Welcome to the third installment of the iNoobs’ Process of Designing a Website series (check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here). Some people say “content is king” others say “content is queen” personally I don’t like to think about content as having genitalia and wearing a crown, but hey… I have problems with personification.
Regardless of what gender YOUR content is (what is this guy saying….) -understand its importance.
We’ve written before about the importance of writing/content, and my idol Bruce Turkel has a fantastic post on the matter titled “deth by a thousand kutz,” but let me try to be as blunt as possible:
You are a reflection of your content.
Let me tell you a quick story.
I like to write. I went to school and got a degree in, among other things, English. I have a strong voice and a deep vocabulary.
I thought I was a good writer.
I banged out some copy for my company website. It was well written, flowed nicely, but in hindsight I probably used 10 words when I could have used 1, and it didn’t really communicate anything – sure, if you knew the technical mumbo-jumbo I was using you may have been impressed, but for our average clients, it was all BS. I only found this out after reading a couple of books on copy writing and tweaking our copy.
As soon we changed the words on our website, contacts went up 100%.
We didn’t spend another penny on marketing, advertising, or PR and we doubled our leads!
I say all of this to try to communicate that, as a starting point, great content is important. Online you have a couple of ways to communicate to your audience:
- Site Design
Content is often the most overlooked, but when clear I believe it is also the most effective. We evaluate everyone by their choice of words and their ability to manipulate a language. Many times it doesn’t make sense – someone can be brilliant at math, or fluent in another language, yet – we unconciously judge that person because they can’t communicate as well. It might not make sense, it might not be fate, but it is the world in which we live.
If you want to win in this world you have to play – and to start you must be writing great content.
There are a number of great content writing resources out there and two of the best include, ProBlogger, CopyBlogger & ScribeSEO. Copyblogger & ProBlogger are geared towards tips on writing your own content – and engaging the audience – while ScribeSEO (actually created by the same people that run copyblogger) is a technical tool for evaluating your writing from a search engine optimization perspective.
Quicks tips for the content of your website:
- Reference the goals you should have written down in the planning & sitemap stages as you begin writing content and selecting imagery
- Use your own photos whenever you can, but always err on the side of high quality (if you don’t have images that could appear in a national publication, or aren’t extremely proud of – simply use a stock photo site!)
- Make calls to action – direct your audience and make it very clear what they should do next
- Assemble as much content as possible before moving on to the next step