In our previous post we explained how to get the most out of your website maintenance firm. Every dollar you spend on one aspect of your business is a dollar that could have been allocated to something else. As a business ourselves, we’re keenly aware of this. We share the same daily concerns that you do when it comes to the operational end of our company.
One of our key suggestions was to keep us supplied with new, fresh content to keep your site updated. We really can’t stress the importance of this enough. It serves multiple functions:
See, it used to be that you could just put a couple of pages together, load them down with as many keywords as you could possibly think of (sometimes keywords that didn’t even apply to your business in hopes of “tricking” the search engines), and call it a day. But, as we’ve mentioned before, today’s web is smarter than that and today’s customers demand much, much more.
The same level of attention that was paid to your website design also needs to be paid to your website content; some might argue even more. Don’t believe me? Take off your business owner hat for a minute. Put all of the blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve poured into your business out of your mind for just a moment and look at your website through the eyes of one of your customers. Pretend that you just arrived there through a Google search and take a look around. I want you to ask yourself a very important, and likely quite difficult, question:
If this wasn’t your business, would you stay on this website? Has it captured your attention? Has it given you a reason to invest any more of your time in it than you have already? Is it interesting? Graphically appealing? Have you learned anything from it?
If you can’t answer these questions with a resounding “yes!” then you have a problem to address. Thankfully, we can help you fix it.
We’ll cover how the right website designer and website management firm can help you create something visually appealing in a future post. For now, we’re going to focus on the content and how you can write engaging content that converts visitors into customers.
Far too many businesses write content for the sole purpose of triggering sales. They believe that even the most mundane of blog posts has to be a vehicle to take someone from being a website visitor to a website customer. They fail to understand that their value to that potential customer is something that can be built up over time.
Regardless of your industry, there are things that you can write which provide a service to those that come to your site. Some might ask why they should give this information away for free. After all, there’s no obligation for someone who gleaned a piece of information from your website to then turn around and use your service, is there? In that case, why are we even writing this?
Writing to provide a service is about more than instant financial gain. It’s about the “long game.” Establish yourself and position your business as an authoritative source for information in a given area and know that the customer you’ve been targeting all along with eventually get in touch.
You want the content that you send us to be clean, concise, and easy to read. Write for the audience you’re trying to reach. And, after you’ve said what needs to be said, stop writing. Don’t take two pages to say what could be said in two paragraphs.
This is essential and frequently overlooked.
Have you ever witnessed or heard of the “wall of text?” Avoid it at all costs.
Break your content up into easily-digestible paragraphs. Integrate images that you think would apply to the content you’re writing. If you don’t have any images, let us know that you’d like to use some and we’ll find them for you. Your website maintenance firm should have access to a library of stock images suitable for your content.
Even though the focus of this particular post is to show you how important your content is for the overall success of your website, it still has to be presented in a way that makes a visitor want to keep reading it. Think about raw oysters. Some people love them, some people hate them, and some people hate them that have never actually tried eating one of them. Why? Let’s be honest – they look disgusting! They could be the most delicious delicacy in the world (as some might have you believe) but if you can’t get past how they look you’ll never know.
This one’s the hardest. We witness the same scenario play out over and over again: someone determines that they’re going to write content for their website today. So, they sit down in front of their computer, put their “marketing-speak” hat on, and put together a few pages of some of the most proper, formal, buzzword-laden text you can think of; the kind of text that would make textbook writers for MBA programs ecstatic.
Now, if that’s your company’s culture or your way of doing business, then that’s fine. But, imagine the shock a potential customer would experience when they decide to call you and find that you’re very laid back and that humor is a big way in how you get your point across.
Understand that your website is an extension of your company’s culture. The website design will show who you are but the website content has an equal amount of that weight to bear. Write from the heart of your company. Don’t worry – any good website maintenance firm won’t let you put anything out there that would embarrass you. Just show who you are and what your business represents.
We don’t expect you to know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). You should be working with a team of experts who can take the text that you provide and ensure that it is fully optimized to get you the kind of attention from search engines that you need. They should read through any content that you send along and then suggest ways that they can make the content more search engine friendly while not alienating your readers – you know; the humans that actually pay you money.
Any website maintenance firm that isn’t focusing on search engine optimized content should probably re-think one of their core business practices. With Mackmedia Website Maintenance, this is not a concern. All of our plans include search engine optimization reviews to ensure that your content is getting the attention from search engines that it needs to get you found. All you need to do is ask for it!
At the start of this post I asked whether you would read your current website if you landed on it. If you read this and you can still say that you would, then you are well ahead of the game and I congratulate you! But, if you’re re-thinking a few things, know that it is not too difficult to turn your site around. Obviously, I’d prefer that you use us to do it – we have some phenomenal copywriters and web designers on staff.
I think we provide something special and unique in a marketplace that is rapidly making everyone look and sound the same. But, even if you don’t use us, just make sure that you understand the difference that high quality content can make to your website. Let your voice come through – you’ll be so glad that you did.