry-specific terms. If you can’t write around the jargon, be sure to define it for your audience when using it in your web content.
- When in doubt, ask someone who knows nothing about your industry to read your content. If they don’t understand your message, edit it for clarity.
Want more tips for creating an effective content strategy for your website? Check out our blog for more resources!