Website Design Part 2: Content Creation
Writing the Website
Website content is the biggest struggle I see small business owners and non-profits experience with website design.
But the good news is that you already have a guide for creating content—your navigation outline!
If you think you can get away with copying content from another website, you are WRONG. Just like you learned in high school, swiping someone else’s work is a bad idea.
It won’t take long for Google to figure out that you have duplicate content and your website’s search rankings will be penalized.
They may remove and essentially ban your website from their search engine.
Website users will recognize the inconsistency in your tone and voice. It will make following the content difficult and users will leave.
So, don’t be tempted to go this route as a time saver. Spend the time needed. It will make a difference in your business’ bottom line.
If you think content creation must be done by a professional you are WRONG.
The best content I have seen was created (usually working alongside a professional editor) by the business owner or marketing director, the people who know the target audience better than anyone. They understand the pain/need of their clients better than an outside writer.
The best content will connect the user with the actual tone and voice of the company. Making promises or implications on your website that the user won’t experience will hurt your company in the long run.
That said, you definitely want to find someone who can read over your content for typos or grammatical errors. Good writing definitely helps build trust with your potential customers!
Where to Start Content Creation
I like to start by creating the content for the first interior service/product/program/event page.
What pain point or need of your target audience is your service going to solve? Starting with the pain point will draw your target audience further into the website content. It comforts and assures them that they are in the right place. This is critical. Users will give a website page 4 seconds to determine if your solution is what they are searching for. Give it to them!
On our interior service page Brand Creation we start with a pain point typical of our clients and how we solve it:
“Business self-discovery and the creation of your brand can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. We make it easy.”
The next section of our Brand Creation page expands on this thought.
The headline, “Brand Creation Lafayette Indiana” does two things:
- It speaks to the user that this page is specific to Brand Creation and that our company is located in Lafayette Indiana.
- It is also a strong signal to search engines and will help our page show in search results in Lafayette Indiana for people searching about creating their company brand.
The paragraph text, “Before you can even think about building your website…” expands on the what. It tells the user when brand creation is needed and how we have the solution.
Now the website user knows WHAT you are doing but we need to flush out WHY they should buy from you specifically! This is sometimes described as your company’s differentiator. It’s what sets you apart from your competition.
Our website uses the terms “Features & Benefits” to define the specific details of working with us. You might outline your results, reviews, case studies, or experience. The best content will be something that addresses and relieves the concerns of the largest percentage of website users. This section will often be broken into 3 or 4 separate sections. See our Brand Creation page as an example.
You have defined WHAT and WHY. Keep the website visitor engaged in your content by describing is HOW the service will work.
We have outlined HOW in a pricing table module. This gives the user the price and what they should expect when they pay that price. This is an easy way for website users to compare different service levels and decide which one works best for their need and budget.
We always recommend that our clients post pricing on their website. In fact it is the number one argument I have with my clients. While you may have legitimate concerns against posting pricing info, you website visitors will likely disagree.
Here is my professional opinion. The internet, especially on mobile devices, has made the United States a place of instant gratification much more than before. People expect to go to your website and learn what to expect from you. Price is often a large consideration. If you leave it off be prepared that you will inevitable annoy part of your audience. If your competition lists its prices and you do not, it could potentially cost you in the loss of a client, or at the very least, the opportunity to receive a call from a potential client.
Last but not least, QUESTIONS!
FAQs, Frequently asked questions (FAQs,) can help you resolve any lingering doubts about your service.
FAQs will organize and standardize how you answer questions.
The FAQ section will make your company appear mature and stable. Showing that you understand what your potential clients need to know.
It can also help your business as you grow. Imagine a repository where your staff has access to the answers of FAQ’s. They can simply use the website.
Look to the bottom of our Website page for an example of how we display FAQs.