It’s More Than Just A Few Nice Words
If you’re about to go on the journey of having a new website built, one of the things most designers will ask is:
Where is the website content coming from?
And if you’re like many Aussie business owners, you’re likely to answer something to the effect of “My wife’s sister’s friend owns their own business, so can write it”, or “I’ll do it myself”, followed by a quick Google search for “how to write web content”, or more common still, “what is website ‘content’ exactly?”
Here’s the thing: website content isn’t just about writing a few 100 words. No, the rabbit hole goes much deeper than that.
And, even the part that does involve copywriting, it’s not a sit ‘in front of the TV after dinner’ kind of task. Not if you want your website to get results anyway…
What is website content then, and why is it more than just a few nice words on your Home, Services, and About pages?
Turns out there are at least 11 types of website content that make for a high-performing website.
Yep, but don’t worry, your web designer should be able to help you out with most of them. Let’s take a look…
1. Website Copywriting
2. Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
3. Blogs or Articles
4. Images + Photos
11. Case Studies
Each of these website content components is a whole subject in itself, so if you want to learn more about a specific part, check out the links within each section.
Down the rabbit hole we go…
Written Website Content
You might think you’ll have-a-crack at writing your website content yourself – after all, you know your business, your industry, and you might even know your customer personas. A web designer takes care of the tech stuff – then all it takes is some pretty words on the pages and your website’s done, right?
Well, not entirely.
1. Website Copywriting
Too many business owners unconsciously sabotage their website by not understanding the value of professional website copywriting. The first (and most obvious) block is that business owners don’t have the time (and often the knowledge and expertise) required to write website content – resulting in something that’s rushed and doesn’t do them or their business justice, or postpones the project by months.
Think about your business service, and ask yourself this question:
Is it possible that my customers can do what I do themselves?
Is it likely that my customers will do what I do themselves?
Is it worth my customers paying me to provide my product/service for them?
The difference is, you’re an expert in what you do, and you can deliver your service faster and more cost effectively than they could perform from reading a blog or watching a quick video on Youtube.
Website content writers combine knowledge of your industry, your target audience, and your brand personality with knowledge of SEO copywriting tactics.
Content for SEO
As your website comes to life, you’re going to hear a lot about SEO.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation
It’s an umbrella term for the methods and strategies used to leverage your site ahead of others in your industry, then prioritise it on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for targeted keywords. The keywords you target on your website are the words and phrases people type into Google to find goods and services – specifically, the goods and services that your business just so happens to provide.
SEO sounds complex, and it is when you’re in a competitive market, however the most robust and successful method of doing it is just having the right words and the right amount of words on each page of your website. Having customer-centric and strategic website content centred on what you want to rank for is the most powerful way to strengthen your SEO efforts without paying for ads.
SEO copywriting is a fine art – the best website content writers can showcase what your business does, the personality of your brand, AND make sure that the search engines and your prospective customers like what you have to say.
These best practices are used to write website content for SEO:
This is the foundation of SEO copywriting. Businesses implement on-page keywords within their website content to try and leverage their ranking on SERPs.
Using on-page keywords is a straightforward concept on the surface. Website content writers research the words and phrases most commonly used on search engines to find your offerings, then strategically scatter those words and phrases throughout the text of each page. The art is not forcing it, as in, ensuring that the content is still relevant, easily read and understood all while appealing to the right people.
How do they know what words and phrases to use?
Professional website content writers use SEO tools to track and plan which keywords are most effective to use on a website.
Although anyone can pay for an account with an SEO tool and start searching for keywords, it takes years of knowledge and practice to be able to sift through all the data and form a solid content strategy.
It’s the process of collecting and refining keywords for your website, then weaving them into the content without making it sound robotic. It needs to flow. That’s what makes website content writers so valuable to the web design process.
If your business has a local presence (like a plumber or physical store), then local SEO keywords are going to be important. For example, a Brisbane copywriter can help you find terms that customers in your area are searching for.
With the increasing use of voice search, writing website content to flow naturally ensures readability – but it’s also a great SEO strategy.
Writing conversationally achieves two things at once: ordinary people can read and engage with your website, and search engines can leverage your website above competitors for voice search queries.
SEO strategies aside, website content that needs to sell online should steer well clear of big words and technical jargon.
While professional content writing might sound fancy, website content experts use simple language to make your business sound impressive but also be relatable to your customer.
