Not sure how to write your website? Then you’ve come to the right place. The words on your website are all-important. Aside from your website’s design, they are the one element a visitor can use to gauge the type of company you are, or at least you’re trying to be.
Different writing styles are appropriate for different business types. If you’re a financial advisor then prospective customers will expect professional, reassuring and informative copy. On the other hand, visitors to a marketing agency’s website might hope to see something unique, some clever wordplay and copy that’s capable of building a brand and differentiating from the competition.
We hope our ‘how to write your website’ guide will provide everything you need to know to give it a darn good go, from creating that all-important metadata to writing kick-ass copy that converts. And, if you’re struggling, just drop us a line and we’ll happily do the hard work for you.
Choosing your keywords
The first step in writing your website then the first step is to do some keyword research. If your website does not show for the terms visitors use to find the products or services you offer then without a well-known brand name, your website will be extremely difficult to find. That’s why it’s extremely important you spend some time identifying the terms prospective customers use to find your offering online. This is called keyword research.
This guide is an excellent starting point as it includes just about everything you need to know to perform keyword research for your website.
Carrying out keyword research will tell you the amount of times a particular term is searched for on Google and the level of competition for those terms. For example, if you’re a men’s shoe retailer, the most searched for keyword in your industry might be ‘men’s shoes’. Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, it is possible to identify that this term is the subject of 110,000 searches in the UK every month.
Now, it would be fantastic if you could take the top spot in Google’s search results for the keyword ‘men’s shoes’, but of course, this term is highly competitive, making it extremely difficult for a smaller business to appear in position one.
At the time of writing, the top three search results for that particular term are Clarks, Schuh and Next. Do you have the budget to compete with those names? Probably not. So, what you need to do is to carefully balance the volume of search with the level of competition each keyword receives.
What you’re looking for are keywords that still attract a decent number of searches every month but ideally have a competition level of ‘low’. That will make it much easier to appear on the first few pages of Google for that term.
Once your keyword research is complete, you should have a list of keywords which will include terms like:
- Men’s brown leather shoes
- Casual men’s shoes
- Men’s walking boots
You also increase your chances of ranking for these terms by localising your search. This reduces the level of competition vastly. For example:
- Men’s shoes in Winchester
- Casual men’s shoes in Winchester
Once you have chosen your keywords, the next step is to start distributing them across your website.
The use of metadata
When writing your website, the use of metadata is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT (yes that’s right, it’s caps lock important). Metadata tells the search engine what a particular web page is about. The search engines use this data to determine how relevant the page is to the visitor’s search query. The more relevant your metadata to the search query (along with a number of other supporting factors), the better you’ll rank in the search engine results.
Despite being only 65 characters long, the title tag is one of the most important factors to get right when writing your website.
Such is the importance of the title tag that whatever platform you use to build your website, there will be a field where you can input this information. If you’re a WordPress user, adding the free Yoast SEO plug-in will allow you to input this data.
Each page of your website should have its own unique title tag. In WordPress, the title tag is called the SEO title. In this field, you have 65 characters to play with; any longer than this and your title tag will not be shown in full on the search engine results pages.
When writing your title tag, you should include at least one of the keywords you have assigned to the page, followed by your business name for branding purposes. A pipe bar should be used to separate the two elements. In practice, your homepage title tag should look something like this:
Men’s Shoes in Winchester | TYHC Shoe Company
The title tag for your walking boots page would be something along the lines of:
Men’s Walking Boots | TYHC Shoe Company
If there’s room for an adjective before your primary keyword then you can always add that too.
Your meta description is the two or three lines of text displayed under the title tag on the search engine results pages. The meta description should be both user and search engine friendly. It should entice prospective customers to click, while also containing keywords and describing the information contained on the page to the search engines. Once upon a time, the meta description carried plenty of weight as a search engine ranking factor, but nowadays it is primarily for the user.
When writing your meta description, you used to have just 320 characters to convince a browser to click on your website. As with the title tag, any more characters than this will not be shown.
So, for your homepage, you might choose to create something along the lines of:
Handmade men’s shoes in Winchester. We stock an exclusive range of men’s shoes for every occasion, from brogues and loafers to casual shoes, boat shoes and more. There’s also free delivery and a 10% discount on your first purchase.
Here are some more excellent pointers courtesy of Yoast.
HEADING 1 – H1
Your H1 is the first heading that’ll feature on your web page and the first element we have dealt with so far which will actually appear on the web page itself. H1s are a natural and important place for your keywords to appear, after all, what better heading for a page advertising men’s walking boots, than the heading ‘Men’s walking boots’?
Your H1 is the most important heading to feature on a web page, and as such, it has benefits both for the SEO and usability of your site.
From an SEO point of your view, your H1 is important in terms of:
Search engines check the relevancy of the heading against the search query and the rest of the information associated with the page.
- Keyword consistency
The search engines check the keyword consistency of the heading against other parts of the page.
- User experience
The search engines’ raison d’être is to provide users with the most relevant information available. They place huge importance on user experience, and a consistent, relevant H1 plays an important part in this.
Here are a few rules of thumb when writing the H1s on your website:
- Don’t keyword stuff your H1 i.e. try to jam as many keywords as you can into the one heading – one will do
- Always include an H1
- Don’t use a keyword that’s already be used on another page of your website
And that brings us to the end of the first part of our ‘how to write your website’ guide. The next instalment will deal with the meaty business of writing the body copy, so make sure you stay tuned.