Unfortunately, website content is often an afterthought. Or, a business website is started with every intention of “improving” the content sometime down the road. Or, you may have graciously accepted the offer of a family member or friend to write some copy, and hey, it’s not half bad.
Which brings us to another group of “yeah, butters,” those whose “sister writes the content.” (You can replace “sister” with “wife,” “cousin” or friend—you get the idea.) What the potential client is really saying is that their site content is “good enough.” But is it compelling enough to keep a potential customer on the page? Are your product or services pages informative enough to garner a sale?
What about your blog. Are you producing fresh content consistently that doesn’t just rehash your product offerings? If you answered yes to all of these questions, bravo! Your sister is on to something. If you didn’t, well, you may want to consider what makes for good content–and what doesn’t.
Your Sister Knows How to Punctuate
Buy our stuff! You’ll love it! You won’t be disappointed!
What’s wrong with that copy? Three guesses. I really dislike an over-abundance of exclamation points. Ever receive one of those Christmas brag letters? You know, the ones that tell you every minute detail of your fourth cousin’s life over the past 12 months? Well, how about one that has exclamation points after every sentence? I’m not kidding—every sentence. Nothing is that exciting. Tell it to ‘em straight, with a bit of flair, and you’re much more likely to have folks stick around your site long enough to buy something.
Verdict: If your sister promises not to OD on extraneous punctuation, you might be OK. But only if…
Your Sister Understands How Your Customers Shop
You want to make your website content interesting, and you also want it to tell your brand story succinctly and accurately. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Obviously that’s not always the case. Many online companies make the mistake of producing content that doesn’t always speak to their customers. Customer profiles are an easy way to categorize your customers and potential customers alike, so you can be sure your content is catering to the good majority of your site visitors.
Say you determine, by interviewing your sales force and soliciting customer feedback, that your customers are pressed for time and want to find what they need and fast. If your content is long-winded (sorry, sister), you run the risk of losing people before they click on anything, let alone buy anything. If you’re a B2C company, speak human and more casual. If you’re B2B, and you sell highly technical products, take a more formal approach to your copy.
Verdict: If your sister can adjust her writing style to meet your customer needs, you might be OK. But only if…
Your Sister Can Produce Fresh Copy Regularly
The “regularly” part is really important, because fresh content is important to search engine rankings. An easy way to publish that new content is via a blog on your site. So if you don’t already have one, you should. (Unsure of how to begin? Check out this post from Stoney deGeyter about setting up a blog in WordPress.)
Posting routinely to your blog not only helps with search, but it also allows you to get your brand message out via social media channels, and, hopefully, helps you to engage with your customers via the comments section. Blogging takes work though, and you need to formalize that workflow with an editorial calendar of relevant “soft sell” topics that are helpful to your site visitors.
Verdict: If your sister can continually create compelling copy that converts, you might be OK. But only if…
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Crafting good content for your website is about much more than words on a page. Let us help you make your website copy sing! (And no, I couldn’t resist that final exclamation point.)
Find out more about the “Yeah, but” series and links to all posts in the series.