2. CTAs as Website Content
The CTA (Call-To-Action) is the perfect example of strategic website content.
A call-to-action is essentially any device designed to prompt an immediate action, and it typically has a content component. That’s where expert copywriters come in.
Website traffic is fantastic, but you want to convert that traffic into leads, right?
A copywriter that knows their stuff creates a sense of urgency, emotive words and command verbs to motivate and inspire your audience to click that button and buy that thing, download that thing, or sign up for that thing.
You just need to decide what the thing is.
The humble Blog has come a long way since 2004, when it was Merriam-Websters word of the year.
In the business world, blogs are more about educating, informing, and expanding your audience, and less about your personal opinion (though a little of that doesn’t hurt either).
Here’s the lowdown on blogging:
- Companies that blog get 97% more links to their site
- Marketers who blog see 13 x higher ROI
- Blogs are considering the 5th most trustworthy source of information online
Those are some pretty impressive stats!
So, if you want more links (Google likes links), a better return on investment, and a long-lasting way to demonstrate your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to your customers, all the while growing your network of prospects and followers, then you need to be blogging.
When you’re launching a new website, it’s a good idea to have 4 or 5 blog posts ready for reading. From there, publishing a new blog post 1 to 4 weeks works well, depending on how competitive your industry is online.
Imagery & Graphic Design
I know we said web content was more than just a few pretty words, and so far all we’ve talked about is words.
Let’s take a look at how clever graphic design and imagery plays a part in making your website really work for you.
4. Photography & Stock Images
Your website would be pretty boring if it was just a wall of text on a white background, right?
Having images is not only important for breaking up all that copy and making your site look good, but they also heavily influence the users experience on your website
Think about it:
90% of the information we receive and perceive on a daily basis is visual, it’s what we’re used to, and it’s incredibly efficient. That’s why that stale old statement is still floating around: a picture is worth a thousand words. Because it is!
But don’t just go picking any old photo and calling the job done, think about what your imagery is saying, and how it’s representing your brand. Just the same as you’d pore over every word your copywriter sends through to ensure you’re saying the right things about your business, make sure you’re thoroughly analyzing each image and asking the question:
What is my audience getting out of this?
There’s really no question of whether to have imagery on your website or not, unless you decide to go for a fully illustrated design (which we’ll discuss soon), but there is still one question to consider:
Custom Photography or Stock Images?
The internet is your best friend when it comes to sourcing imagery for your website, there are a tonne of excellent websites like Unsplash that offer a vast library of royalty-free images at no cost.
There is a catch though, they aren’t your images.
That means anyone else can (and probably does) have them on their website as well! This may not be an issue in itself, other than the fact that if a potential customer does spot those same photos on someone else’s website, then it probably isn’t going to create the best impression.
That’s why most web designers offer some form of photography service, whether in-house or through a trusted associate, so that your website can be fitted out with a set of imagery that is uniquely yours.
It’s also a lot easier to make sure your photos are really representing your brand in the best light, as the content and shots are entirely up to you! And it’s about 1000 x better than trying to find that perfect stock image…
The importance of a strong logo can’t be overlooked.
It’s the face of your brand, and it’s what people will remember you by and identify you with.
Now, there’s more to branding than just logo design (and your web designer should know that), but it is a big part of it, and it’s one you’ll want to get right.
The best logo designs are simple, repeatable, and scalable. This will ensure they look good everywhere, from your website to your business cards to your email signature.
A logo shouldn’t cost a fortune, but you shouldn’t skimp out on the process either, as it’s not something you’ll want to be changing every month when you decide you don’t like it!
Some really big brands (Twitter, Nike), have paid as little as $15 for their logo, so we’re not talking big bucks, though others have spent as much as $1.8 Billion! BBC we’re looking at you…
Illustrations are a great way to combine simple branding cues and effective imagery, without breaking the bank on high-brow photo shoots.
It’s a simple design idea, but it’s incredibly effective.
Okay, we’re a little biased. You’ve probably noticed an illustration or ten on our website! That’s because we find illustrative web designs ideal for creating really focused messaging.
It also means we can continue to create new illustrations within the same theme for future pages and blog posts, and ensures a consistent design language across everything we create.
Wanna know the simplest, most effective way to communicate a tonne of information quickly?
Hint: it’s right there next to the number 7.
Infographics are insanely powerful, and they form an important part of any website and content marketing strategy.
