September 24, 2010

Website Content Series Part 3: Writing Your Own Website Content


Hostway Team

By Simon Wright

Writing your own Web content can be rewarding. It will force you to think about what your customers want, and you are better placed than anyone to know the key benefits to promote. However, you’ll need to ensure that your website conforms to common conventions in terms of content and search engine optimization.

Pages Users Expect

Websites vary from a few pages to hundreds of pages, but all good sites typically include a home page, product pages and contact us, about us, and help pages.

Your home page is the main entry point, so it’s vital that it conveys the key points you want customers to act on. It should signpost your desired calls to action and the navigation must be intuitive. A common pitfall is making the home page too cluttered.

Your product pages outline the products your company offers. Remember that this isn’t a brochure, so keep the content concise and use bullet points to outline benefits. It’s also important to show consumers how good your service is rather than just telling them. If there’s a demo that they can try, or reviews from previous customers, then this will increase their trust.

A contact us page is important too. You’ve spent money getting people to your site, so if they want to get in touch then you should jump at this. As well as listing phone numbers, email addresses, and your physical address, consider employing click-to-call or Web chat functionality so prospective clients can engage in immediate dialogue with your sales team.

Another standard component is an about us page. As well as saying when the company was formed and what business it is in, this is also an opportunity to promote any awards that you’ve won.

No matter how good your intentions are, there will always be times when consumers get stuck and require assistance. Having a help function can therefore be the difference between keeping or losing a prospective customer. Some sites have a specific Help page, while others may build a Help icon into every page on their site. Users will expect to see Frequently Asked Questions and explanations of any industry jargon.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Creating a Website won’t drive value unless consumers can find it. Search engine optimization is therefore crucial and principally involves ensuring there’s a good fit between your site’s content keywords and the searches consumers enter in search engines. There’s more to SEO, however, than just having relevant content. Search engines also look at coding tags on images and at trackback links from other sites. An option to consider is outsourcing your SEO activity to a professional search engine optimizer.

Creating a Site You Will Be Proud of

Any time you present your company to customers, you’ll want to leave a positive impression. Creating your own content is a valid option, provided you can devote the time, and have the Web expertise, to create a site that you will be truly proud of.

About the Author

Simon Wright works as mobile delivery manager for Royal Bank of Scotland and has extensive experience across Ecommerce and Mcommerce including the launch and promotion of websites.

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