by Nick Usborn (¹)
There are several factors that drive us to create new content for our websites.
Maybe we have a list of pages to be written that will be optimized for long-tail keywords.
Or we have a list of topics we need to address to complete various subject areas on our site.
Or we have some reader questions to answer.
Or we have some pages to put up with a view to getting good distribution through social media.
To put it simply, a web page needs to be either pulling or pushing.
Pulling new readers into the site for the first time, and pulling returning visitors back again and again.
Or pushing readers to take an action – whether to subscribe, to buy, to sign up, to download, to take a free trial, or click on a revenue-earning link.
So once you have created that list of upcoming content, whether it be about keywords, customer questions, missing subject matter…or whatever…mark it as either a page that is written to pull, or to push.
What’s the difference? How do you write pages that pull or push?
Pages that pull are a gift which you give to your readers. They pose and answer questions. They provide “how to” answers. They offer resources and solutions. Often they are optimized for the search engines, or for social media. These are entry pages, written to welcome, inform and please your new readers. Like I said, they are a gift to your new readers.
Pages that push take on a different tone. Their purpose is to drive an action. You want your readers to take an action…hopefully an action that earns you money now, or later. The text you write will be more focused and action-oriented. It will be more persuasive. You will try to close the sale, or at least “close the click”.
At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “Nick, this is all well and good. But you are hugely simplifying things. Many pages can be written to both pull and push.”
Yes, they can. A single page can be pulling at the beginning, and pushing towards the end. It can be a great entry page, and also close the sale, or the click.
In fact, every entry page should deliver a little push towards the end. Because you never want a reader coming to your site, reading just one page, and then leaving, never to return.
But the point I am trying to make is that you need to be aware of the purpose behind each page you write.
Don’t write a page just to get search engine traffic. Or just to fill a subject matter gap.
Always be conscious of the underlying and primary purpose of each page you write.
Is its primary purpose to pull new readers into the site?
Or is its primary purpose to close a sale, or some other action?
Just be aware of the difference, and write the page with its purpose in mind.
About Nick Usborne & the Web Content Café
The origins and purpose of the Web Content Café.
“Nick Usborne gets it! All the great programming in the world won’t help you if you can’t express yourself online. It’s about the words, dummy.” — Seth Godin
My name is Nick Usborne, and I have been writing web content and copy since 1994.
For the first few years I was writing just for my own websites. But from 1998 onwards I wrote web content and copy professionally, for companies large and small.
One week I would find myself flying across the continent to conduct web content training seminars for large companies such as Yahoo!, Disney and the J. Paul Getty Trust. Another week I would be working with very small companies, or with individuals who wanted to create websites of their own.
I have written a couple of books on writing for the web – Net Words (2001) and New Path to Riches (2009). I also keep busy writing programs, courses and guides for online writers.
Over the years I have noticed, for large companies and small, that content creation can become a bit of a challenge. At least, it can be hard to maintain a constant flow of quality content.
It is to address this challenge that I created the Web Content Café.
The purpose of this site is two-fold.
First, to deliver a new content idea or approach each day. These content ideas are intended to kick-start you each day, so you can keep adding new pages to your website or blog, without feeling bogged down.
Second, to share best practices in web content creation, so every page or post you create is optimized to fulfil its purpose.
Whether you work within a company, or as freelancer, or as the creator of your own websites – I think and hope you find this website useful.