How to write compelling web content

You are currently reading compelling web content. Have I compelled you? One bit of advice you might get is to grab the attention of readers with an arresting first sentence. Another is to use formatting to make your page.

9 Tips to Write Compelling Content

Is this easier to scan?

There are a lot of ‘top tips’ out there for writing fantastic copy for websites, but what actually works? What are the most important things to follow to get your readers reading and reading some more?

What are you writing?

This is a simple question which affects what kind of style and voice you want to use when writing. What’s the aim of the web page you are writing for? Are you writing a landing page, blog or home page? Each is designed to achieve a different thing and this will affect how you write.

Appropriate tone of voice

If you’re writing for different pages on your website then this your opportunity to give potential business a flavour of who you are and what you’re about. This means using an appropriate tone of voice. Your business might be suited to a less formal, friendly tone – fine. Likewise, it might be more appropriate to stick to a very formal voice – again fine as long as you can keep it engaging (FYI it’s harder to write engaging copy which is very formal). The key is to give off a professional air whilst revealing a little bit about your company ethos through the way you write.

You can write with less of a “voice” and still be very engaging. Cut out conversational tone, stick to simple sentences and break things up with pictures and bullets points.

Be compelling

At the moment compelling means human, copy which conveys humour, address consumers as individuals or expose a company as –shock horror- just a bunch of people engages other people. That’s the current idea of authenticity, and authenticity is always more compelling.

Being yourself

This might be the most key thing to writing good copy. Everybody has their own voice when they write, if you try to be too formal, or too informal you’ll sound inauthentic and consequently less compelling to read. If you know your service, business or company and you’re passionate about it then writing what you actually think and feel in a simple way; it will read better than you. You don’t have to have written a book or done a degree in creative writing to be able to write well, but you do need to have faith in your own voice and your own passion for your business. Write something you actually believe in and, more often than not, it’ll be good.

If it isn’t good then it probably has the potential to be. Get someone who is good at writing, proof reading and the like to check it over; with it a few tweaks it’ll probably be great.

The gimmicky stuff

According to research carried out by Alshaali & Varshney (2005) people read screen text 20% to 30% slower than printed paper. This means they’re going to run out of attention span quicker than they would if they printed out your page. Websites are often skimmed in as little as 15 seconds if you can get someone on your page for over 4 seconds. These are simple facts of the way we use the internet and they have to be catered for. Great copy isn’t great if no-one will bother reading it.


People scan webpages they don’t read them. This means you need to format how you write to make it scan-able. Eyes will go to bolded words – bold the important bits. Eyes will also go to neat bullet points which break up huge bodies of text. If you want to get a point across quick bullet points are a great way to do it.

Keep it low-brow

Low brow doesn’t mean bad content it means making everything you write easy to understand straight away. Remember the key is to retain attention, if a person needs to re-read a sentence over and over you’ve lost them straight away. It might be a grammatically correct sentence which makes perfect sense, but if you use vocabulary most people don’t know or go in for a convoluted structure reader’s aren’t going to bother staying (unless you’re blogging about philosophy).

Low-brow doesn’t mean sacrificing spelling and grammar mind. Spelling and grammar mistakes communicate a lack of competence; proof read your copy. At the same time the odd sentence which is a little flexible is ok.

Make it useful and unique

The way you write can compel a reader, but if the content is ultimately thin or not useful to somebody then they’re going to switch off. Make sure what you’re writing is quality content- either useful information or an interesting, unique angle on something relevant. This will not only engage readers but will help SEO.

Quick Guide to Write Content

These are some starting tips for writing good web content. There’s no perfect formula and you’ll get lots of different bits of advice, but the best one is to write with belief in your own product or service.

  • Consider where your content is being placed.
  • Use an appropriate tone of voice.
  • Humanise your company.
  • Be yourself.
  • Write for scanning.
  • Make it accessible.
  • Make it useful and unique.

How to write content that results in conversions?

You might write really useful content but it doesn’t mean it will result in more leads or sales. The key to writing high-quality content that actually results in conversions is to use the user conversion funnel and write different content pieces for every step of the process.

But, what is the user conversion funnel?

The user conversion funnel is a model that helps visualise and understand the process of converting website visitors into customers. The funnel starts with website visitors (awareness) and narrows down to those who take a desired action (conversion), such as signing up for a subscription or making a purchase.

Some other key steps in the user journey include the consideration and evaluation stages.

This model can help businesses understand where they are losing potential customers and make changes to their website content or marketing strategy to improve conversions.

Planning content around the user journey

It is crucial to write content pieces for 3 key stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

The conversion content corresponds to a product description or category content. In this stage, the user is already aware of the type of product or service that they want to buy, therefore you should focus on writing content that highlights the features of the product or service.

The consideration stage usually corresponds to a group of product alternatives or product recommendations. A long-form content piece is recommended for this stage. For example, you can write a guide on the top 10 best products on your website.

Finally, you should also write content for the awareness stage. This content is unlikely to convert but it will increase your brand awareness. In addition, this content is very important for SEO because it will help with topical authority and, therefore, it will help with your keyword rankings.

Case Study

A great example of high-quality content that works around the user journey is a blog called “Lightbulb Moments”, which is part of the Outdoor Lights store. This is a ecommerce website that sells premium garden lights, solar-powered lights and other exterior lighting solutions.

This site has created low-competition blog posts for the awareness stage (e.g. “what is a pathway lights”), a long-form piece for the consideration stage (e.g. “the best pathway lights of 2022”), and a well-optimised category page for “pathway lights”.

This build-out content is a great strategy to give your audience helpful, high-quality content at all stages of the marketing funnel.

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