What is web content and why is it important?

15th February 2018

The third of our Breakfast Seminars took place this week and the topic was “Web Content”. The key areas covered included:

  • What is web content and why is it important?
  • The three elements of good web content – Branding, SEO, Users.
  • Best practice: copy, images and video.

We use the web to look for information and find out answers to our questions, and at other times we just browse for fun and read the things that interest us.

If you can convince your website visitors that you are the best estate agency/solicitors for them, before they even pick up the phone to you – you’ve already beaten the competition.

The three components of good web content

When writing content for your website, you should always bear three things in mind. User needs, branding and search engine optimisation. The best web content satisfies all three.

Branding

As well as the colours and images used throughout your site, it’s important the language you use reflects your values as a business. The tone of voice you use will let website visitors know what kind of company you are. Nowadays the written word is just as important as visual elements when it comes to branding.

SEO

The words you use and their placement on your website, can help Google and other search engines understand how to rank your website. SEO may seem a little daunting at first, but all you really need to do is write in a clear, concise way, using the language your customers might use to search for your services.

Users

Having clear, user-friendly content on your website is essential for building trust with users. It lets them get to know your brand and helps them find the information they are looking for quickly.

The way we interact with information online is very different to how we take in other types of information.

A practical guide to writing for the web

How can you create web content that ticks all three boxes for users, SEO and branding?

Use clear calls to action

It’s vital you give your users a clear idea of what to do next. So, they’ve read your webpage and now they want to book an appointment… but how?

Make it as easy as possible for people to take the next step.

A good call to action begins with a verb. Psychologically this spurs people on to take the action you suggest.

Check your spelling and grammar

Studies have shown that one typo or incidence of bad grammar can dramatically decrease a user’s trust in your website. Take time to carefully look over your web content, and always use a spell checker. An extra pair of eyes can’t hurt too – ask a friend who has impeccable English or hire a copywriter.

Best practice: images and video

Image alt text

Alt text is used to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.

If you can close your eyes, have someone read the alt text to you, and imagine a reasonably accurate version of the image, you’re on the right track.

  • Describe the image as specifically as possible
  • Use your keywords
  • Keep it (relatively) short

Video

Video is an excellent communication tool that gives a human face to businesses. You can include a short welcoming video on your website to introduce visitors to your company and products.

Background videos increase visitor stay time and help first-time visitors quickly understand what the website is about.

Best practice: Mobile optimisation

If your site is good on a mobile device, it translates better to all devices. The mobile-first approach organically leads to a design that’s more content-focused, and therefore user-focused. The heart of the site is content — that’s what the users are there for.
Main points to consider when planning your site content:

  • What content do you want to include?
  • Prioritize this content and decide how you want to display it prominently.
  • Enlarge ‘touch targets’ I.e. give links and buttons enough space.
  • Avoid large graphics. Landscape photos and complex graphics don’t display well when your screen is only a few inches across.

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