When a client brings you in to work on their website, they are often looking for more than just writing services. They are also looking for suggestions on what topics should be covered, how the site should be organized, and what kinds of content to use.
Many online writers, when they approach a website, tend to focus almost entirely on two kinds of copy: informational content and sales-oriented content.
But, you can make your client’s website work much better in terms of lead generation, audience engagement, and overall sales by using more kinds of content.
To see what I mean, let’s look at one of my hobby sites, CoffeeDetective.com, as an example. In this site, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with choosing and segmenting the content I use.
When you visit the site, you’ll see several different kinds of content, all written to serve a different purpose.
1. The home page: www.CoffeeDetective.com
On the home page, the copy is meant to introduce people to the overarching idea behind the website. It’s informative in nature, educating my readers about brewing a good cup of gourmet coffee.
I strategically place links along the left and within the center column to draw people further into the site.
2. A second level category page: http://www.coffeedetective.com/how-to-make-coffee.html
Category pages serve two purposes. First, they help give my readers more specific information about the topic and guide them to additional resources.
But notice, the page linked above is carefully optimized for the term “how to make coffee.” That will help the search engines find the page and send the right kind of visitors in my direction. In other words, the second purpose of a well-written category page is to attract organic traffic to the interior of the site.
3. Article pages (example): http://www.coffeedetective.com/coffee-tastes-bad.html
Articles do the heavy lifting in any content marketing strategy. Articles can serve several purposes:
They provide readers more information. This can help move the reader closer to a buying decision. It also can create return visitors – loyal followers who will share the site with others and ultimately become buyers.
They entertain. Web pages that entertain are more likely to be shared – by email or through social media. I want people to share these pages and link to them.
They keep readers on the site longer. Notice I provide links for additional reading at the end of the article. The longer you keep a visitor on the site, the more likely he is to return later and/or make a purchase.
They help draw long-tail traffic to the site. Articles allow you to provide very specific information and answer very specific questions. People searching terms related to the information on this page have a good chance of finding me through the search engines.
4. Review pages and product pages (example): http://www.coffeedetective.com/ninja-coffee-bar.html
On Coffee Detective, the products I share aren’t my own. I include affiliate links to Amazon.com, so I do make money from those sales. But, I don’t write sales pages. I write reviews. Readers love an honest, well-written review.
For your clients, if they are selling their own products directly, you may find it makes more sense to write in more direct sales language.
5. Photo pages (example): http://www.coffeedetective.com/coffee-photos.html
The Web has grown up into a very visual medium. As you can see on this page, I share photos of coffee and coffee-related items. It’s a popular page with my visitors.
If you’re working on a site with a topic or product that lends itself to photography, don’t miss the opportunity to share photos with your visitors. They’ll enjoy it. It will increase engagement and traffic. And, in turn, that can increase your leads and conversions.
6. Opinion pages: http://www.coffeedetective.com/coffee-confessions.html
An opinion page reveals what you think to your audience. It might be inspirational. Or controversial. Or funny.
Whatever it is, it’s personal. And, it helps your audience to know you better. It also stirs up their emotions. And, if you’re able to do that, you’ll hold audience attention much longer than if you don’t.
For a client website, there are dozens of additional kinds of copy you could provide. And, many of these types of content will serve a dual purpose (or more). They won’t be just to inform. Or just to sell. Some examples include:
- Short how-to videos
- Video slide shows
- Special reports
- Case studies
- Reviews of industry books
- Reactions to industry news
- Top ten lists (or top any-number-you-choose lists)
Planning It Out …
If you limit the copy you write for a client to “informational” and “selling,” you’re likely not delivering the results you could.
By thinking through how visitors will come to the site and move through it, you’ll be able to deliver more traffic, more engagement, more leads, and ultimately more conversions.
Keep this in mind for your own website and for your clients. If you are writing only one or two types of content, it’s time to look for opportunities to create more.