Writing Great Website Content Is Challenging But Worthwhile

The content of your company website has many purposes, but ultimately its goal is to help sell potential customers on your services. It’s hard to generate content that is good and truly serves that purpose. Here are some tips.

Writing Great Website Content Is Challenging But Worthwhile

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Considering how many times I've restarted this first paragraph, it's fair to say that writing is hard.

Writing for something as specific and high-stakes as your company’s website is extra challenging. Several things are working against you:

1. Writing is time consuming. Stephen King writes for four to six hours a day, aiming for 2,000 words. His method works — he has written a reported 98 novels (so far).

Still, most of us in this industry aren’t as skilled a writer as King. A well-written website article clocks in between 800 and 2,000 words — this might take awhile.

Great website copy may take days, but it’s worth the investment. Relevant content, optimized for search engines, will drive traffic and sales for your company.

2. It’s difficult to know what to write. For all your portable sanitation knowledge, I bet your head feels empty sitting in front of a blank screen. Just remember that your portable restroom company's website serves a specific purpose: to sell work. It isn’t a place for you to get on a soapbox to rant or share opinions.

Content should focus on location served, services provided and value to the customer. Once you’ve completed the basics of a homepage and the about us, contact us and service page sections, you may want to add blog-style articles that attract additional traffic.

There are several ways to do keyword research and find suitable writing subjects. As the expert, I say keyword research is unnecessary. Every customer question is a potential blog entry.

3. You are very technical. In writing website content, this deep technical knowledge may work against you.

You use a ton of industry terminology most people don’t understand. When writing content for your website, use simple language that a middle schooler would understand. Try to relate abstract concepts through examples or metaphors.

4. You are a portable sanitation nerd. Speaking of technical, don’t be. Remember, you are talking to a customer. Website users want an answer or an appointment. Your goal is to offer guidance and build trust.

5. You forget the obvious. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t get so excited discussing portable sanitation that you forget to ask for the sale. Turn that browser into a buyer. 

Users should never be more than three clicks away from their appointment. Your phone number and service area should be prominent and displayed on every page. 

6. You ignore user experience. Not every page on your website greets the same guest. The page linked from a “portable restroom operator near me” ad versus one for a “what’s that smell?" internet search should be different.

Advertisement landing pages should push for contact with the customer. The customer wants to confirm you can meet his or her portable sanitation needs and then get the ball rolling.

On the other hand, if a customer types a question into a search engine and lands on your site, he or she wants an answer. If you build trust and confidence with that answer, you may get the job. 

As you write, consider how the customer is likely to end up on that page and what you hope for them to achieve with the visit.

7. You are a braggart. It’s natural to be proud of the company you have built. And yes, we know you love your equipment. But show off your tools and team to establish credibility, not to display narcissism.

Your website is a first impression, so use it as a trust-building opportunity. Customers are only interested in how you use that fancy equipment, well-marked truck and stocked company yard to help them with their sanitation logistics. 

8. You don’t know search engine optimization basics. While some website optimization requires a web developer, copy is the SEO backbone that drives traffic. Maximize the impact of your content by making it search-engine friendly. 

It isn’t hard to learn the basics of keyword optimization, and the effort will pay dividends. 

9. You don’t proofread. Typos happen to the best of us. That’s why you need to proofread. Better yet, have a detail-oriented person proofread for you.

If that isn’t possible, read the article out loud to yourself. This trick helps find issues you won’t otherwise notice. 

Finally, pay attention to those squiggly lines that appear beneath your words in a Microsoft Word document. They are trying to tell you something. 

Writing content for your website can be difficult. It’s easy to forget that while most people can write, doing it well is a skill. You’ll get better with practice. If you decide writing website copy isn’t for you, there’s a copywriter out there who will happily take over your web copy to-do list.  

About the Author

Anja Smith is managing partner for All Clear Plumbing in Greenville, South Carolina. She can be reached at anja@acpupstate.com.



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