The game of content – writing for the web

Posted by on May 4, 2011

Creating content for content sake can help you with search engine optimization if you know how to stuff keywords effectively.  But unless the content is remarkable and provides value to the  reader in a quick efficient manner, your readers will not come back.  Your content will not be sticky.

People go online for basically two reasons: to solve a problem (find information/education) or to be entertained.  That is it, and they want this information fast.

So how do you write for the web?

Well we live in a world inundated with microcontent, it started with IM (instant messaging) then txt, tweets, and facebook status updates.  All these are examples of the trend away from traditional full writing.  With microcontent and the two reason people are on the web in mind, you write for the reader that does not want to spend a lot of time reading (is that an oxymoron?) In fact they are not reading your website, they are skimming it. Here is what I suggest:

  • Have clear descriptive headings
  • Create bullet points and lists
  • Highlight keywords so readers can skim to find ideas or information they are looking for quickly
  • Have your content organized logically that builds progressively so people can jump to the point in the page they want
  • Have one clear idea per paragraph
  • Keep the word count low
  • Use plain English, write for the reader not for you, (pontificate to a private crowd not the internet)

The last challenge of course is doing all of the above while ensuring that the keywords you want optimized on this page for search engines are effectively sprinkled throughout the text.  Oh, and make sure you insert the keywords without looking unnaturally placed.

Steve Whittington is President of Roadmap Agency Inc. He has also served for over a decade as a member of the Executive Team of Flaman Group of Companies an award-winning organization and has over 25 years of executive experience. Steve’s current board work includes serving as; President of Glenora Child Care Society; and Co-Chair of the Marketing Program Advisory Committee for NAIT’s JR Shaw School of Business. Previous notable board work included, Chair of the board for Flaman Fitness Canada, a national retailer, a Director for a meal prep internet Startup Mealife and Chair of Lethbridge Housing authority, the third-largest Social housing NGO in Alberta.

Academically, Steve was an instructor of Project Management at Lethbridge College for seven years. Steve holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree; he is a Certified Sales Professional (CSP), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Marketing Specialist (CMS) and (CCXP) Certified Customer Experience Professional.

Steve’s first book Thriving in the Customer Age – 8 Key Metrics to Transform your Business Results teaches about the customer journey and provides a guiding framework spanning all stages of the customer experience. The book explains how every metric impacts an organization and how leaders can best utilize each metric to provide a stellar customer experience. Everyone knows the customer is the most important part of a business. This book provides the tools to improve an organization’s customer experience and drastically transform business results.

Recently Steve’s Blog has been profiled as one of the Top 75 Customer Experience blogs

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