Tips for writing great web content

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74% of consumers trust educational content from brands. And 90% say online content influenced their purchasing decisions. (Source: CMO Council)

It goes without saying: most Internet users get their information from the web. They give credence to the information they find there, and it impacts their behavior.

Content marketing meets their expectations and is therefore a key element of a digital strategy. Both to attract visitors, and to seduce them and generate conversions.

But how to create content that attracts Internet users like a magnet, that manages to captivate them and especially to convince them? Let's see it together!

How to create content? Before you start...

Content marketing consists in building a consistent blend of pictures and messages around your brand, which express your corporate values and allow you to create a relationship with your customers.

A well-built content strategy will allow you to:

🎯 Attract visitors, and entertain them, while improving your SEO.

🎯 To optimize your marketing strategy, while driving conversions.

🎯 Establish your brand authority, by establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

To produce effective content, you should prepare yourself. And clear up a few things before you get started:

  1. Define your company: its mission, its values, its goals, its history, its qualities, its know-how, its products...

  2. Get to know your target audience

  3. Get to know who your competitors are and your place in the market.

Create a website

 

Who is your target audience?

When you write content for the web, you're addressing an audience. Even if you don't see them and don't interact with them directly.

Emma's opinion, content strategist at Youlovewords
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There are a lot of tools to understand the needs and questions of your target audience. Consider using keywords, but you can also ask your employees that are most in touch with customers: sales people, customer relations manager... Customer knowledge is shared by many employees!

You will need to know who they are, i.e. collect their biometric data, but also analyze their lifestyle, their social background, their opinion on your brand, their consumer behavior...

To define your audience, don't hesitate to use the buyer persona method.

Most of the time, your content will be based on the pain points of your buyer personas.

Content marketing

Content strategy: define your goals

Creating effective content means knowing why you want to implement your content marketing strategy.

It is very important to know your objectives, but above all to be able to measure them, so that you can follow their evolution and adapt your methods.

You may want to:

  • Increase your number of visits? By how many?

  • Increase customer loyalty? How often do you want them to renew their purchases?

  • Develop your brand image? In which markets?

  • Generate leads through a form or a landing page?

  • Increase subscriptions to your newsletter?

  • Improve your Google ranking?

  • Get more followers on your social media pages? Create an engaged community?

  • Etc.

By defining and measuring your objectives, you use specific indicators (traffic, number of leads, sales, conversion rate, etc.). These indicators allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies you have implemented, but also to be able to promote content marketing to potential partners or collaborators.

Content production, step 1: a good editorial line

The editorial line is a written document specifying the tone, the style, or the point of view adopted for your content. It is a kind of guide for your content creation. It is essential if you want to do it right.

Emma's opinion, content strategist at Youlovewords
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Your editorial line must reflect your brand identity. It must reflect your values, your ambitions and your personality. To define it, a workshop is an essential step!

At YouLoveWords, it is the first step in defining your editorial line. Internally, it is also an opportunity to share your company's identity.

The idea is to clarify:

  • What you say

  • To whom you say it

  • How you say it

Blogs with a well-defined and consistent editorial line are generally better appreciated and visited more frequently. Whether you choose a professional, humorous, dynamic, or slightly offbeat tone, stick to a style, exploit it and develop it freely.

Establish your competitive intelligence

Studying the competition is useful for two very good reasons: to inspire you and to set you apart.

Look at what your competitors are doing, what topics they are addressing and how they have chosen to express themselves.

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Content creation: how to get organized?

The main problem of content on the internet is its time-consuming aspect. Especially if you want to produce quality content. Let's see how to get organized to optimize quality and quantity.

Analysis of your existing content

If you already have a blog, it can be interesting to look at its statistics. In this way, you can determine which types of content appeal to your audience, and trigger the most engagement, in order to adapt your strategy accordingly.

