Sometimes our clients tell us they can provide content for their site, but it’s rare that we receive the type of copy we need. Most business owners are just too close to their work to describe what they do in a succinct way that will bring in business.
Sure, you know better than anyone what your business does. But site visitors don’t want to read a long list of the services you provide; they want to know how you are going to bring value to their lives or their businesses and the problems they are trying to solve. To top it off, your website must communicate all of that information quickly. If you make visitors your visitors have to work too hard to see if you are right for them, they’ll bounce off searching for the next provider.
Just as you hire a designer to achieve the right look for your brand, it’s equally important to make sure the copy on your website connects with your target customer.
A strong content strategy identifies what the ideal target visitor needs to see on the site that will speak directly to them and break through the clutter they’ve seen on other sites. Once we’ve got their attention, our primary goal is to provide the right information about the company’s leading service so that the prospective customer is engaged and curious to learn more.
That’s no simple feat. It takes time to come up with an effective content strategy, which is the secret sauce you need to create a website that stands out from the crowd and gets results. As web designers, we don’t expect our clients to come in with their website designs all mapped out. It is equally unrealistic for us to expect they will come to us with written copy that that sets them apart and connects with their ideal visitors.
When a client comes to me for a new website, I ask a series of questions to uncover not just what they do, but the way they do it and the value they provide. My job is to translate this information into copy and design elements that convert site visitors into customers, clients, investors, or future employees.
I’ll ask clients to describe: Who is your customer? What is it that you are selling? Why should I work with you rather than a competitor? How does your customer know that you understand what they are dealing with? How will they know you’re an expert? What will success look like? What will the person go through if they don’t take action to work with you?
We dive in to get the goods. Then we’ll extract the key messages and craft them in a way that will get the attention of their target client, connect with them and close the deal. This is called content strategy.
When your website communicates the unique value your business provides with clear, concise copy, your site visitors will know they’ve found what they’ve been looking for and call you. Simple.
Having a website with carefully designed content costs more and is often one of the main differences between budget websites and those that cost more. It takes time to do this right and our clients rarely can do it for themselves.
I will confess, I’m am no different. When we redesigned our website a couple of years ago, I had defined our company’s unique value proposition but I had done it with way too many words. I couldn’t figure out how best to say the things I wanted to communicate. So, I called on a colleague of mine to walk me through my content. She was able to tell me what stood out as the most important factors that she saw that had people want to work with us. She helped me hone down my words to exactly those that would resonate with the clients we wanted to attract. And our new website has been very effective in bringing in the business we were looking for.
Whether you are a web designer or business owner with a website, if you’re interested in understanding more about the power of content strategy you’ll benefit from Donald Miller’s Storybrand work. Miller’s video content and his new book articulate the power of a strong, intentional website message that stands out from the crowd to increase your bottom line. If you need some help doing this for yourself, get in touch!