10 Tips for Creating Awesome Content for Your Website
Establish a Clear Objective for Your Site
Before you begin any content, you need to consider what your number one goal of your website will be. Will you be selling a product online? Do you want people to book an appointment? Do you want people to sign up for your newsletter? Set one or two primary goals for your site and make sure you create the relevant call to actions to drive people to fulfilling your goal.
Each page of your site should be dedicated to a clear topic. This not only helps people navigate your site with ease, it makes the job of indexing your site simple for search engines.
Identify and Understand Your Target Client
Ever hear the old adage of “If you sell to everyone, you sell to no one?” It’s true. While it would be AWESOME if every human on the planet was interested in your product or service, the reality is that’s not the case. So, consider your true target audience and be sure to tailor everything from your messaging, imagery, and language to that demographic.
You Only Have 3 Seconds
Studies have proven that you have THREE seconds to capture the interest of you potential client. 1 – 2 – 3. That’s it. If someone visits your site and can’t tell who you are and what you do in three seconds it’s likely game over. So, have a clear message. Your visitors are not going to read your website from top to bottom, word for word, like a book. They are going to scan your headings and search for the information relevant to them. Build out your text in digestible chunks that can be easily absorbed.
Don't Use Crappy Images
Seriously. I could write a book here. You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? It’s true, so don’t use crappy images. Bad images can seriously ruin your website even if you have the most glorious written content ever created. So what defines a crappy image? Here we go: blurry, poor resolution, too small, too large, poor lighting, glare, reflection, poor framing, too close, too far away, images that all feature you, images that are irrelevant, images that fail to capture emotion… I can go on and on here. If you want to present your business as a professional entity, it’s time to step up the game and invest in some quality images. And you probably won’t like this, but “quality” images typically do not come from camera phones. Oh yeah, and if you’re a professional – no selfies for bio portraits.
Don't Use Images You Lifted Off the Web
I need you to put down whatever it is you are trying to multitask with and pay attention because this advice can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Are you ready?
DO NOT lift “free” images from… anywhere. Here’s my rule. There is no such thing as a “free” image. That image of broccoli you “borrowed” to use on your nutrition blog post, that could come back and cost your THOUSANDS of dollars in legal fees and undue stress. Copyright infringement is a very serious offense.
You may be thinking, there are millions of websites online, so what’s the likelihood that someone may actually discover you “borrowed” that image of broccoli you found on Google Images? The answer is, pretty frickin’ good.
Here’s how they do it: There are free reverse image lookup services available where any diligent image owner can see where their work is being displayed. Additionally, there are actual companies whose sole purpose is finding misused/unlicensed images online. In most cases, these companies allow the original producer of an image to index their image with them for little or no charge. The company then uses image recognition software that searches online for a match. Here’s the great part, the company fronts the money for all the legal fees to pursue the offending party, and splits the proceeds from the collection with the owner. For the original owner, it’s a win-win situation. All they have to do is supply their image and wait for their image to pop up on someone’s website. Regardless of whether you were well intentioned or malicious, you may be held liable for damages and personal compensation to the original owner, in addition to legal fees.
So, now that “free” image of broccoli just cost you $10,000 in fines and legal fees, not to mention months of stress dealing with aggressive attorneys. Shelling out $20 for a properly licensed stock photo isn’t sounding so bad now, is it?
Long story short, it’s always best to assume that unless you properly licensed your image or took the picture yourself, someone else out there owns the rights to it.
It's Not About YOU
Understand that unless you are famous, your clients are buying your reputable product or service to fulfill a need THEY have, they aren’t buying YOU. Minimize the content that talks about you, and focus instead on what you can provide to your clients. Address how you can solve their pain points. How will their life change by choosing to do business with you. If you read through your copy, and you see the word “I” or “we” more than three times, consider re-wrting your content to focus more on your client.
Here’s a test for you: Name three songs by Prince and three songs by Kanye West. What did you come up with?
Kanye West is an indulgent self-promoter. Even if you don’t listen to his music, you’ve probably heard of him. Clothing line, visits to the white house, married to a Kardashian… Prince on the other hand, was one of the most private people in the music industry with as few media appearances as possible. Yet his work is known and recognized across multiple generations. Kanye is known for being Kanye. Don’t be Kanye. Stop talking about how great YOU are and focus on conveying the message of how your products and service can help change YOUR CLIENTS’ lives.
