posted on April 30th, 2012

8 Tips to Writing Web Content Effectively

Writing content for the web can often be challenging.  What do you write about? Who is your audience and how can you connect with them? How do you stand out in a sea of similar content? What in the world are long-tail keywords? These are important questions that should be answered to ensure your online content marketing efforts are successful. Here are some tips to ensure that your web content is effective, optimized, and ready to take on the world (wide web).

1.Identify your website audience.  

Your written work should appeal to your audience on an emotional level. To do this, you must first identify the type of readers you are targeting.  After identifying your prospective web audience, focus on topics that will help them solve a problem or avoid mistakes. 

2. Identify keywords for search engines.

When properly used in your writing, keywords allow search engines the opportunity to index your article, blog or web page accurately. Keywords also tell you exactly what people in your marketplace are searching for. 
Are you having trouble coming up with a relevant topic?  One approach that may help you is to use a tool such as Google Adwords to do a keyword search.  Simply type in the URL of your site or another site in your niche market in the “website” box provided.  Google will generate keywords relevant to that site.  Once you choose a topic, narrow your scope by typing keywords into the “word or phrase” box. 

3.Utilize long-tail keyword phrases.

You will notice that there are high traffic keywords (those which are most general with the highest rates of traffic) and medium/low traffic keywords or “long-tail keywords” (those which are longer, more specific and produce a lower rate of traffic).  Focus on those long-tail keyword phrases in your content. They rank more highly and offer an increased conversion rate. The more specific the search term, the higher the quality of viewer you will likely attract.

4. Use title keywords to help Google index your information. 

While it is tempting to come up with funny or humorous titles to draw people to your work, Google is not interested in your clever prose.  Stack the deck in your favor by including your main keyword phrase in the title or headlines of your web content. Additionally, try to deliver an important benefit in your title using “tips,” “ tricks,” “steps,” “rules,” “ secrets,” “ lists” or “principles,” to name a few. Multiple studies have shown that articles or blogs with these words in the title promote a higher “click-through.


5.Write web copy using a format that will increase site stickiness. 

Because your web audience is more likely to stay on (stick to) your site if they find well-organized, relevant information, provide them with easy to digest content. Usually bullet points or numbered lists work best.  In the Book Article Marketing Devastation, Mao Flynn outlines several effective writing templates, including:
  • Pros and Cons
  • Rules(also principles, secrets, tricks or other related words)
  • “Top Ten” list (can be any number)
  • Checklists
  • Question & Answer
  • Pain Avoidance

6. Be sure the length of your web copy is appropriate. 


Many sources consider articles between 300 to 700 words a good length. A high percentage of bloggers (not all) write 350-500 word blogs and prefer to post content more frequently for purposes of search engine optimization.  As a general rule, limit your paragraphs to six sentences (about 50 words) or less.  Add white space between paragraphs or points.  Include sub-headings when covering more lengthy or detailed topics.  This will allow your visitors to scan the information quickly. 

7.Write like a human!  Your web audience will appreciate your candor and straight-forward approach.


  Avoid using “corporate speak” or excessive industry-specific jargon.  You and your team may know what you are talking about, but readers could get frustrated with heavy terminology and bounce from your site.

8.Become your own web content editor.  


After you complete your first draft, walk away from your masterpiece and come back to it at a later time.  Print it out and take an objective look.  Be sure that you have used your keyword phrases throughout your text, specifically in your title, introductory paragraph and conclusion.  Omit any words and sentences that aren’t necessary, to ensure that your points are clear and concise.
To create web content effectively, you must understand the needs of your target audience, the importance of keywords for search engine optimization, and the unique structure of content written for a website, blog or other online forum. These tips and strategies will help you attract more web traffic, and as your traffic grows, so will your business.


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