Over the last few years, I’ve helped many companies liven up their website content and blog by providing content and copywriting services. The mistake I’ve seen far too many businesses make is publishing content that talks so much about themselves or blog posts that aren’t relevant to where their audience is on the buyer’s journey. Many businesses often forget that each content needs to resonate with the audience’s position in the sales funnel, regardless of whether they are in the B2B or B2C industry.
Your website content must connect with your audience but ultimately turn them into paying customers.
Understanding the influence of content in buyer’s journey
Content influences people at different stages of the buyer’s journey. How you communicate with someone you still need to convince is different from a long-term repeat client.
Relevant and search-optimized content places you right when people look to learn, solve a problem, or find an opportunity. Demonstrating your skills and expertise can increase your visibility when partnered with optimized content.
Attracting someone is one thing but keeping them attracted long enough to convert is another. Use this time to make it easy for your customers to evaluate and make their final decision by giving them content and offers that can nudge them in your direction. For example, webinars, free trials, and demos can help them make an informed decision.
Swaying their decision in your favor doesn’t happen by chance. As a business, you should create reasons for them to choose you by giving them value and supporting it with factual data and social proof.
But before that happens, what you say should be sticky enough that prospects will stay on your site long enough to see what you have to offer. Leverage these twelve actionable tips to help you create content that converts.
12 actionable tips for writing great business content you can start doing today
Understand your audience and use the right language
Before creating any content, it’s essential to fully grasp who your ideal customer profile is.
Once this is clear, you must speak the same language as them. The way you talk to a 60-year old mother of three and a 25-year old fresh out of college man will be very different.
Nix the jargon
The web is for everyone and not just technical experts, so make sure your information is understandable even by non-specialists. Avoid using internal jargon, spell out acronyms, especially on the first usage, explain complex or uncommon terms, and hyperlink to other resources so a reader can get more background information. Avoid making it difficult for your reader to understand your content. Using unfamiliar words and making sentences sound pompous can make you look like you’re trying too hard to sound smart.
Make relevant and valuable content
To make an engaging page, you must offer valuable insights to your target audience. If your content is too thin or filled with fluff, then they’ll turn away and go to your competitor to find what they’re looking for. You’ll also leave a bad impression as the site with subpar insights.
Keep content concise
Internet consumers love to skim information. If you belabor your point, they may end up leaving your site instead of taking the chance of finding out if what you’re saying is worth it.
Talk less about you and more about what you can do
Your website content should talk more about your customers and how they can benefit, and less about the fifty awards you’ve won that none of your audience are even familiar with. Use the second person point-of-view, “you,” to connect with your readers and to make it more personalized to their experience. Share how you can solve their problem or help them take on an opportunity. Focus on benefits and results, and get ready to share proofs to solidify your case.
Follow the inverted pyramid model
Web consumers have a short attention span. They will almost instantly decide whether your site is worth perusing or not within the first few seconds. Structure your content like an inverted pyramid where important messages go at the top of the page and drill down to supporting information gradually throughout the content.
Use an active voice all the way
Specify the subject of the sentence as if you’re speaking directly to them. Using the active voice instead of passive helps create succinct, engaging sentences. For example, instead of saying “It can be done,” it’s more engaging to say “You can do it,” rather than writing “Sales demos can be requested from our site,” say “You can book sales demos from our site.”
Format your text for the web
Cater to content skimmers by formatting your text for fast reading. Include headings and subheadings when necessary to make scanning easier and make your copy more search engine friendly.
Use only one H1 tag throughout your content, then each of the succeeding headings is more specific and relevant in the topic. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing wherein you load keywords everywhere in your visible content and backend data, as this will do more harm than good in your rankings in search engines.
Learn more about optimized content writing to make sure you do it right the first time. You can also find an experienced content writer who can help you do your keyword research and ensure consistent quality content.
Utilize images to complement your text and enhance the site’s visual appeal. Pictures also help break up text to make pages easier to read. Keep in mind to add alt tags for accessibility to describe what’s in your images for those with internet issues or who are visually impaired. This also contributes to helping your content rank better in search engines. You can use many free online stock photos if you have limited capabilities to produce your own unique visuals.
Check and recheck for spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors
Nothing says unprofessional, like a website full of spelling or grammatical errors. After you finish writing a content, come back at least a day later for fresh eyes.
As a content writer, I typically focus on one thing at a time—researching, writing, editing, and proofreading. If I am writing, I just write and don’t edit. If I’m proofreading, I just proofread and don’t correct facts or add new points.
Wear one hat at a time so you don’t confuse your objectives and end up missing important gaps.
Encourage readers to act with a call-to-action (CTA)
After reading your content, you should give your site visitors a reason to stay and read more or convert them to your desired objectives. This is where a call-to-action (CTA) comes in. Use verbs to prompt action, such as “download,” “sign up,” or “learn more.” Make sure to link these CTAs to fulfill the action you’re asking.
Keep it fresh and up to date
Old information provides outdated insights and tells search engines that you aren’t giving the value expected from you by searchers. Keep your site content fresh and regularly update it to make sure it still reflects your mission, culture, and offers. Check for dead links, review your published contact information, and refresh the content of all your site’s pages regularly.
Creating content for your site shouldn’t be a by-the-way effort. It’s just as important as your products and services, so you can attract prospects, convert leads, and nurture your customers.