Deleting to optimize

On the other hand, if some of your pages are rarely visited, you should know that their poor performance can damage the ranking of your site.

Sometimes it can be beneficial to remove them:

→ Locate pages that have had no traffic for 18 months.

→ Don't forget to set up the necessary redirects.

→ If a page receives few visits, it can be useful to update it.

Find the balance between quantity and quality

Try to measure the time and resources (in staff, in money) you need to produce your content. And determine the frequency of publication accordingly.

Give priority to quality over quantity: this is what we call Slow content.

Because in a world where Internet users constantly receive emails, newsletters, marketing content of all kinds, it is preferable to arouse their interest with a very good publication once or twice a month.

The opinion of Emma, content strategist at Youlovewords
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The quality of your content is your number one priority. Hire writers who are experts in their field with a great style, check your sources and bring useful information: your readers (and Google) will thank you! 😄

Finding the right topics

Fear of the blank page? Here's how to find content ideas...

🚀 The first source of inspiration will be your imagination. Nurture it!

🚀 Your content strategy should be built around the needs of your target audience. In particular, analyze which keywords are used to reach your site, or more generally for your business. These queries correspond to difficulties that you can explore, with your content.

🚀 You can use suggestions from Google Search or Youtube, to get inspired and find new issues to exploit.

🚀 Follow the news of your industry. Some tools like Buzzsumo or Google Trends can help you know what's trending.

🚀 Recycle content that you have already published, by posting it a second time, in a different format (podcast, infographic...).

🚀 Take a topic you know perfectly and mine it all the way through: approach your topics from different angles, describe each step, address each issue, etc.

🚀 Don't hold back: don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone every now and then.

A well-oiled organization with an editorial schedule

In order to have a clear view of your production processes, it is more than advisable to use an editorial calendar or schedule. This tool must be both flexible (easy to modify) and very precise (rigorously updated).

It will contain:

  • The different categories of posts

  • The types of content,

  • The dates of writing and publishing,

  • The names of the writers, proofreaders, or any other person involved in the production,

  • The articles to be updated,

  • The production workflow (Written, Published, To do...)

  • The distribution channels,

  • The titles, the main keywords and the metadata of the article

  • The call-to-action button (registration, subscription, purchase, promotion, download...)

  • Any other useful information

Practice!

Don't hesitate to practice writing. The more you write, the easier it will be. Start by setting up a favourable environment: telecommute if you can, in order to avoid being disturbed.

Why not hire a writer?

It is possible to hire a writer to relieve you of some of the work, or on an ad hoc basis.

Two ways to collaborate:

➡️ You can write the first draft of your article, and have it rewritten.

➡️ Or, focus the writing around an interview, so that the writer can use the interview to write the article.

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How to produce engaging content? Tips to be effective

If we were to sum up an effective content strategy in just three words, we'd advise to make simple ✔️, useful ✔️ and engaging ✔️ content.

Create effective content: focus on one single message

It's been said: consumers are over-solicited by brands. So you must go above and beyond to get their attention.

👉 Your content must offer added value: expertise, advice, entertainment...

👉 It's not just about promoting your brand.

If you still want to talk about your products, you need to base your content on a problem, and then propose your solution, explaining the benefits the user will get from it.

👉 Organize your topics by categories, in order to always offer a simplified access to information.

👉 When visitors come to your website, they have a need, they are looking for information. The idea is to provide it to them as quickly and clearly as possible.

👉 If you can add your little personal touch: humor, surprise, originality... Then, you have won everything.

Effective content creation: keep it simple

Your readers are constantly solicited, and in addition they are in a hurry. That's why you need to provide them with easy access to the information they are looking for.

Keeping it simple is about not falling into the following traps:

Over-optimizing your content for SEO: you may, from time to time, have to deliver a message that is not relevant for SEO. For example, to communicate the dates of your leave. That's okay!

