What’s Wrong With Your Web Content?

What’s Wrong with Your Web Content?

There is a lot of confusion about the purpose of a website — still. When website marketing became popular decades ago, businesses thought it was only for “mail order” products. They believed that no one would hire a service provider from a website, and maybe that was true at the time.

Many local bricks and mortar businesses still think they don’t need a website. They are focused on the drive-by traffic at their store or office and can’t see how a web presence would drive customers to their door.

The failed thinking over a website that still makes me smile is the sign-post syndrome. Business owners build a website, a cookie-cutter model at that, and think that millions of people will see it on the internet. Just because it is “out there” and there are millions of people surfing the internet, they assume people can see their website.

What are you doing it for?

An effective web presence begins with a realistic strategy. Your ultimate goal may be to drive sales, but a more specific purpose is required.

Most business websites are directed to an existing customer base. The website provides information about your company and your products or services that is interesting to your existing customers.

Loyal customers may refer their friends to your website if they find useful information there. This is one way to drive traffic to your site. The most people who visit your website, the more likely you are to increase sales. Existing customers who frequent your site may become repeat repeat customers.

Your website should be reaching out to customers and potential customers and engaging them. The longer visitors stay on your website, the more likely they are to buy something from you. Your website should serve your customers needs for information and engagement.

Signs of Bad Website Content

A beautiful website with good branding and consistent color scheme is only the beginning of successful web marketing. The next step is engaging visitors with great content. Here are five ways your website content may be coming up short:

Missed opportunities
You are not using all of the pages on your website to connect with customers, tell a story and promote your business. A basic website development package usually includes up to five pages. Each page is an opportunity to engage visitors, but some businesses do not take advantage of them all. Be sure there is at least a paragraph of engaging text on every page.

Too few words
Pictures are great attention-grabbers, and website design is moving toward using more images and video. People still need words to guide them through. Did you ever try to read product instructions written entirely in pictograms? It may be the universal language, but there is a lot of meaning lost in translation. Use words to explain and describe the photos on your website to enrich the experience of visiting your website. If you leave your customers guessing at the purpose of the images on your site, they are going to miss your meaning.

Too many words
Words have a way of working for you and against you. Long blocks of text, even when they are necessary to explain complex ideas, are not enticing to website visitors. You have to break up all that text with images and white space to make it possible for your customers to digest in a few seconds. Lengthy articles or blogs are fine when the subject matter warrants it, but you need to add in plenty of white space with frequent subheads and bullet lists.

Yes, the website is all about you and your business, and, yes, you have a lot of professional accomplishments to list. All of your business accolades contribute to your credibility to do the work you do and serve your customers. There is a tipping point, though, beyond which no one cares. Instead of telling your website visitors about your accomplishments, tell them what you can do for them by sharing stories of what you accomplished for past clients.

Not focused on an audience
Your website content does not offer a consistent approach, and that is off-putting to readers. Your readers will be most engaged when they think your content is speaking directly to them. You want them nodding in agreement as you describe the typical pain point your business seeks to alleviate. If your marketing strategy is to sell your products and services to anyone who will buy them, you are making a big mistake and your website content might reflect that.

Content is King! I hate cliches, but this one works here. You have to get the content right on your website if you want it to be a successful lead magnet, sales tool, or referral channel.

Do what it takes. Hire a professional if you have to. Fix your web content now!

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