Building Strategies for Written Website Content

By / Jun 1, 2011 / Tips
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When you sit down initially to write out webpage content it may feel ultimately boring and a trivial task. But from a broader perspective you should understand just how powerful your writing will become. Each of your visitors interested in the content you write will spend at least a few seconds drilling through your pages. Often times even a couple minutes or hours over a few repeat visits.

It’s important to spend some time strategizing a successful plan for your content. Not only in grammar and presentation, but SEO also plays a huge role. Even as a webmaster or standard blogger your words may be read by millions of people via the Internet. It’s a big world out there, but luckily there are some techniques you can use to create brilliant content.

Plan a Hierarchy

It’s not too often you’ll find the time to sit down and write through pages and pages digitally. Editing becomes quite the chore after even a few hours time. Thus if you can try designing a page hierarchy which your website will follow the planning process moves a lot smoother.

This may be hand-drawn on paper or even created in digital art software such as Photoshop or Fireworks. The purpose is to build a brief collection of root pages and sub-pages each set with their own descriptions. The quickest way to accomplish this may also be in bulleted-list form.

As an example I’ve included a very crude mockup below. The bulleted list includes a few core pages with some highlights for how to design each sub-page. The great thing about building this on a digital platform is how quickly changes can be applied.

  • About – Company overview of who founded the corporation, when, and where. What are our missions? what can we do to help the customer in any way? Why should they work with us over any competition?
  • Services – How do we complete projects? do we use any special software, or tools? And if so what qualifications do we hold? Split page into segments for easy skimming and include proper labels.
    • Website Design services – Adobe photoshop mockups with sub-pages. offer discounts: only $10 extra for each sub-page.
    • Web Development services – Mention programming languages and completion time. charges will vary depending on language. Basic HTML/CSS pages offered overnight. If database is required only support MySQL.
    • Icon Design – Fireworks and Illustrator capable. Client will be sent a vector file and PSD file if Photoshop was utilized. All layers are kept in-tact and can be re-sized.
  • Contact – Provide information such as e-mail and telephone. If possible include photo of self and employees. Also be sure to write up a brief paragraph about best contact scenario and how quickly we can respond. Contact form required!

Share and Critique your Copy

It’s often very difficult to take up writing. This is especially true to many native web designers who are accustomed in using Adobe Photoshop as their work station. In order to ease the stress a bit consider sharing your project with a friend or colleague.

When working in a team you are able to split content into segments and share out responsibility. This will make planning strategies much easier where “two heads are better than one”, as the old saying goes. You’ll also be able to review each-other’s writing and check for mistakes or possible changes.

As a design firm or larger company it’s possible to get a few people working in a writing team. This provides a huge advantage since you’ll have more than 2 sets of eyes darting over your digital copy. When presenting yourself online your clients will hold you to higher ideals in writing and proper grammar.

Google Optimizations

It’s impossible to ignore the big brother of search engines when it comes to content writing. In fact, many would argue becoming quickly indexed in Google is one of the most important aspects to building a website!

To get in cozy with Google SERPS you should outline important pieces in your content. Break down headings into H1-H4 or deeper if needed. Google will take these semantics heavily into consideration when scanning your pages for keywords or phrases. Also consider using bold and italics every once in a while to seclude important words.

Link building should also be a top priority within your content. If you have pages from a blog or another website consider applying hyperlinks into your text. Google is always interested in quality backlinks and it proves your website is able to reference credible sources. Link text is also penetrated deeply by Google’s web bots, so pick your wording carefully!

Granted these effects are not solely based on Google alone. Yahoo! and Bing also apply a similar set of rules for scanning documents. But they often adopt similar ideologies from Google, and thus optimization for Google is optimization for all.

Scan the Web for Inspiration

Depending on the type of business you’re in it may be required to check out a few examples online. For freelance web designers it isn’t too difficult locating a couple firms and scouring through their writing.

