Web content writing is one of the biggest challenges for many people in the travel industry. Even for those who are natural-born scribes, it can be a daunting task when you’re facing a full day’s worth of work. Good content doesn’t come easily, so you need to be focused and prepared when facing a blank page.
Here are 5 tips you can use when creating content for your site.
1. Purpose of the Page
Determining the purpose of the page is the very first thing you must do if you want to create great content. Do you want readers to take a certain action, such as ask for more information or book? Or is the page simply there to inform (such as Frequently Asked Questions or About Us)? The purpose of the page will give you a natural direction for your web content writing.
2. Define Your Market
Does your property appeal to high-income travelers? Or is it more for the budget traveler? Will you naturally attract more families (perhaps your property is near an amusement park), or do you cater to singles and couples (spas, for example)? Before writing your web content, closely examine your market. This will help you determine how to position the features of your property as true benefits the reader can relate to (more on this later).
3. Who’s Your Reader?
It’s easier to write to one person versus a group of people. So, as best you can, come up with a persona — a description of the type of person most likely to find and read your page. This is where you narrow down your market. Are your customers primarily male or female? They may be split evenly, in which case you’ll need to focus on other behaviors (such as number of rooms booked, types of activities and amenities preferred, length of stay, etc.).
Create a portrait of the type of person most likely to book with you. Then create a personality (persona) around that person’s interest. An easy way to do this is to picture in your mind someone you know who most resembles your reader, and then write your copy as if you’re writing to that specific person. You’ll be surprised at how much more naturally your copy flows form your mind to your fingertips and onto the page. You’ll find yourself using words and descriptions you know that person would understand. You’ll also find it easier to come up motivational copy with resorting to overstatements or hyperbole.
4. Define Your Benefits
There’s an important distinction between features and benefits. For example, if your vacation rental offers a pool table, that’s not a benefit. That’s a feature. The benefit is this: A pool table will provide hours of relaxing fun for the entire family. A hot tub is a feature. Relaxing in the hot tub after a full day of hiking or skiing is the benefit. So before you write a single word, go through all the features of your property and define the benefits of those features to your customers.
5. Experiment with Lots of Ideas and Directions
As you begin to write, try a variety of approaches. This will accomplish two things: you’ll keep writer’s block far away, and you’ll keep your writing fresh and original. Both are important. Writer’s block slows you down and costs you money. The longer it takes you to get great copy onto your site, the more sales you miss. And search engines are putting a premium on original, fresh copy. The last thing you want to do is cut and paste copy, or repeat the same copy over and over again. Each and every page should stand on its own in terms of originality.
Try these 5 tips the next time you write web content. Writing will be easier, and your copy will be better.
We should extend our gratitude to Matt Smolsky, the guest author who has written this post for TraveList. Please read more about him below:
Web Content Writing: 5 Tips for Better Travel Copy,
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