If you are like most businesses your biggest stumbling block for your website is the content. For some reason it is much harder to write content for your own site that it is to write it for your clients.
As a Web Builder I find the biggest delay in getting a website live is the content but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think.
Follow these steps an you will have it nailed.
What are you famous for?
Every business is known for something, it could be quality, service, your products, even cheap prices.
Answer these questions to find out what you are famous for?
- Why should customers choose you?
- What are you doing now in your business that your competition is not doing?
- What is the end result of buying from you?
People generally make a purchase based on an emotional response. Try and address your customers’ goals and think from their perspective and need. Be more concerned about them than about yourself.
Start by mapping out your site
Grab a bunch of plain A4 pages and write at the top of each page the name of that page. Start with the easiest and move to the hardest. Always leave the Home Page to last. Like any writing, your Home Page should be the Executive Summary of your websites.
The basic pages are:
- Contact us
- About us
- Services / Products
- Home page
Bullet points only please
The easiest way to start writing is with bullet points. Write down what you want to say as briefly as possible. EG 12 years experience in industry, focus on quality, pride in customer service etc. Keep it brief and just jot down the points to break up the page.
Typically, people scan across the screen looking for a piece of information that stands out to them.
- Keep it short and concise
- Is it scan-able by the human eye?
- Use headings and subheadings to clearly mark the content
- Use bullet points when possible
- Include an interesting photo or diagram here and there to keep things interesting
This is the easiest page to write, apart from the basic information listed below, try to include a strong call to action, give them a reason to contact you, also give them multiple ways to contact you, by phone, email and contact form plus any other ways to connect eg Facebook or other Social Media.
Things you may want to include are:
- Call to action – reason to contact you
- Physical Address
- Postal Address
- Contact Phone numbers
- Fax Number
- Twitter or other social media contact details
- Sales staff contact details
- Contact Form
The About Us page is the most visited page on any site. This is your big opportunity to showcase your business to a captive audience.
No mission statements or vision statements please. Customers are looking for proof you are who you say you are.
If you claim you have proven experience, demonstrate that experience here. Keep it simple and try and show some personality or company culture.
Once you have your bullet point start writing a paragraph of why that is important to the customer. Remember to always look at your website content as if you were visiting this site. When you visit other sites, how much time would you spend reading an about us page. Not too long I would imagine, so use your bullet points as headings and write a short paragraphs.
Products / Services
On these pages the focus is to highlight the benefits of your product or service then the features. A lot of businesses still struggle with the difference between these two concepts so let me explain.
Benefits vs features
Features are factual statements about the product or service EG Update your website without any technical knowledge, One click recording or batteries included. These are actual facts of the product or service.
Benefits are what the user will receive if they use the product or service EG Save time and money by not having to use a technical person to update their site, easy time saving recording or convenience and money saving as they have the batteries when they want to use the product.
List all your products or services.
Under each item list the benefits to the customer, describe what the end result of buying that product or service will be, like a vision of their business. EG if your business is consulting, demonstrate how their business will look and feel after they use your services, let them imagine themselves in that situation. This could be save time (more time for family), save money (spend it on things you want), boost profits (grow your business and go on a holiday) and go the next level on how that will make their life feel.
Next, list the features of the product or service. These are the basic functions that enable you to have the benefits. EG One click financial reports, Update and manage your website, blogs and forums, without coding knowledge, Batteries included, Open 24/7.
Try to focus on what the customer will get, not how good the product is.
Now you have all the other pages written it is time to lay them all out and look at them at once.
You have about two seconds to get your users attention when they hit your homepage, so don’t waste it with Flash intros or not enough information.
When they see your homepage without scrolling or doing anything they should immediately know who you are, what you do and how it will benefit them.
Things to consider
- Who you are
- What you do
- Benefits of your service
- How you help your customers
- Experience you have
- Links to Case Studies or Services
- Links to contact details
- Your location
- The area you service
- Call to action
Not all these will apply, each business is unique, the key is that I want the users to click on what they are interested in to find out more, so treat your home page like an index in a book, a reference for what else is in the site. If you use calls to action or teasers, the user will click to find out more of what they are most interested in.
I hope this helps you start writing content for your website. The main tips to keep in mind is limit your prose and focus on bullet points and headings with small paragraphs to make it easy to scan the page.
Have I missed something or do you have any tips that help you write your content? Let me know by commenting below, I would love to hear them.