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Why good content is so important for your website

Why good content is so important for your website

We've written a few blog posts about content. Like this one about blogging and this one about content vs copy.

But we see websites with minimal content every day. Five pages, with a paragraph of text and that's it. And don't get me started about one page parallax scrolling sites. Why do we and every other online marketing person out there bang on about creating content?

In short, because without it your website is a useful as udders on a bull. Or as useful as a one armed trapeze artist with an itchy…. Well, you get the picture.

What is content?

Text, images, video and sound – it is what conveys a message or piece of information to the reader.

There is different content to suit different purposes – to attract, to inform, to engage, and to persuade. You need all of this on your website if you want it to be effective.

Why is it so important?

  1. SEO – without content your efforts to get on the front page of Google will be infinitely harder. It is content that google uses to determine what your site is about. And if that content is shared – that means people think it's good. Without content this won't happen. The more pages you have, the more opportunity to target specific search phrases – which is more effective than trying to rank for those generic phrases that have poor conversion rates.
  2. Builds an audience – if you publish a regular blog about your industry and you are informative, insightful or entertaining, people will start to come back to your site for more. And as they do, so begins a relationship between them and your brand that is more likely to lead to a sale of some kind and/or recommendations to their network of friends and contacts. And don't forget about your existing customers – they will also find product guides, up to date news, tips and the like helpful as well.
  3. Establishes your brand – content that is informative tells people your company knows what they are talking about. Good content establishes you as a leader in your industry. Don't make the mistake of saying “if they want information, they can call us”. They won't. They'll go to your competitor who is more helpful.
  4. Fuels promotional efforts - your monthly newsletter and social media posts come a lot easier if you can point to your latest article on your website.
  5. Increases conversions – too many people use 'blogging' and 'content' in the same breath. A blog on it's own isn't enough. You have to have information on your site to tell people that your business is the right choice for them and why – and what to do to get started.

Right content for the right people

Any old content won't do.

It has to be the stuff that appeals to and captures the attention of the people who are going to buy what you have to sell.

So you have to start with a clear understanding of your audience:

  • Who they are
  • Where they are
  • What they care about
  • What they need
  • What motivates them to buy
  • What will put them off buying

Your content has to address all these things if you want to win your audience over and persuade them to take action.

But it's not that hard – just give them what they want. Write using energetic and descriptive text that engages your audience. And skip the jargon. Unless you are writing about rocket science. Then it's probably necessary.

If you don't have someone in your organisation that can write, get a professional in.

The role of design

Good design is not enough – way too many people focus on how their website looks to them without focusing on what it's saying to potential customers.

Don't get me wrong, a good design is important because it conveys something to your audience – but you have to make sure it says the right thing. All good looks without substance says to people that it's exactly what the experience with your business will be.

The design is like a vessel that works with your content – delivering it in a visually pleasing, easy to use way that draws people in. The design of your website reinforces your brand whether it be fun and flirty, solid and reassuring, casual or serious.

What content you need

About who you are

About you, your company and who the people behind it are (in most cases, people buy from people, not faceless organisations)

What your services are

Don't underestimate how little people know about what you do. You're the expert, not them – that's why they are looking for help.

Your service content should:

  1. Describe the problem and what issues it can cause
  2. Describe the solution and the benefits it will bring
  3. Explain how you provide this solution and why you are a better choice than anyone else

And not in three sentences or less. Try and have a separate page for each service you provide.

A blog

A blog is a great idea for many reasons that we cover here. But it short, it is an easy informal way to add content on a regular basis.

Resources, gallery’s and FAQs

There are other types of content that are just as useful as explained in 20 Ideas for Website Content

The myth that people don't read content

Yes. They. Do.

If they are in the market for whatever you're hustling.

People who are NOT the target audience for a piece of content won't read it, no matter how good it is. (Well, some will just for the hell of it but it would have to be pretty good.)

People won't read content that is badly written, full of spelling mistakes, grammatical or logic errors.

And yes, you can probably write content that is too long or too in-depth for people to digest. You don't need to write a book.

But by and large if you produce quality content about something that people care about – they will read it.

We do caution about long videos. Depending on the content it might be easier to break it up into digestible chunks. Mainly because people can't skim video to get to the bit they want in the same way they can text.

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