By Peter Boyd, president of PaperStreet Web Design.
Creating great website content (content that converts and that your visitors will want to read and share) is not impossible. Even if you work in a field that most people consider dull, stuffy or technical, you can produce content that is interesting and engaging. Let's face it: No matter what types of products or services your company offers, you can't afford to be boring when billions of websites are competing for traffic. If you want to stand out from the competition, here are six ways to take your content from flat to fabulous:
1. Get organized.
Even if your content is packed with useful information, no one will read it if it is disorganized. Make sure your content is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Headers are a great way to break up your content so that users can skim the page and easily find what they are looking for. Bullet points and numbered lists are also great tools to use when you want to draw your visitors' eyes to specific information.
2. Make it visual.
The saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" holds particularly true with web content. Even the most tedious information and data can grab a reader's attention if it is organized into a compelling visual chart, graph or image. Rather than explaining complicated information in lengthy paragraphs, consider an infographic. An infographic uses pictures, images, charts, graphs and other visual elements to present information and data. Infographics are an effective way to help your readers visualize and quickly understand complex concepts.
3. Tell a story.
Storytelling is an easy way to bring your products and services to life. Stories and anecdotes not only make your content more compelling; they also give you an opportunity to connect with your readers. Whether you create a fictional story or convey a real-life account such as a client testimonial, stories can go a long way in helping you draw in visitors and convert them into clients.
4. Add excitement.
Use dynamic, attention-grabbing words to convey what your company has to offer. Instead of using bland language or complex technical jargon that most readers will glaze over, use everyday language that engenders trust and makes your readers (and potential customers) feel comfortable with your company.
5. Provide solutions.
Most people who are searching the internet have questions or are struggling in some way. Whether your visitors are seeking general information on a topic or more specific advice, provide the support, guidance and advice they need. Make sure your content is positive, conveys a clear understanding of the problem, answers common questions and provides the solutions your target market seeks.
6. Keep it current.
Nothing will turn a visitor away from a website faster than outdated content. Regularly review your website to remove old and irrelevant information. If you feature blogs and articles on your site, aim to produce new content on a weekly or even daily basis. Publishing articles that cover hot topics in the news or on social media channels is a great way to attract visitors, establish authority and keep readers coming back to your site.
The tools and suggestions discussed above have one thing in common: They focus on the needs of the website visitor, not the company. Regardless of what business you may be in, your readers' needs are the most important thing to keep in mind when you are producing content for your website. In today's competitive environment, readers demand that web content be engaging, compelling and solution-oriented. With some creative thinking, energy and effort on your part, you can meet their demands and transform your content from flat to fabulous.
Peter Boyd is a Florida attorney and founder of PaperStreet, a "by lawyers, for lawyers" web marketing firm that has helped over 1,000 law firms with their content, web design and internet marketing needs.