Content is everywhere; every business needs content and everyone seems to be writing it. On one hand, tutorials, infographics and blogs all bleat on about quality content but why is it, when we search the Internet, we are still coming across poor quality writing on business websites.
In fact, a lot of websites are poorly written; there is a mish-mash of information that makes the website look and feel confused and chaotic. Before you start typing – or put pen to paper – think about WHAT content you are putting on your website and WHY are you putting in there? WHAT will your consumer learn or do when they have read your website, blog or social media updates?
One way of organising the content on your website is by thinking of the information in two categories:
Foundational content, as the name suggests, forms the foundation of your website. This content is the text that has to be there – who you are, what you sell or do, how you do it and all the other terms and conditions that are essential and well as legal requirements. Some of this information will have a clear marketing slant to it and will be about YOU (your business etc.) and these pages or information tends to be fairly static; it will rarely change apart from being updated on occasions.
Community content is the part that some companies and businesses don’t always make enough of – or get it very wrong. This is the part of your website that is less about you and the business and more about establishing your credibility and trustworthiness as being a market leader. Where businesses go wrong is that they do not view this information from their customer’s point of view – it does not have to be promotional or marketing. This type of content can be blogs or articles and is about adding value to your business, service or products.
Re-vamp your website content!
Foundational content will need updating from time-to-time, adding the lived in feel to your website when customer re-visit it. Instead of just being promotional, why not add a new angle to this type of content by bearing in mind customer experience – and highlighting how this will be enhanced by shopping with you.
Many company websites are now using video and infographics etc. to convey some of this information to the consumer, as well as some other tools. There are examples of larger building and construction company websites making links to case studies of building projects they have completed, but with a certain angle that they believe potential customers will appreciate (in this example, the case study focused on the eco-friendly credentials of a building project).
Your foundational content needs to convert potential customers to paying customers and so your content needs to be ‘tight’, fresh and unique. Your foundational content will also spread across all aspect on your online presence; the tone and approach needs to be uniform from the website through to your blog, articles and your social media presence. Think of this in terms of office stationary – you wouldn’t have a different letterhead setting with one font, but a different font and format on your compliment slip.
Community content needs a little be more thought but the tendency is for businesses to write blogs, articles etc, that always seem to end up being a marketing tool. The problem with this is that customers can soon feel that the sales message if being rammed at them from all directions.
Some social commentators suggest that your blog should have a split between promotional material but that the majority should be informative, readable and of a good quality. Topics can clearly be linked to your aspect of business or brand; in fact, if it wasn’t, it might seem a bit odd and out of place. This content should be written for your customer therefore bear in mind:
• The goals of any potential customers
• Have some depth to your articles and posts; customers want to learn and be informed, especially if it relates to a specialist part of your business or product
• Articles etc. can be used to provide ideas, instructions, suggestions etc.
There is no magic formula as such but creating quality content is the key in attracting people to your website; well-written foundation content will inform your customer who you are, what you do and why they should spend their hard-earned cash with you.
Community content adds value to this; you have a series of well-written, contemporary articles and blogs that show you are a trustworthy company, with your finger on the pulse. This will be reflected on your social media network too and so you will come across to the buying public as a vibrant, ‘happening’ company. Your content needs purpose – not only should it promote you, it should also inform.