It happens to the best of us: We make plans that we think encompass everything, yet we’re suddenly asked to deliver a component we didn’t consider. Such is often the case when it comes to creating a new website. Whether for a new brand or a rebranding effort, a website cannot be created without content. If you’re considering a new website, do you have website content at the ready to help your designer? Do you even know what you should write about?
Why Website Content Is So Important
If you were to survey website designers on the #1 reason design comes to a standstill, they’d say content. In most cases, businesses approach small website-design firms, and those one- or two-person firms don’t include content as part of the package. Only when you go to a larger, all-encompassing marketing firm will content come with the design. But many business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know this—and they’re sometimes not informed of this need upfront. So they’re left scrambling.
Alas, you can’t have a website without website content. Pictures are nice and all, and design is important for attracting visitors, but it’s the content that helps with SEO and converts visitors to customers.
Google requires a minimum of 350 words per page that you want to rank. If you consider that a paragraph is roughly 150 words, that’s actually not a lot of content. If you want to get 10/10 on VerifySEO, though, you’ll need 1,000+ words per page. That’s considerably more content.
When you work with a website designer, you’ll start with a sitemap, aka website architecture. This is where you’ll determine what pages will be on your site. Almost all sites start with the basic five:
- Products and/or Services
From here, you can add a lot more information and subpages, with a more robust site looking something like this:
- About: Mission, vision, values, Why we’re different, Meet the team, Testimonials, Case studies
- Products: Product 1, Product 2, Product 3
- Services: Service 1, Service 2, Service 3
The bigger your company and your message, the bigger your website will be. And if you don’t have a retail location, your website is likely the only place customers can learn about your brand offerings. It should be comprehensive.
What Your Website Content Should Say
After you’ve developed your website architecture, you’ll need to figure out what to say under each category. The contact page is easy since it just includes your contact information, a map of your location, and perhaps a contact form. Product and service pages are outlines of your products and services, naturally, so they should flow easily. Just remember that you need to focus on the benefits of your products and services, not just what they do.
You’ll likely spend the most time on your home and about pages, as well you should. The home page is how most people enter your website, and your about page is where they usually head to next. These are the pages where you’ll focus on your value proposition, what makes you different, and what you want visitors to do after they’ve visited your site.
Remember that there are different types of websites. You can have a pretty online marketing brochure or you can have a working site that drives business and converts visitors. A lot of how your website performs depends on your website content.
Since your website is how many prospective clients get the first taste of your brand, you want to ensure it shares your message accurately. To that end, there are some questions you should consider in creating and sharing your message:
- Who is your target market?
- What location(s) do you serve?
- What are your mission, vision, and value statements?
- What’s your tagline?
- What does your sales cycle look like?
- What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)?
- How does your website fit into your overall marketing strategy?
- What do you want people to feel when they visit the site?
- What language will you use: We/you or our business/our clients?
- What do you want people to do when they visit the site?
- Will you be incorporating SEO? If so, what are the keywords you’ll be targeting?
Obviously, these questions don’t get too deep into the specifics of your business, but they will help you determine the direction of your message. A financial advisor’s site shouldn’t sound like a graphic designer’s, but two financial advisors should be different enough in their target markets, voice, and USP that they don’t sound like carbon copies either.
Why Smart Businesses Hire Website Content Writers
It’s hard to write about yourself and your business. Even when you have a number of employees, all of those people have other jobs; they aren’t writers who are focused on sharing a message. And if everyone is writing their own piece of the website, how can you create synergy with the message?
In addition to outsourcing their website development, most companies will also outsource the content creation. Perhaps it’s just the owner in the conversation with the writer, but perhaps multiple decision makers in the business will get involved. What is key is that the business leaders understand their mission, vision, target market, and place in a competitive landscape. And unfortunately, they often don’t. That’s why working with a website content writer and branding expert is vital for the success of this project—and perhaps their business as a whole.
After all, even if you’re not working on a website at the moment, can you go through those questions above and have the answers at the tip of your tongue? If not, you might have some work to do.
If you’re working on a new website, you need a smart website content writer on your team. Contact us to learn how we can help.