Build Credibility with Testimonials
Positive comments from previous clients go a long way to establishing your credibility as a professional. Testimonials and reviews from within the industry are best, but if this is a new industry for you, reach out to people you’ve previously worked with, whether it be former clients or co-workers, and ask them to comment on your positive characteristics such as responsiveness, helpfulness, quality of work, etc… Personal integrity crosses all professions. Ideally, comments should be as recent as possible and routinely updated. Try to shoot to have as many testimonials as possible, but set a goal for at least three.
PRO TIP: Integrate requesting client testimonials into your sales process. Your goal should be to turn every customer into a testimonial.
We all know you want to ask 10 different questions on your web form to get as much information about your potential client as you possible, but brace yourself – no one is going to take the time to fill out that form. This scenario actually has a name. It’s called “Form Fatigue”. Too many fields, too many personal questions and people quit typing. I once saw a form that had 15 questions. Two of them asked for personal health information and a cell phone was a required field. Would you fill out that form? Probably not.
You’re not going to like it, but here’s your form:
Name Email Phone (optional) Message
PRO TIP: Be sure to integrate your form into a CRM platform for downstream marketing automation. If you’re not tracking your inquiries, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity here.
Content is King
We’ve already touched on this in a few different areas, but this is really key. Content is king. You need to provide engaging, original, quality content to your visitors that keeps them reading. Demonstrate your expertise and leadership in the industry not by promoting yourself, but by providing useful information your clients are looking for. Address specific pain points. Be witty. Your goal is to keep visitors on your site for as long as possible. Unless you run a porn site, you probably can’t do that with lame content.
Quality content boosts your online credibility in several ways:
- It keeps visitors on your site longer which boosts your search engine rankings
- It creates more indexable terms your potential clients are searching for
- It builds a positive reputation for your brand
- It keeps people coming back
- Other users may reference your site’s information which boosts your rankings
PRO TIP 1: If you really want to be regarded as an expert, give away some of your best content for free.
PRO TIP 2: Dial down the jargon and flowery language. Clearly identify how your target clients speak and use the same type of language.
PRO TIP 3: If you hire a copy writer, either hire a native speaker or plan on taking the time to seriously proof the copy for grammatical errors and subtle spelling differences that exist between cultures. Do you organise events or do you organize events? Do you visit boats at the harbour or harbor? Do you write checks or cheques?
If You Have a Bio Section, Stick to Relevant Points
Even though this section is supposed to be about you or your company, remember to keep the content relevant to your target audience. This is especially important if you are selling a service. It can be very tempting to rattle off all of your credentials and accomplishments, but if that list isn’t communicating your ability to help solve your client’s problems, it will come across as self-inflating nonsense.
I recently reviewed a site for a very successful business man who was launching his consulting services to new entrepreneurs with start ups. His bio was very impressive- made millions of dollars here, sold company X for some exorbitant price there, went to a fancy school… In fact, this bio went on for more than 8 paragraphs! And in the 8 paragraphs (ok, really like 4 because who is going to read 8 paragraphs of information unless the topic is “is this lump cancer?”) never did he convey exactly how these wonderful accomplishments were going to help any of his customers. What it did do was bore me to death and make him come across as an ego maniac.
Keep your bios concise and demonstrate how your skills and experience will translate into success for your client.
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Founder, Dohmain Designs
About the Author
Jessica is the Director of Digital Marketing and Owner of Dohmain Designs. She is a small business sales and marketing expert specializing in business growth through intelligent website design and sales & marketing automation.
Jessica is a Certified Infusionsoft Partner, marketing automation and CRM expert with over 15 years of professional sales and marketing experience. In 2011, she combined that experience with innovative website design and created Dohmain Designs. She has worked with biotech giants, overseen the digital marketing for a popular Discovery Channel hit TV series, and helped hundreds of clients grow their business. Prior to creating Dohmain Designs, Jessica worked in the fast-paced biotech sector focusing primarily on technical sales and marketing, as well as providing complicated sales-focused CRM training across various disciplines.
Jessica is a member of her local Rotary Club where she has previously served as the Membership co-chair and currently serves as the Public Relations chair. Jessica truly believes in the "Service Above Self" Rotarian philosophy and strives to dedicate her time and talents to helping others, both in her personal and professional relationships.
She is located in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and works with clients all across North America. If you'd like to get in touch with Jessica, simply complete the contact form below.
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