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Tips for content optimization: better texts for the web

How to avoid typical editorial mistakes and convince users with your content

Appealing to new customers, strengthening your own image, or increasing customer loyalty - there are many good reasons for content marketing. Accordingly, the investment volume of companies in corresponding measures has increased significantly in recent years. But you can only convince users with high quality - and that also applies to your content. In this guide, I have therefore collected the best tips for optimizing your content and preventing common mistakes.

Content optimization: Five measures that help you avoid editorial errors

1. Identify with your target group

"Having devoted ourselves to the arrangement of individual literary characters and information carriers, ..." - Well, do you still feel like reading on? Don't worry, I won't switch to officialese now. But this one half-sentence illustrates how strongly language and writing style influence us. No matter how exciting the content - if your text is boring, bristles with foreign words or is formulated in a too complicated way, hardly anyone will read it. 

"Every kind of writing is allowed, except the boring kind." - Voltaire 

Always keep your target audience in mind: If you are writing for a specialist audience, for example, you can use a few technical terms. However, it is better to explain too much than too little. Use foreign words sparingly. If it suits the audience, humor and relaxed phrasing are perfectly permissible.

Better to explain too much than too little.

By the way, the more you know about your target group, the better. Surveys, interviews, and user tests help you learn important details about your customers. 

2. Print or online - pay attention to the medium

Just copy the article from your customer magazine to the web? That' s not a good idea! The reason is that people read differently on a screen than they do on paper. Most of the time, they only skim the information. That's why it's important, for example, that the crucial message comes right at the beginning. This text structure is also known as an inverted pyramid. Background information, on the other hand, is only revealed at the end of the text.  

You should also keep your sentences as short and simple as possible, as the attention span of users is much lower. Always put the main information at the beginning. Insertions with commas or dashes should be used sparingly, as they are usually not understandable at first glance.  

If we stick to the example of the customer magazine, you should shorten and simplify sentences and leave out unnecessary information. Instead, you can add subheadings, bullet points, keywords, and multimedia content. Learn more about this in the next sections. 

Optimized structure of website

3. Bring your text to live ‚Äď add structure to your content

It is actually a luxury problem: you have lots of information for the text. You therefore squeeze fact after fact into the sentences. Paragraphs, subheadings and everything that needs space are left out. Just like the overwhelmed reader. 

Structure is an important anchor point for the user's eye, especially when surfing erratically. Paragraphs, bullet points, bolding and subheadings help with orientation. Multimedia content such as sound bites, videos or image galleries reinforce the message of your text. These elements also increase the length of stay and attractiveness of your website. 

4. The search engine ‚Äď a friend and helper?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is still the demon's work for some old-school editors. Their motto: "I write for the readers and not for Google. But it's not that simple in the digital age. If you don't include keywords or even leave out the meta data in the content management system, search engines will hardly find you, if at all.  

Since most users reach websites via search engines, your positioning there is extremely important. In concrete terms, this means: research search terms as well as frequent questions on the respective topic. Then incorporate both sensibly into your text and the corresponding meta data. 

Important here: the right amount. In their desire to improve the SEO ranking, some copywriters overdo it. If the focus keyword is in every second sentence, this is keyword stuffing. Or even worse, a misspelled keyword à la "simple ripair" ends up in the guide. Even if keyword tools show you these terms, you shouldn't use them. The reason for this is that it reduces the editorial quality of your texts and has a negative impact on your brand image. In the long run, your search engine ranking suffers as well - because Google & Co. now also pay attention to various quality criteria when it comes to content. 

5. Stick to the picture ‚Äď the interplay of text and illustration

Imagine: You are an avid space fan and collect everything related to NASA, spaceships and planets. At the newsstand, you discover a new magazine with the headline "The best of 100 years of space history". You decide to buy it - and discover right on the second page that the Mir pictured is actually the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek. You never buy the magazine again, because your trust in the competence of the editors is gone. Something similar often happens in content marketing. 

Editorial mistakes happen, especially when things have to be done quickly: The text is ready, all the captions are in place, only the right photo is still missing.  In a hurry, you search the internal image pool for a shot, but don't check whether the label is correct. The wrong image ends up on the website. 

This is a discrepancy between image and text. The best way to avoid this is with the following "antidotes": 

  • Plan time in advance to check the image material. The image must always match the text exactly.¬†
  • Get a second editor or another colleague to do a four-eye check.¬†¬†
  • Alternatively, you can select the image material before creating the text and then match it to the picture¬†

If all this is not possible, do not include the picture instead of confusing the users.

Outlook: The next steps for content optimization

You want to check the quality of your content? Then our content audit is just right for you. We take a close look at your website. Depending on your wishes, we can check all pages or a specific selection. Our content experts examine language, style, grammar, structure, SEO, UX and much more. Even if you need a guideline and training for future content or are looking for experienced editors to optimize your content, we are happy to assist you.