3 tips to great online content

by Alex Anderson on 11 April 2014

“High-quality web content that’s useful, usable, and enjoyable is one of the greatest competitive advantages you can create for yourself online.”

― Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web

Too many companies put marketing techniques over quality content, yet it’s the content that answers users’ questions, builds loyalty and drives sales.

The following three tips will help you write great online content:

1. The ‘So what?’ test

A common mistake in online content is that it doesn’t explain the benefits of what it’s selling or promoting in a way that would make users care. This is commonly because the content was not written for the user.

When creating content, ask yourself ‘so what?’. If it does not help the user, get rid of it! This will encourage you to create concise, useful content focused on your users’ needs. This approach might be difficult if you don’t know your audience. If that is the case, user research/testing and then the creation of personas will help!

2. The squint test

The squint test is where you scan your pages to see where your eye falls without actually reading the body text. Would a user scanning this way see what you think is obvious? Also, make sure you don’t fall into one of these common traps:

  • Make sure there is no dated material or date references that would confuse
  • Long paragraphs? Hit the enter key to create white space/line breaks

3. Personas

As aforementioned personas are great tool for understanding your users, which in turn is essential to writing online content.

Personas distill findings from user research and turn your audiences into realistic characters. A user persona has a name, age, interests and characteristics. It’s someone you can empathise with. Writing for a user persona helps you understand what your users want and will aid in writing useful, concise content.

Personas are not a quick fix by any means, but are an invaluable tool in creating online content. If you want to learn more about Personas we have written about them in detail.

If you’re interested in online content and want to learn more we have 4 online copywriting training courses that can help.

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