A writer's guide to website content every small business needs
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
I am not a website designer. I don’t build websites from scratch, and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about coding on the back end. I mean, I have no idea if I even wrote that last part correctly. But as a writer who has created content for many website projects, I have working relationships with folks who are.
It’s a beautiful marriage – they do what they do to build the website, and I help the designer and/or the client with writing or refreshing the content. Those are two distinctly different aspects of creating a quality website, and most people may not realize that.
Which brings me to the point of this blog. Potential clients search for local products and services on the web or their phones now more than ever. It is imperative for you the small-business owner to have a website that works FOR YOU.
Website developers say there are a billion "must haves" for a quality website, including good visual design, simple navigation with contact info, buttons, images, web fonts, calls to action, strong content, search capabilities, optimization, mobile friendly, etc. These are all very true.
From a writer's perspective, I also agree that it's vital that your content (i.e., words) effectively act as the voice of your business to help you stand out from the crowd.
Here is my writer's guide to must-have content every small-business website needs.
1. Relatable, original content – I hear time and again from clients who say, "You know, we like what XYZ company did with its website." That's great! But when it comes to YOUR content, it needs to be original and relatable. A local family law attorney, for example, shouldn't use the same tired verbiage or jargon that dominates other law websites – because then it's just white noise.
If you do, what are you saying to a potential client that they haven't already heard? Use keywords that are specific to your industry, but don't be afraid to be different. Tell YOUR story. Focus on what got you here and what makes you different. Relate to your client.
2. Organized content – A key to great content is to stay organized. The last thing you want is to have a hodgepodge of information strewn all over the place, because, well, the client won't know where to begin. The website developers I work with are great at knowing how to break things up with navigation tabs or buttons (i.e., Home Page, About Us Page, Bio Page, Services Page, Blog page).
When your content is broken up, it's easier to tell your story in those specific areas. Also remember that while every customer wants to learn more about your company, they also want to pick and choose what content is most important to them.
3. Blogs – A blog is a web article used to create content for your business. For example, what I'm writing right now is a blog. It is posted on my Edit This website, and when I'm done with it, I will share it to social media. Blogs can be about anything you want (ex: informational topics, industry trends, or fun stuff like stories on your business travels).
Blogs drive traffic to your website and help you show up in search engines, which you obviously want. They create content that can be shared and help build leads. Blogs keep you top of mind. Shameless plug: I can help you with those, too.
4. Pictures and videos – This isn't an area I specialize in, but content comes in many forms, right? Hopefully, the website developer you are using will go image and graphic crazy on your new site. Clients love to see how things operate in your office every day, how you interact with clients, what your community support looks like. Sometimes they don't have time to read what's on your website. A simple video or picture will go miles.
5. White papers and resources – White papers are similar to blogs except they are lengthier and typically stick to conveying some piece of knowledge. If you are in an industry such as law or even financial services, things like this and other resources, links, etc. are huge for potential clients.
6. Social Media integration – Have a way for clients to interact with you through and beyond your website. If you are posting blogs, pictures, or videos to your site, do yourself a favor and post them to social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are great for that). It not only increases your online presence, but it builds relationships.
Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the Owner/President of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Along with being a sports writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle, Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.