Using overly professional language. In principle, at least in Business to Consumer e-commerce, you are addressing newbies. It is therefore essential to make yourself understood by them, to be educational and accessible, using a common vocabulary, and giving a clear explanation of technical terms.

Emma's opinion, content strategist at Youlovewords
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Adapt your language level to your reader. Creating an editorial charter will help you find the right tone and define the rules of language to share with your writers, whether they are internal or external to your company! This common frame of reference is essential to guarantee the consistency of your brand.

📝 You can make more specific posts under the "advanced" label, if needed.

Associate with the right people to create great content

Asking an expert in your field of activity to write an article on your blog will allow you to :

  • Add new information to your content and give a different point of view to your blog,

  • But also benefit from your partners' reputation,

  • Or even benefit from their website traffic, by attracting visitors to your blog,

  • Moreover, your guests will surely tell their audience about the article they wrote (or co-wrote) (emails, social networks...), and will certainly add a link to your site, on their own website. This will boost your ranking.

Create content that stands out from the crowd

The competition on the Internet is becoming more and more fierce, it will be necessary to be strategic. Stand out, innovate, to surprise and not to bore.

This can be for example, with an innovative tone, or with unusual formats.

Content marketing: which formats to choose?

Your readers are naturally a bit fickle: you have to know how to catch their volatile attention. And to do this, don't fall into monotony, but offer new, dynamic and surprising things, which correspond to the current trends.

Use various media to reach a wide audience

Here are some examples of proven media for your content:

👉 The white paper explains in detail a problem of your target audience. In a guide of this kind, you offer your expertise to your readers for a specific question.

👉 The classic blog post: optimized for SEO, it will allow you to attract visitors to your pages. On a BtoB blog, you will also get leads, if you target your audience well.

👉 The practical sheet: this is a document of about two pages, that gives information about a specific topic. It is generally appreciated by the public looking for specific information.

👉 The webinar: more than half of marketers use it to generate leads. It is much more widely used in Business to Business, because it is a place for communication between experts, on a technical level.  

👉 The marketing kit enables you to gather different posts, around the same topic.

👉 The quiz, calculator or survey: these are interactive tools allowing the active participation of the user. This type of publication is usually a success, because of its entertaining side. A calculator, for example, will allow you to estimate a cost or a rate. Polls and quizzes are also appreciated because they are fun. It also allows you to strengthen the engagement of your readers, by involving them directly.

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Rely on virality

It is possible, from time to time, to use pre-existing content that has gone viral: for example, creating articles based on statistical studies, case studies, or republishing infographics. Don't forget to always cite your sources.

Focus on video content

Video is a winning content. It allows you to create a special, personal link with your audience.

It is a medium that is particularly appreciated: according to some studies, companies that integrate video into their marketing strategy increase their click-through rate by 27% and their conversion rate by 34%, compared to those who do not use it.

Some tips:

✔️ As with any other publication, it's better to post new content regularly and with quality, rather than very often and with less quality, or too rarely.

✔️ Be sure to optimize your production, so that you don't waste time.

✔️ Don't get discouraged, if you don't have professional equipment. Start with what you have on hand (your smartphone, for example). You will have plenty of time to get more equipment later.

✔️ In front of the camera, stay natural, because that's what your audience expects. However, of course, make sure to have a clear diction, and to show yourself at your best.

Here are some tools for your marketing videos

To start with, you will find free tools:

  • For example, online editing software

  • Screencast services, which allow you to film what you are doing on your computer (Screenflow, for example)

  • Software to create videos from a blank template (like VideoScribe)

Then, if you like making videos, you can invest in more advanced software, like Première or Davinci Resolve.

Now we know what to say... Now let's see how to say it...

Content writing: focus on form

In the development of effective content, it is not only the content that counts. The form also counts a lot!

By working on your writing style, you can win over readers, and above all convince them to stay longer on your site, to come back, and even to become your customers!

Practice copywriting and storytelling

The two methods are intrinsically linked.

