Do you have a website and want attention? As much as possible, at least more than your competitors? – All right: find the best photos, graphics, videos, and animations. And use them sparingly! Then find the best copywriter you can get (if you are not). He should write whatever has to do with the topic of your website. And you put it all to use!
The power of the word is unbroken; also on the Internet, even in a world that is increasingly flooded with visual stimuli. Words give your website most of the attention it needs. Without words, you will not be found. This even applies to the image search. Because search engines look for terms that make sense in a context.
In addition, search engines always look to the reactions of real people. If they click away from the text after a few seconds: a bad sign! If, on the other hand, read to the end and click on links in the text, Google will notice that your site can do something.
Only well-written text is good SEO text
Tips for successful web texts have to master three challenges in a targeted manner: inspire people, convince search engines and create a seamlessly meaningful whole within the structure of a website. In addition to the art of the copywriter, there is ideally an excellent graphic and technical web design. When everyone has done their homework, there should be little more than fine-tuning left for SEO.
The following website content writing tips come from the experience of several decades of steadily trained practice. You can also use these tips if you entrust the writing of your web texts to a professional: for quality check both when selecting the copywriter and when proofreading drafts. And when you write yourself, use the following tips as a stepping stone and yardstick – but never as a corset.
Rich content means quality, not quantity
- Write a lot. Google thinks that is good – if it is high quality and unique content, i.e. not copied or quoted together. In contrast to print advertisements, for example, you have all the space in the world on your website. Wikipedia also often appears on the first search results page on Google because of its around 2 million German articles alone.
- Make it easy for users. “Much” does not mean text desert! Part of the copywriting job is having a foolproof structure for the content of your website. The names and structure of the menus and submenus must be as intuitively understandable and logically clear as possible. This area is not a playground for misguided linguistic originality. The same goes for the entire heading hierarchy.
- Be generous with teasers. Teasers are as important for texts as the test drive is for buying a car, especially for longer texts. The headline caught the eye, now the brain has to lick blood, so to speak. A few lines, short sentences, one or two key statements that are as graphic as possible. And definitely a cliffhanger at the end, so set the signal: This is where things get really interesting!
- Write useful. Anyone who has asked Google a question wants an answer to this first. The text to which the search engine sends it must indicate at first glance that the answer is here. So when you write, always take the perspective of a questioner. The fish is just like the worm, not the angler. People don’t need self-promotion, they need useful information.
- Tell great stories. Do you want your texts (and thus your product or service) to be remembered? Then compare how much film or novel content you can still reproduce well against how many Wikipedia entries. – Nothing against good product texts, on the contrary. But you need both: info and story. That always works, even if you are just trading screws in Cologne.
- Prove your trustworthiness. Let’s stay with the example: people don’t buy screws. In reality, you are buying the secure feeling of buying the right, the best screws that are available in Cologne. Your website only conveys this feeling if all your specialist knowledge is spread out there: the history of the screw, the largest and smallest screw, the strangest material (don’t forget that information should also be entertaining), all the screwdriver tips that there are, etc. It doesn’t matter if only a fraction of the website users read this, but everyone can see it: someone really knows his way around here. That such experts still exist! – You have to go there with your texts.
Website texts and corporate design – relationship crisis or dream couple?
- Style is a matter for the boss. The linguistic tonality of web texts must be consistent. IKEA, for example, is on its terms with its customers. It’s as Swedish as the moose. But the moose also know that this would be marginal in business dealings in Germany: So business is being sunk. This is stylistically very sensitive and roughly shows what is important. The linguistic style must suit your company and at the same time strike the right note with your target group. This requires a sure instinct plus careful test runs before launching the website texts. After that, the text style should have a high recognition value – that is, it should be and remain consistent. Except when…
- Sometimes like this; sometimes like that? Exceptions confirm the rule just mentioned. This can even have a positive effect on a change, but you have to signal it. For example, the static pages of a website should be made of one piece; But you can build in a blog with changing authors who formulate very individually. The same applies to testimonials – they must not be stylistically adjusted because they would otherwise look fake – or personal statements from employees, e.g. “Our expert advises special screws …” Your writing style on social media can also be a bit “different” .
- The best copywriting is not copywriting. This point is the most difficult. And they have to solve that mainly with your website text: the right dose of “advertising” and the right placement. Especially with the texts for the start page and the top menu pages, remember that the purchase decision is made in the last third of the typical customer journey. If you throw around explicit advertising text beforehand, the user jumps off. But your product mustn’t go under either – there was once a delightfully funny movie ad that was often passed on; only many viewers did not know exactly which chocolate bar brand it was now … This is the tightrope walk.
