Why you need a writer
You know you need a website, and so you’ve gone out and spent the money to get one created. It looks great, and you’re really happy with the colours, the style, the layout, the graphics, it’s all fantastic.
Next step, is of course, to actually get people seeing the website, so you start promoting it on your advertising materials, you’ve gotten your business cards redone so that they have the web address on there as well, it’s all great, but you’re preaching to the choir, you’re marketing to people who already know you exist. You want your website to bring in new customers as well, though.
That’s when you get a phone call or an email from someone promising something called Search Engine Optimization, and offering miraculous guarantees of being number one in Google searches, it all sounds spectacular. That’s just what you need, right?
Realistically, probably not.
Building a website is like building a house, and there’s three aspects that you need to blend together to create a great, engaging website: design, structure and content. A great website puts the right amount of time and focus into each of these aspects.
Design is the exterior appearance. You want your website to look fantastic when people are driving past on the street, don’t you? It’s all those external pieces, the way it looks on the surface.
Structure is the internal walls. Once you’re inside, how is it all laid out? It’s how you get from one room to another.
Content, though, is the furniture. It’s what actually makes this a place where you want to stop and sit down. This is what keeps people inside once they’ve walked through the door; it makes this an attractive place to be, rather than simply an attractive place to look at.
Too many businesses, though, go out and get a beautiful, architect-designed house that’s unique and noticeable, only to then drop into Fantastic Furniture and fill the house with the first $100 items of furniture they can find.\
Sure, it’s functional, and even livable; but realistically, it feels incomplete and unsatisfactory. After putting in the time and effort to get a beautiful house built, isn’t it missing something until you’ve hired an interior decorator to come through and craft the inside of the house? Isn’t that what really makes it a home?
The same goes for your website.
With all that in mind, let’s look at three reasons why you should have a professional writer on your team to create content.
Once upon a time, a website was a digital billboard for your business. All you needed to do was make it look good, put your contact information on there, and there you go! Set and forget, right?
That’s not the case anymore.
Around ten years ago, the Internet started turning social. Websites aren’t just a digital billboard for people to find out how to get in touch with you. Your website is now a lounge room that you’re inviting your customers into. It’s a place where you can sit down and chat to them for a while about what solutions you can actually provide for them.
You want to make sure that lounge room is furnished as nicely as possible.
Provide your customers with solutions
The days have gone when I find a leaking tap in my house and go straight the Yellow Pages for a plumber. These days, my first stop is going to be online to see what the problems might be, and whether I can fix it myself.
Whilst this may sound counterproductive to your business requirements by helping me to do things myself, remember, you’re building relationships here. The coffee that we had in the point above, means that when I have a problem, I’m going to give you a call because we already have an established relationship. It doesn’t matter that the relationship’s only been through your website and email newsletters, I know who you are, I’ve developed a level of trust with you, so why would I take a chance on someone else?
Quality reigns over quantity
I maintain a number of websites, and I therefore regularly get both phone calls and emails from people working for SEO companies making all sorts of promises to get my site to number 1 on Google for any keywords I want.
I’ve worked with these companies in the past, and they basically run with two primary means of attack in their area. Lots of keywords, and lots of backlinks to your website. You provide them with a list of search terms that you want to be number one for, and their aim is to make sure those words appear all over your website in just the right places, and all over the internet, all with a link back to your site. In the process of this, the actual quality of the content is irrelevant, which is how I once ended up receiving web content encouraging people to work in New Zealand because, and I quote, “working in a third world country can be highly rewarding.”
This is not the content you want on your website. The end goal of these companies is to try and weasel away around Google’s formula for ranking websites to get you to the top. Google’s aim with their formula, though, is pretty simple: to provide people searching with the best websites for what they’re searching for. Why not just make your website the best one for what people are searching for, instead?
Google and SEO is a big topic, and I’ll be expanding on it in another entry very soon. Sign up for email alerts on the right hand side of this page to make sure you’re kept up to date!
So here’s the thing. You need an interior designer, perhaps more than you need an architect. You need a writer.
I’ve spoken to a number of people in the marketing business who have acknowledged a regular oversight in this area. What happens is that someone designs the website, and the content is left to the same people. It’s like letting the tradies pick the furniture for your house; not to criticize them, but everyone has their area of expertise. I wouldn’t go and try and build a house from the ground up with my own hands, because that’s not my area of expertise, either.
A good looking site will get people up the driveway and peeking inside, but what you need is for those people to actually open the door, come in and make themselves at home so that you can build a relationship with them.