Once you have decided to go ahead with your website, the designer will then turn to you to provide the content (text and images).
Unless you are able to pay for a copywriter to provide the text for you, you’ll need to come up with that yourself. So time to think about your business and communicating what it does or the services it offers from your customers point of view.
So here are a few tips you can consider when preparing content for your new website.
1. Sitemap –
You will need to decide on how many pages the website should have, what they will be called and hierarchy of these. I would recommend that the most basic small business website should have as a minimum the following five pages – Home, About, Services, Blog/News and Contact. Often this won’t be enough and you may need to divide your “Services” up into sub-pages for example. It is also worth considering having a “Testimonials” page too especially if you are working for yourself as people buy from people. And the “Blog” or “News” will need regular articles provided to keep it up to date. There’s nothing worse than an out of date blog with no recent articles! Other pages that you may also want to consider depending on the type of business you have are: “Case Studies” or “Project” pages so you can talk about specific examples of work. Or a “Gallery” or “Portfolio”, if you are a very visual business so you can show off your latest work. Also pages like “FAQ’s”, or “Why use us” can be helpful. And if you have set costs it is often helpful to include a “Price List” page too.
2. Quantity –
The Homepage will often require an opening statement, a strapline and a summary of your business in a couple of sentences. The text for this page doesn’t want to be too lengthy but you have to grab peoples attention in a short space of time. People generally don’t read everything on a website – they scan the copy, so bite sized bits of text on the Homepage is ample. Other pages can be a bit more lengthy and blog posts especially need to have a reasonable amount of content. Bullet points are often a good idea to show your highlights off quickly and easily. If you’re working within a theme or template then you may need to tailor content to follow the layout. Make sure there are some images or videos to break up the text too.
3. Be audience focussed –
So you need to write with your customers in mind. Write in a friendly and informative manner and emphasize your benefits over your features. So talk about how you can make peoples lives better rather than what your business does. Talk benefits and what makes your business different from others.
4. Call to action –
This is the point at which you decide what you want visitors to do after reading the page so to ‘pick up the phone’ or ‘leave a comment’ or ‘fill in the enquiry form’ or ‘sign up for a mailing list’. Display it clearly and with a warm tone, and be clear what you are aiming for and to make it easy for visitors to complete the action.
5. Spelling & grammar –
Check, check and check again! Make sure your spelling is correct and that sentences make sense. Always good to get someone else to proof read if you can.
It is really worth taking a bit of time to get this right. If you have a WordPress based website then you will have the abililty to update the content and add more pages as your business expands and if your focus and priorities change over time. Search engines like content that is regularly updated and so it’s good to refresh things and keep adding those new blog posts or news articles.
If you’d like any more advice before making a start, and you’d like to find out more about editing your own website then please do get in touch. (That’s a call to action right there!)