One of the biggest challenges when creating a website is what content to fill the site with. Many clients are successful in what they do, but unfortunately content writing is not generally in their skill set. Content, or should I say lack of, is often the single factor in delay of a website build, and responsible for the blowout in site deadlines not being met. In the following post I will attempt to give a basic guide to things to consider, and hopefully get those of you who are stuck at the content writing stage well on the way to a more clear understanding or what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be done!
Know the purpose of your content
Meet with your colleagues to discuss the intent of your content and how you would like to be portrayed. Is the website solely to drive online sales? Is it to promote your business? Is it to give more information about your business and services? What are you trying to create? How will this content promote your business goals and satisfy customer needs. These are all important questions to ask first! There is no point pushing out content if you are not sure of its purpose.
Know your key messages
Once you have your purpose, brainstorm your key messages. Once you have your key messages, incorporate them into your content creatively and as often as possible as repetition will enforce those messages!
Know what your audience wants
What questions will someone have after seeing your work? What new developments will affect your business or change your offerings and messages? Answering these questions requires keeping on top of news and Web trends and maintaining an active, responsive relationship with your audience. Set up a feedback section of your website if you don’t have one. Keep up with fans on Facebook and Twitter and through a blog, because one of the easiest ways to anticipate your users’ needs is by asking them what they want.
To succeed in Web content strategy, you also need to know what not to do. Perhaps the most common mistake is overly long content. You want readers to always be engaged, and not to click away from your website because they can’t be bothered reading so much — so get to your point, and get to it fast.
By the same token, the content shouldn’t be too short either. To maximize your SEO, visibility and more, and to ensure the audience is engaged and entertained, you have to give ’em some meat. Make them admire your concision, but also give them enough to chew on.
Another thing to look out for that is big but easy to fix is neglecting to update the content every now and again. Not only will updating your content help your SEO and keep the Google crawlers coming back more regularly, but if content is outdated it can look bad on your business and give the impression not much is happening there!