When someone needs a new website built it can be a daunting task; how can they find a trustworthy web design agency? What platform should the website be built on? How much should they be paying? I honestly don’t envy people making this decision.
Luckily if they choose a web agency carefully, by looking at examples of their work, getting recommendations and, as they will be working closely with them, one where they like the staff, then a lot of these can be resolved with trust.
However they are not the biggest issue that many face…
We believe the biggest issue is content.
Clients often massively either underestimate the work involved or go off on a tangent panicking and writing what they think they need. Trying to do this whilst running a business is not the easiest task; I know that as we have the same issue when we write our own. This is how many website launches get delayed.
In this article I have provided a few tips that will make this process easier:
First and foremost, listen to your web agency. We don’t just do technical things and make things look pretty, most of us have experience in what we need to tell the user in order to get them to buy from you.
Do things in bite-size chunks. Again let this be guided by your web agency who will likely provide you with a list of what’s needed and how much to write. Don’t be scared of the fact that you have 30 pages to write, doing a few paragraphs every day is more achievable.
Also remember that you can use existing content, from your last website, your other literature, or even looking at what your competitors do as inspiration. Your web design agency will probably tell you whether this is good or bad, and you don’t need to copy it word for word, but at least it gives you something to get you started.
With the last point in mind, under no circumstances should you copy from a competitor. By all means look at what they have done for ideas, but Google will not like it if you cut and paste from others, and of course, there are legal implications. But another reason why you shouldn’t do this is that you’ll never be better than your competitor if you use what they have; the idea is to see what they have done and improve on it.
Don’t think you need pages and pages of content, quite often less is more, especially on the ‘sales’ pages. Think of how often you skim-read long portions of text on other websites. In most circumstances, a well-structured few paragraphs will be better than pages of waffle.
People often worry about what they have written and go through almost endless revisions, so it’s worth keeping in mind that you are the expert in your field and should trust what you have written. Rather than having business partners, committees and ‘every man and his dog’ comment on your content, just send it to your web agency and ask them.
With our clients, we are always there to help and like to guide those that will let us through the process. It makes the project run smoother and usually results in a better and more effective website.
If clients are still too busy, or if they don’t want to get involved, there are two ways that we can help.
Firstly, in most circumstances, we can offer a full copywriting package. We will start with a phone call asking our clients questions and making notes; we’ll do some competitor research, and write the content for them. This has the advantage that we will write with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind from the outset, and the client will get a chance to review what we’ve written. We can, of course, do a hybrid solution where we write just part of the content.
And secondly, and more rarely, we have clients who leave everything to us, literally the whole site build. This only suits a handful of businesses, but if you want a website, but don’t have the time or inclination to do it, and just want a web agency to get it done, then this is always an option.
I’ve said this a few times in this article, because it is the most important bit of advice we can give, but listen to your web agency, ask them questions, and use their advice. This is what they do day in and day out.