Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How to create content for your first website



So you have decided your company needs to be online. Congratulations – go you!
Deciding what you should put online is the hardest part of all. Writing web content is different to writing print, people engage differently online than they do in person or on paper. You have less time to grab and hold their attention and more things to worry about like usability, design and structure.

Starting to create content for your first website is the main concern most clients I have worked with have; usually I would sit down with them over a cup of tea and discuss their requirements, competitors, and details of their business – who they sell to, who they would like to sell to and what other marketing they have running currently (but today I am writing it down for you). Once you have a gauge on who your business is/ who you are - you are half way there! Figure out your unique point of view, what makes you different to your competitors and what do you believe are your best assets?

Start with a brainstorm, write down all of the assets your business has:
  • Location
  • Staff experience
  • Qualifications
  • Products
  • Ingredients/tools/suppliers

Now write down everything you can think about who might be looking at buying what you have to offer, your target audience:
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Monetary status
  • Their fears / concerns (this one is important)
  • Lifestyle

The aim of your website should be to address and answer any questions your customers might have. You want to inform them of everything you do, think about what could go wrong in your industry; these are the fears your target audience have. Now think of what you can do to address them and put at ease any concerns your customer might have over using you. 

As an example, a construction company wanted to address the fear they found a lot of their customers had that construction companies are always late and don’t finish projects on time. So they introduced a guarantee policy on their website where for every day they were over due on a project they would pay the customer $100. If you were looking for a construction company and you saw one offered this deal and a competitor didn’t, who would you trust? People are more trusting of you when they see you are human and have something to lose if you let them down. No one wants to part with $100 so I’d believe they are going to finish on time!

Once you have the direction your website is heading, you’ll need to think of how many pages you’ll need and what should go on them.


Home Page

This is your landing page, the page that people will go to when they first click on your site. You need to grab their attention immediately and let them know what you do.

Include a catchy heading that sparks interest (make sure it is keyword rich). Follow this with a brief paragraph about 200 words and nail out exactly what it is you do and how you can help them. Do you find this tough to write? Think about your location, what you sell, what you believe in and how you can improve a customer’s life. You don’t have to go into too much detail, take a look at other websites (particularly your competitors) and see how they do it. Don’t copy it now, you’ll never win. As being the newer of the websites Google already has you at a disadvantage. The longer you are online, the better you rank. So you had better find a point of difference if you want to overtake and start pinching some customers.

Other pages you might like to include (industry dependant)

About Us Page

Go into great detail who you are, where you came from, what you believe in. If you have staff you might want to include their profiles. People are more trusting of using companies with a face. So don’t be shy about having yours on display. Keep your content to 300-600 words, and break it up with sub headings and bullet points. Google loves lists, and so do people reading off a screen.

Products and Services

What do you have on offer? Clearly set out what you sell, its benefits (remember answer queries and fears people might have) and include a price list if you have one! So many companies feel shy about including prices online, which is stupid. The prices aren’t going to change when someone rings up to ask are they - your competitor can ring up and ask just as easily so what are you hiding from? You need to make the decision for customers to come to you as easy as possible so don’t hide anything – customers will smell a rat.

Why choose us page

This can be multiple pages and doesn’t have to be titled as such; these are pages for you to gloat about what you can do for them. Can you get testimonials from your previous clients? Great! Definitely include them and any success stories and images you might have from past projects. Start a gallery – people love looking through photos and videos. Include any press releases, advertising or special deals. These are the extra pages people will filter around to find out more about you. Word of mouth is strong advertising, so why not be the mouth? Show proof of your success and what you have done for other people so far.

Contact

Always let people know how they can get hold of you. Include any Social Media or Blog sites you are linked in to. Put in an address, a phone number an email address, try and include something like this on every page if you can. You never want someone to have to click more than once before being able to get a hold of you.


This is the best compassionate photo I could find,
it made me all smooshy inside so had to be included. Naaw
The best advice I can give for creating content is be real. People want to interact with human beings, not machines. So add a personal touch to it. Don’t speak in marketing gibberish - it is obvious you want to sell them a product, sell to them through stories and life events, be compassionate in your writing and the tone will set itself.









Good luck! Any questions give me a shout!

Click here for more information on how I can help you get started.









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