Quit Disrespecting Your Website Content
If you want a persuasive and effective website that is easily found online, you need a lot of pages of content that are well optimized for search engines.
The content must also be readable and convincing to humans.
Search engine rules are constantly changing, and technology for website development is changing even faster.
Mature websites that always rank well in search engines do so because they have thousands of pages of quality content.
Google’s search Guru, Matt Cutts, has gone on the record many times stating that websites need a lot of content, but content volume is not the only factor. The content has to be of a high quality, too.
Making all of that content sure sounds like a lot of work, right?
Creating correct and effective website content is, well, HARD. And it takes a long time to compound that much content. As a result, it’s easy to just give up on creating website content.
Fight the temptation to take a shortcut and just crank out a bunch of meaningless content just because it’s “for the website.” Your website matters… probably more than any other single marketing material you produce. It deserves a lot of respect!
Somehow, as communications evolved over the past 150 years, we have decided that content found and read online just isn’t as important. “What you read online” is often dismissed.
Why do we treat web content as a second-class content communications citizen? Why do we create information for the web like it just needs to be done quickly and pushed live so we can move on with our day?
Think about your printed marketing materials.
When it comes to content for a printed brochure we obsess over it! We evaluate every detail, every bit of layout, each word, paragraph and sentence structure, punctuation, and so on.
Why do we care so much more about brochure content than website content?
One, brochures are printed. On paper. That people hold and touch. For some reason, the simple fact of locking a piece of information in with the knowledge that it will exist forever on paper delivers that “pucker” moment, triggering a level of carefulness we avoid for the web. We need to make sure the content we are building is beautiful and worth the effort and expense in print. But, website content should evoke a similar focus for marketers.
Two, because most of what we read online is unchallenging and borderline disposable, we do not treat our website content with the same respect we grant printed content.
Shame on us!
Printed and website content are both information about our business! We want customers and prospects to read about us and remember us.
Here’s the point – content that exists about your business should receive proper attention and respect, no matter how it’s delivered. Your story and your content matter, so approach every piece of marketing material you create that way.
Here’s a tip – if your website company tells you that you have to create and write all of your own content (from taking pictures to creating graphics to writing copy) you are not working with a marketing company. You are working with a software company.
A good marketing company helps you meet the needs of the technology while delivering quality artwork, video, copy, graphics, storytelling, etc. through the online channel.
After all, websites are too important to entrust to a software company. That’s because website development is not solely about the technology anymore. The technology is important, and smart choices have to be made (stay tuned for a future column on that topic).
Remember it’s the business action you are calling your website visitors to, the expertise you demonstrate in your website content, the usefulness of your website as a prime and frequently updated marketing material… these are the most important factors of a website. If anyone tells you technology matters more, they don’t understand your business or have the expertise to help it grow.