- 90% of the information we receive is visual (remember?)
- Blog posts that use infographics receive 650% more engagement
- Infographics get 3 x more shares on social media than any other kind of graphic
So yeah, we need ‘em.
But putting together a couple of dazzling stats and a fancy illustration or two isn’t going to do the trick, not unless you’ve got the design skills to make it stick.
That’s where your web designer comes in. They’re already putting in the hours branding and designing your image, and probably helping you to take some professional photos or create illustrations. Why not throw an infographic in the bag while you’re at it?
Here’s an example:
Here’s something to chew on: viewers retain 95% of a message when they receive it in video format.
Compare that to 10% retainment of information from text, and you’ll be asking yourself the question: “why isn’t everyone doing this?”
Video content marketing is definitely heating up, but there’s still room to be an early adopter if you’re up for the challenge.
Much the same as photography, you can either choose to use stock footage, or your Brisbane web designer will offer the service or be able to recommend a professional videographer.
From drone footage to staff interviews, the options are endless when it comes to creating video for your website.
A popular option is to create a short 30 second video that runs on a loop above the fold on your home page.
The problem with videography is that it can get quite expensive, especially if you’re hiring a professional video crew or doing any drone-work.
Which is why so many businesses instead opt for…
9. Animated Videos
A popular form of video, animations are an endlessly effective way to tell your prospective customers a little bit about your business, or a lot.
Pretty much anything you could shoot with a video camera, you can do with an animation, and it’s often a lot more cost-effective.
Plus, because it doesn’t involve any, you know, real-life people, making small changes down the track isn’t such as hassle.
At Web-Sta, we’ve created animated explainer videos for growing business in automotive, construction, and professional services, and our clients (and their clients) just love them.
They’re sort of the ‘infographic’ of the video world, downloading a boatload of information into your customers’ eyes and ears in an easy to consume, 30 to 60sec video.
Whether you’re explaining how your company’s process works or the benefits your clients enjoy, animated explainer videos are a fantastic way to add value to customers’ lives, and a bit of pizzazz to your new website. They also communicate to your clients what it is you offer quickly and clearly each and every time, 24/7. PLUS, they are pitch-perfect. No stumbled words, always impressive and cleverly consistent.
Social psychologists have known for a long time that social proof is one of the most important influences on human behaviour and decision making, and successful marketers have been using this knowledge for decades to build powerful websites and scale companies.
10. Testimonials in Website Content
Want to show off just how good you really are?
But maybe you feel a little bit uncomfortable shouting it from the rooftops yourself. Well, perhaps you could get your customers to do it for you!
Client testimonials have been a big part of marketing for a number of years, and they are one component of website content that you really must not neglect.
How’s 62% more revenue sound?
Cause that’s what you’re in for if you regularly use customer testimonials.
The trick to making them work in your favour is weaving them craftily and effortlessly into your content, as opposed to having a dedicated testimonials page. When was the last time you clicked on one of those?
11. Case Studies for Website Content
You’ve made it this far, so you’re clearly committed to making sure your website content is top-notch.
If that really is true, then you need to be incorporating case studies.
Case studies are a deep dive into a recent success of yours, and are typically told in somewhat of a narrative format that details:
- The client you’ve helped
- The problem they were facing
- The solution you came up with
- How you implemented the solution
- What you achieved together as a result
Often, they are in written format, however video and animated case studies are becoming incredibly popular as they are much more digestible and don’t require too much of your prospective client’s time.
If you can capture a client testimonial, either written or ideally, in video, this will really boost the integrity and potency of your case study, which you can then use as a form of mid-funnel content to convert all those leads your new website is generating!
As a business owner, tackling the content monster and getting prepped for your new website can seem like an insurmountable task, at least once you realise there’s more to it than just a couple of convincing words and a fancy photo or two.
This guide is here to help you understand and appreciate just what goes into building a successful website, but don’t think you’re in it alone.
The beauty of working with a professional web design company is that they’ll have a whole network of experts who can create the right content to boost your online profile and convert customers. From videographers to pro copywriters, you’ll want to surround yourself with a team of niche specialists that will make your new site unique, and uniquely yours.
As your local Brisbane-based web designer agency, Web-Sta has over 12 years of experience in creating uniquely beautiful websites that use strategic content to shine a light on your brand and reach your untapped audience.
Contact us for a free website design and content consultation today.
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