You’ve worked hard on your tech product, and your marketing team is working hard to put all the tech content on your website. They’ve updated a number of pages, created landing pages for the product launch, and even organized your social media to coincide with the launch. You’re all set to go.
And nothing happens.
You get a few token inquiries from a couple of existing customers, and some “likes” on Facebook, but no leads, and certainly no sales. Both you and upper management are concerned, and you’re wondering where things went wrong with your tech content.
Think you need to go back to the design room and re-code your product? Probably not.
Think you need to go back and redo your marketing materials? Most definitely.
In fact, the solution to this is a lot simpler than you expect. Attract and hold your visitor’s attention by writing less and arranging your content so that it’s easy to read.
Give Your Tech Pages Laser Focus by Writing Less
There’s a reason that Twitter only lets you write 140 characters at a time (for now.) On the web, people are looking for small chunks of information to skim and digest as quickly as possible.
Keep your readers engaged with short bursts
So if your website is full of big long paragraphs and tons of pages describing your products and services, people aren’t going to read them. Pare down your content to its most informative size, while at the same time keep it engaging enough to draw your visitors in. (Preferably using more than 140 characters at a time.)
Once you’ve embraced the idea of using less words to get more out of your visitors, here are a few other content techniques you can use to make your website more reader-friendly. In 5 steps, you can turn your web page from a sea of paragraphs to content that engages your visitors.
5 Steps to Better Tech Web Pages
1-White Space is Your Friend
In hard copy, white space was included on certain sides of pages to allow for book binding. Obviously online content isn’t constrained by those rules. A web page can go on for as long as you like, and visitors simply have to scroll up or down, or side to side to read your content.
That said, it’s still hard to read a web page if the text fills up the entire width of your monitor. You still need to allow some white space in there, but it doesn’t have to be on the left side. Or the bottom. Use a line break instead, in between paragraphs. It can do wonders to break up the text and make it easier to read.
Have as many paragraphs as you need, but have only one idea per paragraph. Which means only 3-4 sentences per paragraph. Any more means you have more than 1 idea in that paragraph, and you need to break it down further.
2-Use a Bulleted List
- They’re easily scanned by your visitor.
- They’re a simple and quick way to present multiple points from a paragraph, without having to start new paragraphs.
- They provide a visual break to your visitor, because they look different from the rest of the web page.
A word of warning though: just because you’re talking to a tech audience about a complex product doesn’t mean your whole web page should be a series of bullet points. Keep that for the specification sheet.
3-Add Links to Your Content
Internal links to other pages on your site keeps visitors reading your best information. They increase the chances they’ll turn from a casual visitor into a prospect. Use them as a road map for visitors, leading them through your information in the order you choose. (See the next item on Group by Numbers on why this is important.)
Also, from an SEO perspective, it helps your website to be ranked higher in search engines, as it’s one of the characteristics they look for on a website. (They actually look for links of any kind, either internal or external, so if you have other sites you can link to that don’t distract your visitors, feel free to add them in as well.)
4-Group by Numbers
Group information together in small numbered chunks, kind of like this post, 5 Simple Ways to Better Express Your Tech Ideas. People are drawn to numbered lists because they keep them oriented in the content on your site. Technical writers only use numbers for a procedure, because it’s the easiest way to keep readers moving forward in an orderly fashion. You can’t skip ahead, but must follow the numbers through the procedure to arrive at the intended result.
Try to group together features, benefits, and solutions in a numbers-based list on your web pages, and see how you can lead visitors through your sales funnel, from lead to prospect to customer.
5-Don’t Say Everything All At Once
By nature, the tech industry is highly complex, so trying to cram all that complexity into one webpage at once can be counterproductive for your visitors. There’s no need to talk about your specifications, the features and the benefits of your product all on one web page.
The benefits are what hook your readers on your content, speaking to them in their language about how they can overcome the obstacles they face. The features and specs tell them how they’ll do it, but you have to get their attention first.
Remember, you’ve got an entire web site you can fill up with all the information you want. So keep the content separated on different pages, and lead them through the entire information stream till the end (when they become a lead, or even better, a customer!)
Use these 5 Content Techniques
And you’ll find that visitors are more engaged, and I’ll bet your next product launch will be more successful, getting you the results you want.