➡️ With storytelling, you convey your message, by telling a story.

➡️ Copywriting is the art of convincing with words.

All About the Headline

The title of an article is the first point of contact with the reader. At the risk of disappointing you, 80% of your visitors won't actually go any further. (Source: CopyBlogger)

On a page, people's eyes follow a F pattern, that is to say that they read the title, the introduction quickly, then the subtitles. Moreover, the <title> tag is very important for your SEO.

These are all good reasons to take care of your titles. Here's how:

➡️ Be specific, including quantifying, using numbers. For example, prefer "10 tips to make you love rainy days" rather than "What to do when it rains?"

➡️ Express emotions. For example, it's better to write "3 delicious recipes with a surprising ingredient," rather than "Check out these zucchini peel recipes."

➡️ Don’t be afraid to write several variations of your headlines, and select the best one.

Have the precision of a watchmaker

To please your readers and convince them, you need to be precise and give them enough details. Your text should be rich and long enough (a minimum of 800 words, which can go up to 2000). This will be valued by Google.

The opinion of Emma, content strategist at Youlovewords
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We tend to think that a very long article can discourage the reader.

However, it is not the length that impacts the visitor's attention, but rather the value of your content! The quality of the information, but also of the writing, the formatting of the text to improve the reading comfort, or the addition of illustrations to enrich your text, are all elements that will allow long content to be read until the end.

This starts with the choice of the subject, which should not be too broad, in order to reach a targeted audience.

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Use a common, yet precise language

Your readers will be put off by a difficult text, full of technical words or too complicated. They will be discouraged and will leave the page quickly. This is of course not desirable, especially in terms of SEO.

You must therefore do everything to make it easier for them to read. And there are many different good ways to do this:

✒️ Place the most important information at the beginning of the text, in the heading (introduction of the article). You need to answer all the basic questions, that is to say the famous W questions (Who, What, Where, How, How much, Why?).

✒️ As discussed above, avoid professional language as much as possible.

✒️ Keep your sentences short, and in the active voice.

✒️ Divide your text into small paragraphs, with a lot of subheadings.

✒️ Use lists, quotes.

✒️ Create visual breaks, with sections (by using colored frames or backgrounds, or separators).

✒️ Use the character attributes (bold, italic, underline) and case.

✒️ Give many examples.

✒️ At the end, reread, aloud if possible, and simplify the sentences that are not clear enough.

Focus on actionable content

Be as concrete as possible, this is not about waxing poetic 😉 Pose a problem, and give tangible solutions that your readers can use.

Create a website

Educational content: be useful and practical-minded

When you write content, it should be about a topic you know a lot about and are passionate about.

Your writing should begin in a concrete way, for example, by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How did you solve some specific problems, related to your business

  • What are your best tips to solve problems

  • How do you help your customers on a daily basis

  • How have you achieved your results

  • What are your methods for being effective

  • How do you see the future of your profession

  • Etc.

Warning
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Never forget, as we have seen, that your content must first and foremost meet the needs of your readers.

Your ultimate goal? Create the best article ever on the subject.

Use and abuse the...

➡️ Analogies to explain complicated systems or topics. By comparing complex ideas with simple examples, you can teach boring concepts to beginners.

➡️ Images, illustrations, infographics, diagrams, GIFs, or videos. All types of visual content are generally appreciated, and often more telling than long complicated texts.

➡️ Humor. It can be interesting to use a slightly fun tone, to talk about some boring topics.

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Play on emotions

Try to shock, amaze, surprise, intrigue... For example, by approaching an issue from a slightly unusual angle, or by proposing a controversial topic ("5 good reasons to enjoy pineapple pizza" 🍕).

Create engagement

Creating engagement is all about building conversations.

A reader is much more comfortable with content that allows interactivity, than with a peremptory text, imposing a point of view without being able to discuss it. Engagement creates visibility and improves your ranking. It will create a desire for dialogue.

