Last week we talked about the importance of photographs and how images can really enhance your site. This week we’ll talk about the most important aspect of your site: the content. Creating keyword rich, enticing content is oftentimes overlooked. Fresh content is not only important for search engine optimization, but it is crucial to the overall user experience.
In the initial stages of website design and development, it’s best to hire a copywriter to produce all your content, however, that might not be in your budget. If hiring a copywriter is within your budget, you could create an outline or flowchart of the major talking points/criteria you would like as a focal point. Or, the other option is to write the content yourself. Do not override this option if you have the time and writing ability, because you know your business better than anyone.
If a copywriter is providing content for your site, they still need to know about the business and what sets it apart from the competition. Providing this can be one of the biggest struggles for some clients, so getting things rolling with just a little direction (even if it’s just an overview or talking points) provides a great starting point for focused, factual content.
For the “Do-It-Yourselfers” out there, here are a few website design tips:
- Don’t skimp on content: Explain who you are and what you do – don’t assume that people already know this. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised to know that many people do not make it as clear as pie.
- Stand Out: Why are you better than the next guy? Explain the advantages of your product or service and entice potential clients your way.
- Maintain a Focus: It’s recommended to focus on one topic per page – don’t try to explain everything all at once. Each web page should have a focus (and, in general, each page should focus on different keywords).
- Enhance Calls to Action: Make it obvious – when you are lucky enough to have site visitors who actually read your content, make sure they know exactly what to do when they are on your page – Book a Room, Call Us, Buy This – make that conversion happen!
- Proofread It! Make sure to proofread your content before making anything live. Grammatical and spelling errors are turn-offs and make a site look unprofessional and “fly-by-nightish”.
One thing I like to tell clients who are hesitant to spend money on copyrighting is, if you’re spending thousands of dollars on a site design and development; why not put some of that towards some sort of copywriting.
It’s like buying a car with no engine. All you have is a car that doesn’t go anywhere. Sure it looks like a car, but it’s not doing what it’s designed for. Same goes for your website. It will look great, but might not contain any quality information and that’s what users ultimately come to your site for.
And for folks with existing sites, it can’t hurt to take a fresh look at the content and see if there is anything that can be enhanced. Or, look at any opportunities to update the photos which can help freshen up older designs.