To keep your website interesting, you need new content regularly. Many people I know struggle with creating this content. It definitely is not an easy task to write for your own website.
Most of us have never learned to write that type of texts. The good news is, though: It’s not so hard, if you keep some things in mind.
How do we collect information on the web?
Each of us visits many websites every day. We can use this experience to better prepare the content for our own website.
When I visit a website, I have specific goals:
- I’m looking for information on a particular topic.
- I want to get an idea of a person, a company, a product.
- I’m looking for a specific product.
Websites that make it easy for me to reach my goal, appear pleasant. I stay and spend some time, and more often than not I read more than what I actually had come for.
I leave websites that make it difficult for me relatively quickly.
What does “make it easy” or “make it difficult” mean here?
It all depends on how quickly I can grasp the information available. I scan the texts and try to decide whether what I want to know can be found here on this website.
Of course, I can make this easier for my visitors by preparing the content accordingly.
Headings and subheadings are a good way of structuring texts and making them easier to read. This way, when I’m skimming, I can quickly grasp whether what I’m looking for is actually in the text.
By the way, headings also help search engines and people with screen readers.
Lists can be used to highlight important points. If there are too many list items – or too many lists – they, too, become confusing. However, lists work very well when used sparingly and in a targeted manner.
3. Sketches, pictures, graphic elements
Some things can be described more easily with the help of a drawing or graphic. Many people grasp information faster when put into graphs than a lengthy written explanation.
However, it would be good to provide a written explanation as an alternative, for example for all those people who cannot see the graphic. Others might find it easier to follow a written explanation.
Videos can also help to convey content better. As a rule, these should be rather short videos on a specific topic.
With videos, it is helpful to offer the information from the video either as a transcript or as a short explanation in addition to the video. This helps people who are currently in a place where they can’t watch a video, and also people with a visual impairment.
5. Simple language
Short sentences make reading easier. Clear, simple language, without complicated foreign words, helps people to grasp the content. Where foreign words cannot be avoided, you should offer a brief explanation.
Why is simple language important?
People often visit websites “in passing.” Your mind may not be focused. Or the language of the website is not your native language. There are many reasons why unnecessarily long, complicated sentences are difficult to grasp.
Where to put my beautiful, long texts?
The good news for all long and frequent writers: Of course, longer texts are also allowed on the web. The essential thing is that the long version is not the only format we offer.
Writing from coarse to fine
What I mean here is to offer the information in different sized “bites”:
- Short version:
As a heading and excerpt to give a brief overview.
- Medium version:
As medium-length text that may include a list of important points and a few paragraphs.
- Long version:
As a long text, carefully elaborated with headings and, if necessary, interrupted by graphics to clarify the information.
Depending on the context, the short, the medium or the long version is used. All these versions can and should coexist.
Leading into the website using links
We want to encourage visitors to our website to engage thoroughly with our content. First, we need to arouse their curiosity. We offer a morsel (headline and excerpt), with the option to get more of it.
This way I can lead people who are really interested in my content to my long text as well. After all, now they had a choice and actively chose to be informed in detail by me.
The whole process also helps with search engines, as they pay attention to how many links are set within the website. So if I prepare my content in this way, you will get additional benefits from Google. 😉