Over the years we’ve noticed one of the biggest struggles for Clients building a new web site is determining the content. There is a fine line between wanting to say it all and saying nothing at all. Most clients would attribute this struggle to “Not being marketers” and not knowing how or where to start when taking on the often overwhelming task of writing content to fill up a web site.
The truth is content writing is time-consuming and for many, not an enjoyable task. Over the years I estimate over 90% of missed deadlines come from content writer’s block.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a “Marketing Executive” to write content. In this post I will give you some tips and tricks as well as some questions to ask yourself when writing content for your web site. My hope is that this sparks some ideas and makes the task a little easier and more enjoyable when writing for your site.
Why wait? Nothing good will come from waiting. You know will eventually need to write it, so start early.
If you start writing content the day you decide to commission a web site you will eliminate stress and missed deadlines down the road.
Client Rebutal: I don’t know what pages will be on my site, therefore I can’t write content.
The former part of this statement is true. Before a site map is given or decided upon, most customers aren’t sure how the site will transend or function.
Here is the bottom line, you do know the basic aspects of the site and you definitely know enough to outline your thoughts. Most sites follow the same contextual format. You will probably have a home page (with text) an About Us (with text) and and explanation of your products or services. This is where you can start. Even if you are unsure of where it will ultimately end up on your site, you know it will be there.
As I said above, the best time to start is when you are considering a new web site. This gives you time to think about your content, outline what you want to say, and revise/add to it. The best way to tackle this task is to give yourself goals. Some clients will write a page a day (maybe in the mornings or evenings when you are uninterrupted) others will do it by the week etc.
My point is no matter how much time you think you have, it’s a good idea to start early. The content on your web site is extremely important. Believe it or not, people read it. If it’s thrown together at the last minute, you might turn away potential customers. (AND don’t get me started on the importance of content for SEO – but that’s another post in itself.)
DON’T PUSH IT OFF ON SOMEONE ELSE.
THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you don’t get anything else from this post, please remember this. The tendency when considering content for a new web site is to push the text off on someone else, or even worse, copy it from the internet (this of course is illegal).
Who better to write about your company than you? Seems legit right?
You are the expert, you understand the ins and outs of the business as well as and most importantly, YOU have the most invested. Think of it this way, who would you want selling your product or service to the biggest client/investor you can imagine? [Your answer Here ] is who should be writing your content.
QUESTIONS TO SPARK MIND BLOWING CONTENT WRITING:
1. Why are you building this web site?
I know this seems like a silly question, but it’s important to ask yourself. If you can get to the real reason, not just that everyone has one so I need one too excuse, it will help outline the main content of your site.
2. If you could tell a potential customer/investor about your company what would you say?
It’s time to brag! Why should people use you, trust you, why are you the best?
3. If someone walked through the door of your business and asked what do you do, what would you tell them?
If you can’t answer this, find someone who can stat! This is the information that should be on your home page as well as products, services, about etc.
4. What product or service is most important to you?
Usually this is the product that makes you the most money, but some sites are not about making money so we wanted to include you as well in this question. This is the product or service you should highlight in your main breadcrumbs. Whether it’s your home page slider or stuff in your sidebars. This will help get customers to click through to the most important page on your site.
5. What products, services, or information are secondarily important to you?
This information will be highlighted on your side bars or other breadcrumbs on the home page. This will increase the click throughs to other important pages on your site.
By answering these questions, along with following the outlined tips you will be well on your way to writing some killer content. With content in hand and the help of a skilled web design firm your new web site will be up and running AND PROFITING in no time.
To view Visual Realm’s recent work and web sites in progress please visit our portfolio here.
Kyle Theil is the CEO and Senior Designer at Visual Realm – A Tampa Web Design and Marketing Company.