It's the cornerstone of all marketing and too often gets overlooked or only thought about in the final stages of a digital campaign or website development. What am I talking about? Content.
Not just text content either; visual plays its own part. You will find that most web development agencies will talk endlessly about user interfaces, visual design, content management systems, coding, metadata and other various facets of a web project whilst leaving a crucial detail, content, in the hands of their clients. This can be a dual edged sword.
I believe that it goes without saying that great copy is equally as important as all other parts that go into a well-crafted website such as professional photography, beautiful design and well crafted code.
When we talk about visual content, we mean the video, imagery, photography, illustrations or any infographics. You need to ensure that they are always;
For example, it is pointless to spend a fortune on having great text content, and then have your 12 year old child take photos for the website with their phone camera.
When we talk about reaffirm, the image needs to continue to tell the story. Say you have a page about cloud backup services. It would make perfect sense to show images of servers or even clouds in a blue sky, this would help push the text messaging.
It would be conflicting and just downright confusing for the website visitor if instead you had pictures of a car engine or a family smiling at the beach. That makes no sense at all.
If you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer, consider getting quality stock images that are chosen for their visual quality and the text that surrounds them.
Smart clients will enlist the help of a good copywriter to ensure that their new website or digital campaign gets the best text to attract and engage their audiences.
Attract is where we talk about SEO. Onpage optimization is more important than off-page optimization. Before you start on some big SEO campaign like link building or starting a guest blogging process, you want to ensure that you have your website text and images optimized as much as possible.
The engage in my earlier statement is where the text content leads the user into the website, explains the purpose of the campaign, and encourages the website visitor to do whatever task you’ve set for them; for example, it could be call the number, complete a website form or make a purchase.
Let's take a moment to assess the effectiveness of your website copy and if you're yet to write it then get ready to take notes!
"Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it's decoration." Jeffrey Zeldman
You should set out to create an engaging and bold opening statement. Do what it takes to elicit desire in what you offer, visitors inquisitiveness will ensure they stick around long enough to engage with your brand or organization.
Don't lose visitors in a sea of poorly written content. Get to the point, they'll want to or they will go elsewhere. Choose your words carefully; they will define the first few stages of interaction with your company.
It's their interaction and business that you're ultimately after. Ensure that your content reflects that and change all the instances of "we" to "you".
So far you have a great headline and carefully written copy, but then what? Without a clear next step all the hard work will be all wasted. Visitors should know where to go next to get in contact or find out more.
One gains a potential client, the other keeps them. Be sure to reflect both in the promotion of your product or service.
By sticking to the simple guidelines outlined above, you can ensure your website will position itself to do its job, promote and deliver content in a way that attracts and engages your target audience.