Are you writing website content that makes an impact on your customers? How does your content stack up in today’s competitive online market?
Between groundbreaking new AI technologies, Google algorithm updates, shifts in buyer behavior, and a dozen other ever-changing factors, the goalposts are always moving in the content marketing game.
Keep reading for 12 expert tips for writing website content that stands out in 2023.
E-E-A-T up your blog strategy
To best reflect the state of the Internet at any given time, Google makes periodic updates to its search algorithms. In 2018, they released the “E-A-T” algorithm update, which, in a nutshell, prioritizes search results that contain legitimate and reliable information authored by true experts.
“E-A-T” stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Many SEO experts have also embraced an extra “E” to account for “Experience.” A blog strategy that prioritizes regularly publishing high-quality, reliable, expert-informed content will improve your brand’s E-E-A-T, helping you rank higher on Google.
E-E-A-T is especially important for businesses in fields like healthcare. According to Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines, E–T is weighted more heavily for websites that “could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users,” or what Google simply calls “your money or your life” (Y-M-Y-L). Medical information websites about health, diet, nutrition, and diseases fall into what Google considers the Y-M-Y-L category.
Use buyer personas to inform your content
Crafting the most compelling and effective website content requires understanding the needs and behaviors of your target audience(s). To identify those needs and better understand how your buyers typically use the internet, start by developing website buyer personas.
Personas help you better understand the buyer journey, so you can create a content experience that allows your audience to easily navigate the information on your website and find exactly what they need.
Here are a few tips for well-researched buyer personas:
- Talk to customer-facing employees. Ask internal team members what kinds of questions customers ask, what they value most, and how they typically engage with your organization.
- Ask for customer feedback. Conduct video or phone interviews with existing customers or other individuals who fit your target audience criteria. Ask them for feedback on your existing website content and how you could improve it.
- Do competitor research. Check out the content on competitor websites to see how yours stacks up in the industry and look for any opportunities or gaps.
- Get audience insights. Dig into Google Analytics for useful information about your audience. In your website’s GA platform, click Audience > Interests > Overview.
- Leverage social media. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all provide demographic information about the people who engage with your business pages and can shed some light on your current audience.
Start with a style guide
When you were a kid, did your mom ever tell you to “watch your tone?” Mom may not have known it then, but she was giving you great content marketing advice!
Using a consistent brand voice, style, and tone across all your content feels more authentic and helps your readers better understand what your company is all about.
A content style guide is a document that outlines what makes your company unique and how your brand voice should sound. It can also include more tactical information, like guidelines on formatting (e.g., whether to use title case or sentence case, how to format headers, etc.).
Creating a style guide can help you capture your brand’s unique voice and share it with everyone in your organization so content creation is more cohesive. That way, when someone creates content, they can ensure it sounds like your brand and follows all the rules.
Work smarter with AI marketing tools
Regularly publishing relevant, SEO-optimized website content is critical to business growth. But with competing demands or a limited marketing budget, producing the amount of high-quality content necessary to meet your goals can take time and effort.
According to a recent Gartner survey, 75% of CMOs are under increased pressure to “do more with less” to deliver profitable growth in 2023. AI tools for marketing can help your team work more efficiently and overcome time or budget constraints.
You can leverage AI writing tools to streamline content research, topic generation, headline writing, copy editing, and more.
Just keep in mind that while AI tools like ChatGPT are helpful assistants, they are known to sometimes produce inaccurate or low-quality outputs, so content writing still requires a thorough human review.
Use trending keywords to build your blog calendar
Helpful, relevant blog content can turn a website lurker into a loyal customer. According to 2022 research by Hubspot, most consumers read blogs multiple times per week and have purchased something from a brand after reading their blog.
To ensure you’re covering blog topics your target customers are searching for, use keyword research to build out your editorial calendar.
For example, let’s say you run a yoga studio in Dallas, TX. Top keywords people in your target audience are searching for might include:
- “best yoga mats” or “yoga studios near me”
Based on these trending keywords, you could generate relevant blog post ideas, such as:
- “Best Yoga Mats to Protect Your Knees and Enhance Your Practice”
- “New Yogi? This Dallas Yoga Studio Offers a Great Intro Class”
Learn to speak Gen Z’s language
As more people in Generation Z join the workforce and increase their spending power, marketers need to consider the unique traits and behaviors of these influential decision-makers.
