Writing for the Web

June 11, 2013 Kirsten Thornton

Content Tips

Once again, we visit the idea of content for your website. It's important. Some would say it's king. There are plenty of tips, tricks, and guidelines when it comes to getting ideas for content, making a schedule, and implementing changes to different types of content. So now that you know what to write about and when to write, here are a few more tips on how to write for your website.

  1. Have you copied your content over from a previous site?
  2. Have you simply used content from your print marketing material?
  3. Have you left the default content on your website?
  4. Have you added so much content that people will be scrolling endlessly on your site?
  5. Have you used so many industry-specific phrases that the average person would need to look them up?

If you did any of the above, you are not alone. If you own a website, but are not a professional writer, you are not alone. If you assume you can write content for your website because you know your industry inside and out...you are not alone. Again, you may already know what to write about, and even when to write it, but there are a few key things to consider when it comes to how you should write for your website.

The Lost & Found
Your site could be lost in a sea of 1,180,000,000 results. Make sure you're using the right words and phrases that would be used by people actually looking for your product or service. Don't be afraid to write for people, rather than search engines. Lastly, do not steal, imitate, or even copy (with permission). This can get your site banned from search engines, or cause it to be lost amongst a sea of other sites who copied that same content.

Be a Showstopper
Grab some attention-for the right reasons. Think about the first impression your site will make. Look at your content in terms of how your audience would view it. Do they want to be impressed at how many fancy terms you can use? How many organizations you're associated with or awards you've won? Or do they want to know plain and simple, how you can help them? Focus on the benefits of your product or service. Think about putting your conclusions at the beginning, then building upon that.

Ready, Set, Review
Looking back over this piece in particular, there are a few pointers to be found by example. People usually scan web pages, so separate each idea into its own paragraph and use lists to emphasize a few points. Like so:

  • Use short sentences and calls to action to direct the flow of your site.
  • Include smaller headings to define sections of your content.
  • Incorporate links as part of your content to draw attention to important topics.

The Final Stretch
Proofread. Analyze, re-read, and double-check your site. Typos and grammatical errors will reflect poorly on your capabilities and send people away from your page. Once you've made sure your content is unique, organized, to the point, free of errors, and addresses the right audience, exhale. Publish your content without fear.


About the Author

Kirsten Thornton

Having always been a computer nerd, Kirsten Thornton works on the HTML and CSS that drives Insurance Website Builder websites. Before joining ITC in 2010, Kirsten had the unique experience of attending Loyola University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. The storm left the school with costly repairs and lower attendance so she switched majors to graphic design when computer science got cut. Kirsten balances a mixture of back-end coding, front-end designing, New Orleans culture, and Texas pride.

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