To be competitive in today’s online community, your website must give visitors a good first impression. The content they find on your website says a lot about your company’s mission, professionalism and attention to detail. I frequently run across websites featuring content that was clearly thrown together quickly without much forethought. The following five tips will help you give potential clients an accurate and favorable look at your enterprise.

1. Outline tangible goals.

To develop effective site content, you need to sit down and outline some tangible goals. Without goals, you’ll have no way to measure how successful your content is. For example, most website owners are looking to maximize their lead generation and conversion potential. Take the time to determine what exactly you expect your content to do before you write (or rewrite) it.

2. Use short phrases with action verbs.

Writing for the web varies from traditional writing in a few keys ways. Generally speaking, you should keep your site’s content short and sweet. Potential clients don’t want to waste time deciphering flowery language just to see what your company does. Spell out what exactly you do and how it will benefit them. Then tell them what they need to do to take advantage of your services.

3. Employ a personable tone.

When researching companies online, consumers want to know that they’re working with real people and not automated machines.  Your content should encourage a conversation with your client, not speak at them in a condescending way. Use a first person narrative to share personal experiences and give the reader a sense of conversation. Use a second person narrative to encourage clients to take action, such as filling out a lead form. This site on why you should be a motivational speaker is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The content here asks consumers questions and then gives answers and advice in a friendly way.

4. Proofread everything multiple times.

Poorly written content will not garner leads and convert sales as effectively as professionally written content. Granted, some people won’t notice grammatical flaws, but you can bet that the ones who do will reconsider working with a business that can’t take the time to ensure accuracy. If you don’t have a professional writer or editor on hand, I highly recommend that you find one to contract for certain writing assignments. You don’t want to play a guessing game when it comes to building trust in the online perception of your company.

5. Update your content regularly.

At the bare minimum, update your site’s content at least once a year. Admittedly, this can be quite the undertaking for sites that feature dozens of individual pages. Don’t forget to re-evaluate your content every time you’re planning a redesign for your website. When you change your site’s layout, you need to consider how you could maximize your content within new constraints.

As a parting message, make sure you don’t just throw out your original information when rewriting content for your site. Doing so could adversely affect your site’s SEO. Every time you rewrite content, run a split-page test to determine which language converts users better. Direct half of your traffic to the original content and half to the new content. After the test is over, determine which content was more successful in converting clients, and then consider why that might be.

Nobody’s perfect, but you should make every effort to ensure potential clients get the right message from your site’s content.

AvatarDanielle Rodabaugh

Danielle Rodabaugh is the chief editor and marketing supervisor at, an online insurance agency that works with new business owners across the nation. You can keep up with Danielle on Google+.