Website content matters. Possibly more than many businesses appreciate. It makes all the difference to whether anyone can find your site and to what they do when they get there. If you’re having a new site put together, refreshing your existing one, or perhaps wondering why your site isn’t delivering the results you expected, here are a few questions that could help.
Who and When?
Two questions, but inextricably linked – and followed by a few others. If you are writing your own content, who’s going to do it? You? A member of your team? How much ‘spare time’ do they currently have? If they are fully occupied what are they (or you) going to stop doing in order to get the content written?
Why this matters: Any web designer will tell you their biggest frustration and the biggest cause of delay is waiting for content from their client. The record from conversations I’ve had with designers currently stands at 18 months (can anyone beat that?). I’ll leave you to work out the opportunity cost. Also, how effective is the content likely to be if it’s been ‘bashed out’ because the web designer is running out of patience?
How well do you understand SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is increasingly intertwined with content, to the extent that you cannot have an effective optimisation strategy that doesn’t have content at its core. Writing intelligent and SEO friendly meta title and description tags is not easy. Integrating keywords into content in the most effective way, while still creating natural and easy-to-read copy requires skill. Is it reasonable to expect somebody who is taking a break from the day job to get this right?
Why this matters: Is there any point in having a website that nobody can find? Structure, usability and the reader experience are as important as selecting the right keywords in getting your site to rank well in Google. There’s no quick fix for this – despite what several emails in your inbox may be claiming.
Can you be objective about your business?
Your business may well be one of the big passions in your life. You are bound up in it and you are excited about your capabilities and your opportunities. Will a potential customer have quite the same perspective? Sure, they want to know that you care about what you do – but they really want to know what you are going to do for them. Standing back and seeing what matters from an outsider’s perspective is difficult.
Why this matters: Content that engages and persuades is the difference between ‘having a website’ and having a website that makes a positive contribution to your business growth. An external resource will inevitably see your business differently. This usually makes it easier to identify and emphasize the critical arguments that will persuade your target customers.
How confident are you in your ability?
However you choose to produce the content, your website is a significant investment. It’s not just the money that you pay for design and hosting, it’s also the time that your organisation has to put in to make it happen. Design matters; but even with the best design in the world your website will stand or fall on how easy it is to find – and how well it engages and persuades your target customers. Creating readable, engaging, persuasive and search-friendly content is quite an undertaking. Are you confident that you have the skills in-house to do all of that?
Why this matters: Writing is a bit like driving: people are reluctant to admit that somebody may be better at it than they are. But, while I can drive, I’m happy to acknowledge that Lewis Hamilton is a better driver than me (there, I’ve said it). Choosing to write your own content might be like Mercedes asking me to drive their F1 car – both likely to result in a big crash and disappointment!
Richard Hussey, Owner, RSH Copywriting
I help smaller businesses market themselves effectively online through better website content, blogging and social media. Call me on 01823 674167 to find out how I can help you. I’m always happy to chat and explore opportunities without any pressure or expectation.by