Over the last few weeks I have been writing about creating your next website.
Now that you have committed to building a new site, have come up with a plan and a site map, the next step is to determine the content you want on your site.
In order to determine the content, you need to understand your audience so you can convey the benefits of your product or service to them. You need to tell your story so people will want to do business with you and not with one of the 150 other businesses like yours.
Content is arguably the single most important thing about your website. People don’t buy because you have a cool logo or because you picked a great shade of yellow. They buy because you give them what they want – and you let them know that in your content.
Unless you are a copywriter, you can’t do all the writing yourself. If you have the budget, hire a copywriter and work with them to create copy that sells. Copy writing can be expensive, another less expensive method is to write the copy yourself and have it edited by a copywriter or your marketing agency. A good rule of thumb is to write your copy for a grade nine audience. Keep it clear, concise and easy to understand. Also, avoid industry lingo if you can, some people might not understand it and leave your site.
Photography is one of the most overlooked components of a website. The only thing worse than “one-click DIY websites” is websites that are filled with stock photos. If you want to include a stock photo on your blog then go ahead. But when building a website, please stay as far away from stock photos as you can. Because stock photos are so inexpensive, we all run for the nearest photo of “businessman shaking hands” when we’re looking for a background for our home page sliders.
Use real photos of you and your business. They give your business credibility and create a connection with your prospects and customers. To clarify, one or two stock photos on your site is not going to be the end of the world, but try to use a real photographer. Don’t cut corners on your photos.
When building your site, make sure users get the information they are looking for in a format they can understand.