So convey competence, trust, sympathy and include links to your product pages and/or advertise in a widget above, below, or next to the main text.
The following tips 10–20 show how important “texts next to the text”, ie special and even invisible text elements, are for search engines.
SEO texts and eye-catchers are not only for lazy readers
Many people have to overcome themselves before reading a lengthy text. What will help you with this are short texts: headlines, sub-headlines (subtitles), captions (picture captions), separate texts in boxes, etc. Make main text.
- For example, “We are the most screwdrivers” would be an excellent headline (apart from possible problems with another brand ): So write titles that are out of the ordinary, those that stand out, that contain your key keyword “screws” and a message . Another important function is added to subtitles, namely to signal the possibility of a stop while reading from a purely visual point of view. Subtitles should therefore always be in the field of vision if possible. At the same time, they act as a bridge between paragraphs and encourage further reading, thus again providing an incentive for the following section.
- Captions with added value: your images are – hopefully – real eye-catchers. The caption should leverage this effect again. Ask what the picture message is to an outsider. And then write a supplementary message that can lead back into the main text. Don’t waste any text here by duplicating the image message. So not: “Expansion screw DIN 2510 Form L” (except of course on the product page), but something like “The best connection when things get really exciting …”
- Small extras on the side: text boxes, speech bubbles, pop-up windows, and the like not only loosen up the page design if necessary but also relieve the main text. Instead of, for example, forcing an explanation of terms into a bulky subordinate clause – put it in the box. Or background information, a shortlist, a person’s profile … The more useful, entertaining, more striking you make these short texts, the greater the added value for the entire page.
- Formatting properly is good bait. ← This sentence is not a heading, but it is bold to make it stand out. With the command “bold” it becomes a number more interesting for search engines than the rest of the text. And it starts with a long-tail keyword, so there’s a good chance that Google will offer it as a result of the “How do I format correctly?” Search.
Please do not format headlines with bold and larger font, but with the commands Heading 1 … Heading 6 or h1 … h6 (which is the same) in the corresponding menu of your editor. H1 is the main heading, the others are subtitles in descending order of priority. Warning: H1 can only exist once per page, and you need to know whether your system is not already automatically using the menu name of the page as H1. WordPress.com does it like this, for example. In this case, the main heading for the text must be H2.
Search engine optimization: SEO is part of writing
If your copywriter is also responsible for editing the pages in the content management system (CMS), then he knows that he is also in demand for texts that your users do not see directly. The art of formulation is also required here, but at least an accurate choice of words. The point is that Google and Co receive additional search term signals. A broad introductory overview of SEO is offered by moz.com, for example.
- Text for Google results pages (SERPs): 160 characters that decide whether you will be clicked on in the Google results or not – meta descriptions are the ultra-short descriptions that you can create for each individual page. Here are the most important things (from the user’s point of view!) Have to go in and every superfluous letter has to go out. This is high school when it comes to website copywriting. What is then in the search result is called a snippet and can be further decorated to become a rich snippet.
- Alt-Text: You formulate the invisible image description in such a way that search engines can assign important keywords to the image and/or the textual context of the image. No elegant sentences are required here, but it is an advantage to have possible search terms or entire search phrases in the back of your mind.
- What Google suggests will be found. If you enter search terms (eg “hexagon bolts”), Google automatically adds not only the word but also advanced searches. These are phrases that you should incorporate into your text because they are the most common actual searches. You will also find what you are looking for in the snippet texts of the top-ranked search results – which, however, should not be copied. Otherwise, you are only a copy for Google.
- Keywords – how to deal with the great SEO myth correctly! For example, “screws” is your central keyword; “Cologne’s largest screw selection” is an important long-tail keyword. Then there are a dozen other relevant keywords, and they all want and should be in the text.
Banish that thought! It is difficult to write creatively and lively when you have the supposed dogma of keyword density on your neck. Professional copywriters look at the required keywords three times, then think of something else, have a cup of tea, and write. If in the end, it turns out that keywords are missing: season with feeling.
3 special web text tips at the end
- As your website grows – keep paying attention to the consistent impression of the texts. For you, your first text might be two years ago, but for a visitor, it might be just a click away. Nevertheless, even the oldest page has to help ensure that your website is all of a piece.
- External feedback! Even if every text has been edited, corrected, and fact-checked twice: Obtain regular feedback from outside. This is as important with texts as the second opinion is with the medical diagnosis.
- The role of feeling: If you are really happy with your website text – then consult SEO tools. Because the texts have to have an impact on the balance sheet in the end. However, if you (or your professional copywriter) still have a strange feeling, then go inside. It could be that there is a fundamental discrepancy between your company and what the texts say about it. That would be perfectly normal, but act before your customers know.