It is not necessarily easy to initiate this exchange with the readers. It is useful to ask questions, to ask for their opinion, or to suggest a topic that generates debate.

How to distribute / promote my content?

This is basically the most important part of content creation. In any case, this is the part you should spend the most time on.

You will use all possible means (SEO, sponsored content, social networks, email campaigns, newsletters, press relations...), and define how much time and money you want to invest to promote your content.

Don't forget SEO

You can't afford to miss out and must optimize your content for SEO, but it shouldn't become an obsession either. Your readers, as well as Google, will above all appreciate the quality of your content.

In any case, it is a question of stuffing your texts with keywords without any sense.

→ spread them around, in a natural way, by giving priority to the titles (Hn), the beginning of paragraphs and metadata.

→ Work on your internal linking (links between your pages), in a coherent and relevant way.

The opinion of Emma, content strategist at Youlovewords
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Create an SEO document to share with your external or internal editors. This common frame of reference should give details on the length of titles, the frequency of keywords, the writing rules for meta tags, alt tags or URLs within your content.

In search of backlinks

Backlinks are external links, placed on other sites, that lead to your pages. Of course, the more you have of them, on reputable sites, the better for your SEO.

Participate in conversations on forums, other blogs, Facebook groups... Post comments, register in directories, participate in online events...

A method to get backlinks:

  • Identify those of your competitors, thanks to a tool like Neilpatel.

  • Contact the authors and offer them an article written by yourself.

On social networks

Traditional advertising is less and less successful. It is gradually being supplanted by advertising on social media, which allows more advanced targeting and therefore more tailored content.

📢 Facebook will allow you to target your audience by age and by interest. This social media, rather family and entertainment oriented, is adapted to share photos or videos, or to launch challenges.

📢 On YouTube, you will create video content, either on a storytelling mode, or to talk about products.

📢 LinkedIn is a professional social platform, rather Business to Business. You can showcase your brand, your expertise, and generate leads. On LinkedIn, you will be able to segment your targets, according to their job profile, and business sector

📢 Twitter will allow you to reach influencers - like experts or journalists, with 280 character messages, that can be accompanied by photos or videos.  It's the perfect platform to reach specific audiences.

📢 On Instagram, it's all about the visual. If you have a creative or visual job, this is the medium for you.

We can differentiate:

👉 Owned social media which are the companies own social media accounts.

Promoting your content this way is particularly effective, to create a community of loyal subscribers. However, you need to get to know them well in order to keep them happy. This way, you can improve your brand image, and attract traffic to your website.

👉 Earned social media. This can be seen as a kind of digital word-of-mouth: when your content is liked or shared on social media, by users who don't follow you. This way, they expand the reach of your posts for free, by promoting your posts to their own followers.

👉 Paid social media: sponsored content on social media. You can segment and target your audience, very precisely.

Promoting your content: other media

Apart from SEO and social media, there are other ways to promote your content on the internet:

📢 Emailing campaigns. This media is among the most effective, but it requires an email database, or a way to collect email addresses.

📢 Investment in SEA (Google Ads).

📢 Influencer marketing: this practice is on the rise. It is about paying influencers to promote your content.

Measuring and evaluating your content strategy

Start by listing the tools you’ll need to measure the performance of your posts (SemRush or Google Analytics, for example). Then, create a tracking schedule to follow the evolution of your content marketing strategy.

We've just seen how to optimize your content production, from the very first spark of an idea, through organization, writing and promotion, to the evaluation of your results. (Phew!)

We are sure you will attract a lot of readers. And above all, you will increase your performance, thanks to a well thought-out content marketing strategy!

Now all you have to do is sharpen your pencil, change the ink in your fountain pen and write pages and pages! 🖋️

Frédérique Biau
Editor and translator
I have been passionate about copywriting for years, I search the web and I browse the news to provide you with quality content.

Last update: August 10, 2021

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