Because they grew up in the age of social media, people in Gen Z are more likely to identify with spokespeople they can relate to, like actual customers or experts who can honestly and authentically speak about a specific product or company. Including customer stories and testimonials in your website content can go a long way to positively influence your young buyers.
Seventy percent of Gen Zs also say product videos and photos are particularly helpful when making purchasing decisions, according to a Cloudinary UGC Study. So when marketing to Generation Z, incorporate more videos and visuals when possible.
Gen Zs also tend to look for companies that do good in the world, and 72% say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that contribute to social causes. So don’t be afraid to include information about your company’s mission and values and share stories when your organization gives back to the communities it serves.
Use the “inverted pyramid” information method
The typical website visitor has a short attention span and will decide whether or not your website has the information they need in a matter of seconds. To grab and keep their attention, consider an “upside-down pyramid” or “cone” content format, with the most crucial information at the top.
Start with a strong headline that gets straight to the point. Also, make sure the first few sentences clearly explain what the piece will be about, as that content will inform featured snippets. WordPress and HubSpot offer snippet tools to help.
For example, if you’re writing landing page content for an upcoming webinar, the most essential details, like the event name, date, featured presenters, and a link to register should be front and center.
Lead with buyer-driven homepage content
Your homepage content is often the first thing a potential customer sees, so it better do an excellent job of explaining who you are and how you can help.
Most people visit a company’s website because they’re trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or find information. Designing and writing your homepage content to ensure they can find these answers—or are directed to the right place—is critical to providing a good user experience.
Readability is also crucial to crafting effective homepage content. Keep your copy simple, free from buzzwords, and shoot for an 8th-grade reading level. The Hemingway Editor is a great free tool to evaluate your content and get a readability score. Web FX also offers a free readability test. You enter your published URL, and it provides a score.
Include links to relevant internal and external sources
Linking to outside sources (external linking) helps search engines validate the credibility of your website content. It also increases the likelihood that content creators on other sites will link back to yours. Look for sites you’re already familiar with or can validate as credible subject-matter experts. Then, consider their EEAT, per tip #1.
Including links to well-researched facts and statistics in your content can reinforce your message and strengthen your credibility with readers. When linking out to a stat, just be sure you’re linking to the original source, not just another website that references it.
Internal linking also improves SEO and helps readers more easily navigate to other content on your website. Just be sure the links you’re including are genuinely relevant to the content and will be helpful for the intended audience. In other words, don’t just link for the sake of linking.
Write scannable, minimalist content
On top of using plain language and avoiding industry jargon, website content should also be easy to skim. On average, website visitors spend just 54 seconds on a page, so you have less than a minute to make a good impression.
Instead of long, wordy paragraphs, opt for 1-2 sentence paragraphs and use bulleted lists when possible. Organize content into short, scannable sections with descriptive headings and subheadings, and include lots of white space between text.
Since many are visual learners, you can also break up text content with relevant images or videos. Adding these visual elements can create a more engaging multimedia experience for your audience. One study found that articles with relevant photos get 94% more views than those without.
Make sure your content is accessible for all
Website accessibility is the concept of making websites usable and functional for all visitors, including those with disabilities. If you’re unsure how accessible your website content is, consider an accessibility audit to test for common issues.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines you can reference for standard website accessibility criteria. According to the W3C, “Case studies show that accessible websites have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, and increased audience reach.” Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.
To reinforce the importance of readability, one of W3C’s principles of accessibility also says web content should be “understandable, clear, and not confusing.”
Build an internal coalition of content champions
Just creating content isn’t enough—you also have to get eyes on it. Content distribution can be tricky, but you might not be taking full advantage of an often overlooked channel: your internal employees.
When employees (inside and outside your marketing team) share your company’s web content with their networks, they can significantly expand your reach.
Here are a few internal content enablement strategy tips to help you get started:
- Make content accessible in a centralized location or content hub
- Announce to the team when new, high-value content comes out
- Feature team members in blogs, videos, etc. (Bonus: This can also help improve your EEAT and make content more Gen Z-friendly)
Need a little help with your website content?
For 20 years, TBH Creative has been helping marketing and sales teams hit their goals with compelling, persona-driven content and campaigns.
Our experienced writing team understands that creating engaging campaign assets takes a human touch to turn prospects into customers. Let’s talk.