When launching a new website, or refreshing the content of an existing one, deciding what you need to say can be quite daunting. Fortunately you probably already know the answer – it’s just a case of getting it out of your head and onto the screen.
Sources of Inspiration
The best way to find out what is important is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Try asking yourself a few questions:
- What do people ask me when they visit my bricks-and-mortar store?
- What do I already tell people about on my other advertising materials?
- What makes me different from my competition?
- What are the most important details of my product or service?
Obviously there are many more questions you could ask and the ones listed above are just to get you thinking. Note down what you discover and try and work the information into logical groups – these will then form the basis for the pages of your website.
In the same way a wise business owner checks out their competition’s products and services, so too should you investigate what your direct rival is doing on the Internet. Have a look at their corporate website, whether they have a blog and how they use social media – there is nothing wrong with being informed.
That said, avoid the urge to copy content or ideas wholesale. Not only could this get you in legal trouble, but search engines such as Google take a dim view of plagiarism, devaluing your website and making it much harder for potential customers to find you. If you see something you like, make a note and then figure out how you could rework it to fit your brand.
Your company has an ethos and a brand image. Work within the existing guidelines you already use for corporate communications and extend that to the web. If you are in a sector that demands, dry yet concise information, make sure you keep the same tone on your website. If you are a less staid business, your content should be similarly approachable and engaging.
Your website is an extension of your business. All you need to do is replicate the message and tone that works for your business offline and you’ll be fine.
Keep it Fresh
The Internet has changed the way people think so that we all now expect constantly updated information to be available online. As a result your website will need to be updated frequently if it is to engage new customers and keep them on board.
The addition of a blog is a brilliant way to get people coming back to your website which will in turn result in repeat business from them. Try adding an article or three each week (more if you can manage it!) with news and information relevant to your industry. In doing so you will establish your brand as experts in your field, raising your corporate profile and helping to convert more sales.