After writing for websites for more than 15 years, there’s one thing I know. And that is that good website content creation takes constant practice and cultivation of skills. I look at writing as a lot like a sport. If you don’t keep at it consistently you’re going to lose the abilities you developed pretty darn fast.
That is why we at Emphasize Design highly recommend employing a professional content developer for your website. Not only is high-quality content key for good SEO results, it’s also pivotal for developing and maintaining your brand reputation, for providing excellent fodder for social media marketing, and for increasing the overall value of your website by ensuring the information that your customers and clients want is there, easy to find, and up to date.
Writing for Different Audiences
Knowing your target audience is the most important aspect of website content creation. There are a few really good ways to determine who is interested in and buying your products, such as taking a really good look at your social media following, examining the information provided by your customer relationship management system, and actually legitimately working hard to get to know your customers and clients, who they are and what they want.
The worst mistake for website content creation is to fall into the habit of writing a certain way and just assuming everyone will read your stuff because, hey, it’s well-written enough, right? It may very well be that your syntax, grammar, flow, and sentence structure is superior, but it actually doesn’t matter if you’re ignoring the best way to communicate with your target audience. In fact, it may even be detrimental, as the wrong tone can come off as condescending and off-putting.
Writing for teens: Website usability experts Neilson Norman Group’s (NNg) article “Teenager’s UX: Designing for Teens” states that although teens feel like they are experts on the web, they actually perform worse than adults. They are impatient, make mistakes, and give up easily. Their reading skills are not well-developed, plus they don’t much like to read a lot on the web. NNg suggests using words that teens understand (write towards their level), being concise, and using lots of bullet points. Be efficient, and use short sentences and paragraphs teens can digest quickly.
Writing for millenials: Ah, millenials. Their reputation is undeservedly that of an entitled crew that’s hard to please, but the truth is that they are well-educated and tech-savvy. According to a Scripted.com article titled “Millennials to Baby Boomers: Create Content for Your Audience’s Generation,” millenials are generally global beings who are deeply in tune with the environment, plus concepts such as community-building and equality. Hence, it’s important to incorporate content that speaks to fairness, openness, and societal values.
Writing for Generation X: Generation X refers to those born in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, this group had the misfortune of coming of age during years of tough economic downturns and weak job markets, and they watched the wealth gap grow exponentially larger and larger, with the rich getting much, much richer and the poor getting much, much poorer. As such, they tend to be a bit more jaded than other generations. Scripted.com says that to appeal to this group you need to stress self-reliance, individuality, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Writing for Baby Boomers: The most privileged of the generations, baby boomers have it pretty good. Born between the years of 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are now the largest demographic, and the wealthiest. They often long for the “good old days,” when life was simpler and it was easier to make a good living, support your family, and retire well. As such, writing to evoke a sense of nostalgia, family values, and the continuation of prosperity works well for these folks.
Keeping Your Website Content Creation Skills Fine-Tuned
HubSpot’s marketing blog is a great resource for all things related to online marketing. Their article “The 9 Habits of Highly Successful Content Creators” offers up these tips for maintaining writing skills to remain relevant, reliable, and, most of all, believable.
- Keep writing. Creating content every day is much-needed practice. Plus, it helps the words to flow when you really need them to.
- Stay up to date on your business. Don’t become complacent and think you know everything. Plus, developments and “news” are great to blog about.
- Develop a distinct voice. You can write to specific audiences effectively and still have a voice that’s enjoyable to read.
- Study your analytics. Don’t create content in a void … educate yourself on what your audience(s) seem to enjoy and respond to and keep providing them with what they are looking for.
- Be critical and curious. Challenge yourself by presenting positions that are not simple to write about and require you to dig deep into a topic. This approach often results in the very best of website writing.
I also suggest having your content edited by a professional whenever possible. Even though I have been in the website content creation field for many years, I still appreciate the input of another writer I respect. It helps me to not fall into bad habits, plus keep learning how to improve.
Contact Emphasize for All Your Website Needs
At Emphasize Design, we provide the complete gamut of website marketing services, starting with your small business website design and taking you fully through attracting, converting and closing customers. Our expertise can even extend further, as our resources include all kinds of information. Contact us for an informal conversation on what we can do for you.