Austin L. Church
Bright Newt

EOK workshop: Writing Great Web Content

"On the web, you are what you publish."
-David Meerman Scott, New Rules of Marketing and PR

I. Introductory remarks
A. Objectives to accomplish with web content
· Establish authority.
· Hold the short attention spans of internet surfers.
· Boost your search engine ranking with SEO.
· Motivate readers to take a specific course of action.

B. Quick Self-diagnostic for existing content
· Is your website a digital brochure or a virtual tour?
· Is the content on your website unique, fresh, and relevant?
· Would you want to read it?
· Are you confident that visitors leave your site with a firm understanding of the benefits they reap by doing business with you?
· Have you ever gotten a customer through your website?

C. Types of Web Content
· SEO (Key word research; Titles & Meta descriptions; Bookmarking; Search engine & directory submission)
· Web pages
· Blog posts
· Advertisements
· eBooks, Articles & White Papers
· e-Newsletters

II. General Concerns

A. Compelling message. Does your homepage offer people landing on your site a client-focused value proposition? List your benefits. Give people a clear understanding of what they can expect when they work with you. Also, tell them what they can expect to find on your site.

B. Regular updates. Do you refresh your content? If people know that you regularly update your material, they are more likely to return to your site. Post articles and internet-only promotions or discounts or provide links. All these things encourage visitors to bookmark your site as a reference tool.

C. Clarity. Does your web copy get to the point? Research suggests that people do not like to read computer screens. Clear, concise, and informative content gives them a reason to stay.

D. Readability. Do you use background colors or images? If so, the text on top of the background should be a color that is easy to read. Use a complementary color scheme that is pleasing to the eye. White space between images and sections of text make a page easier to view.

E. Optional music. If you play music on your website, do you give your visitors the option to turn it off? Some people may dislike your taste. Giving them the choice to turn it off keeps them on your site.

F. Call to action. Do you tell your visitors what you want them to do? You should. Your website should be more than a digital brochure. It should be a virtual tour of who you are and what you do. Visitors want to know the next step, so you must provide regular prompts. This is the way to optimize your website’s marketing potential.

III. 11 Tips for Great Web Content Writing
1) Make a clear statement on what you want visitors to your site to think, believe, or want. (Repeat this statement at the beginning, middle, and end.)
2) Establish a rapport with your audience by describing what happens without your product or service: “Take them to their place of pain.” Show that you understand.
3) Discuss how your product or service addresses their wants, needs, or problems.
4) Detail your competitive advantage.
5) Outline the benefits of your product or service with concise, punchy bullet points. Supplement these with brief descriptions.
6) Explain what will happen if they don’t buy. Make it hurt for them to leave.
7) Clear call to action. Tell them what you want them to do—without bullying!
8) Go back and evaluate your style (formal/objective, conversational, professional) and tone (friendly, witty, urgent). Is the “voice” in your writing consistent with your brand? Does it enable you to stand out or make you just another business?
9) Proofread.
10) Ask someone else to proofread.
11) Now go back and create a compelling headline.

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