30 Jul Writing for Business?
Business and Personal Writing
Writing is truly an art form. Believe it or not, but being a good writer is a skill that can be overlooked today in a society where most people are literate. The term content writing is generally applied to business for marketing and SEO purposes. However, a good content marketer will do this so subtly that it is not even noticeable. The most important thing is to give your writing a voice. I like to think of business writing the same way that I think of character development. A character is a brand and a brand can be a character.
When writing a novel, you must try to give characters different personalities, appearances, ticks, and ways of speaking. The same goes for a business. Each company has its own brand and therefore must differentiate itself in some way. Whether this means simply differentiating yourself through cost leadership, focused cost differentiation, or product differentiation, it’s important to convey that through your writing. Websites have become the first point of contact for most businesses and you want to make a great first impression. So I just wanted to write about 5 good writing tips that will help your writing and in turn help your business:
Content is king. Everything you put on your site has to be done with a purpose and has to be related to your line of business. Whether it is just a blog post for SEO purposes, or a page used to sell products through an e-commerce platform, everything must be relevant. Adding well-placed images, captions, links, etc is very important and can help improve the effect of your writing.
Remember to place your most important content in key places within the page. The title, website url, and the first and last few lines of the article are very strategic locations to place keywords to attract readers. With how quickly web content can be consumed, the trick is always getting visitors to stay and navigate through the page and through the rest of your website. Putting your relevant content in strategic locations will help reduce your bounce rate on your website.
The type of content that you add doesn’t always have to be serious and formal, that will actually make customers uncomfortable in certain circumstances. If you are on a bigger team, work closely with your UI/UX designer and SEO specialist when developing written content. The user experience and placement in search engines are really what you are trying to balance with your web content writing and therefore you want to have good feedback when you write.
Give your business a strong brand. Don’t just state facts and hope that people will enjoy your product. As I said before, think of your business like it is a real person, a character in a movie. Saying what your business is and how it will help is important, but you have to give your company a personality, a reason to like you. It’s the same as if somebody introduced themselves and just began telling you what they do, what their skills are, and how they will help you. You will want to know that about a person, but it isn’t the only thing and this will not make that person likable, and therefore they will be forgotten.
3. Write with purpose
The same way that you write a novel or an essay, you have to have a purpose. Every line that you write for your website should have a purpose: SEO, brand awareness, informational, product development, etc. You would think that this goes without saying but I have seen many sites that stray so far from the topic that it is detrimental.
I watched a video the other day about how our eyes actually dart around when reading, they don’t just move in a straight line across the page. You can use this information to help grab your audience’s attention and help them gain interest. As I said before, placing content in strategic positions will help you grab readers and keep them. One thing to note: make sure that you and your team are on the same page for who your target market audience is because your content should be focused and pulling them in. Having secondary targets is okay too, but keep that in mind as well when writing your content: who am I writing this for?
The key to great writing is understanding who your audience is going to be. This is the defining factor between a successful YA fiction novel such as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games vs an adult historical fiction novel such as Dan Brown’s Davinci Code. These rules apply to writing for business as well.
Be stylish with your writing. Mark Twain was the king of stylized writing with the way he could recreate a character’s speech from a different time. George R. R. Martin is another great example with his ability to recreate medieval speech so effectively. Give your content a certain style that your audience will enjoy. Many startup websites have a more relaxed type of speech in their job descriptions and product information, whereas more corporate websites are square and very formal.
An example: A startup site may say something like, “Offers sick benefits such as in-house beer and weekly catered lunch” but a corporate website will read something more like “We offer benefits: 401(k), medical, dental, and catered lunch”. Key word here being ‘sick’. Style is a subtlety that can be hard to find and effectively reproduce.
Each style of writing has it’s benefits but its important to determine which one will boost your engagement with your target audience. Their is a fine line between being too playful and too serious, and a good content writer will be able to thread that needle perfectly.
5. SEO Writing
I briefly touched on writing for SEO earlier but this is the main difference between novel writing and online business content writing. Your content has to include keywords and a lot of relevant content to that topic. When you write, define a specific keyword or two that you want to really push on that page. However, don’t repeat your same keyword over and over throughout your writing.
Google is very smart and will find words that are similar to your main keyword. Try to use synonyms and similar topic content throughout all of your writing. If you do this, search engines will understand the topic of your page when they crawl your website. Also try to avoid over-doing it. Your keyword density in your content should be present but it shouldn’t overpower the page. Search engines will pick up on the fact that there is too much of a keyword and will drop your ranking. There was a time where people would spam their keyword beneath images on a web page. Google has picked up on that and now will lower your ranking if you attempt to do something like this.
Write with a purpose, a voice, and a personality. Define your company as if it were a person and write to make that ‘person’ likable while keeping SEO and UX in mind. Good content and writing is what brings customers in and keeps them coming back.