For similar businesses it’s as easy as a couple Google queries. When you can build a small catalog of websites it makes writing your page content a lot easier. You may even construct a brief plan or model as mentioned earlier based on a few well-to-do companies. Of course it’s not a good idea to blatantly copy writing word-for-word, so keep your written text unique and loosely based on a set theme.

Other companies may also provide ideas for imagery and content placement. How your pages are laid out present a very unique situation to each of your visitors. Scrolling through pages for your content dramatically reduces the odds your visitors will stick around to read it. Ensure both your page layout and navigation are simple yet efficient to portray your website’s message.

Conclusion

These tips should garner a bit of attention from writers and web copy designers alike. Digital writing has become the next wave of careers for many freelancers. If you aren’t so good with words you may consider bulking up your confidence in writing and layout technique.

It may be more comfortable hiring an outside source to write for you. This is also okay, just so long as everybody is on the same page and you can feel proud of the final product. For even more tips I suggest our creating compelling web copy article with examples. Also feel free to interact with the design community and ask plenty of questions!

About the Author

Jake Rocheleau is a creative writer and UI designer. You can follow him on twitter @jakerocheleau or visit his personal website at JakeRocheleau.com.

15 Comments

  1. Arnaud
    June 1, 2011

    Thanks for this strategies :)!

    Reply
  2. Snoggle News
    June 1, 2011

    hoo just so inspirational.

    Reply
  3. Rachel
    June 1, 2011

    This is an excellent overview. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a plan of action when starting a blog. I know many blogs who took years to become established because they didn’t have a well-defined direction and ended up wasting time on unimportant things in the beginning.

    Nice post, I agree!

    Reply
  4. Jonathan Chacko
    June 1, 2011

    Thanks for these strategies. Content strategy is extremely important to the quality of any website that wants to offer value to it’s readers/users.

    Even designers need to be aware of these issues to provide their company, client or him/herself with the type of quality that would their respective users.

    Reply
  5. Toronto Web Design Company
    June 1, 2011

    This is an excellent article, very well written and structured in a way that everyone understands it completely, pretty much what the author is trying to convey. More and more businesses are focusing on how to convey meaningful and structured information to visitors to ensure that the few seconds spent are well utilized.

    Reply
  6. Jessica
    June 1, 2011

    Anyone else find it incredibly ironic that this article is very poorly written and full of typos? Are all you other commenters illiterate, too?

    Reply
  7. Opticon
    June 2, 2011

    I’m a web copywriting specialist and this article certainly did catch my attention. There are some great points for building your content structure, but I’d like to add a few things from a content development perspective:

    -I would argue against including your mission statement in your About Us page. This sort of thing is great in you boardroom, but it will likely make your site visitor yawn. Always stick with what you specialize in and how you can help your customers/readers.

    -Always get your content proofread for style, grammar, punctuation and spelling (this article could have used a polish, just my two cents!)

    Cheers

    Reply
  8. Attractivo
    June 2, 2011

    Great article, very helpful indeed!

    Reply
  9. javier
    June 3, 2011

    thanks for the article, very synthetic and practical, it has taken me almost nothing to read and got good game, one more time thanks

    Reply
  10. Freddie Lazares
    June 3, 2011

    I am constantly invstigating online for ideas that can help me. Thx!

    Reply
  11. web designing in chennai
    June 5, 2011

    The above all strategies shows the good view about the website written content. But they forget to post the SWOT analysis if web-designing

    Reply
  12. Jake Rocheleau
    June 5, 2011

    @Jessica can you point out a few typos and errors you’ve found? I’ll happily correct them and re-publish.

    Reply
  13. inspirationfeed
    June 7, 2011

    Great article, nice tips & tricks here!

    Reply
  14. Angelee
    June 14, 2011

    I really do practice “Scan The Web for Inspiration”, it’s more than an inspiration-strategy to me, it’s sometimes widens the ideas for cool contents. With the niche I’m working on, many times I stare at my coffee thinking hard of the next post.

    Reply
  15. Sajeeda Khan
    September 13, 2012

    good strategies,and inspires me.I think i have to correct a lot about my content writing.

    Reply

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