Incredibly, one of the most important aspect of a creating a successful website is almost always left as an afterthought. It’s the stuff that you are hoping will attract visitors to your site. The stuff that Google and other search engines will read to determine your site’s worth. The stuff that you hope your visitors will stay to consume, and who will make a decision based almost entirely on it’s quality.
I’m talking about content.
When I say ‘often overlooked’, I’m not joking. Usually, the content for your site is lucky to be considered for 10 minutes by either party during the development phase.
Usually, it will be forgotten about until the last phase of your project, at which point most web agencies will say that you, as the client, are responsible for writing it.
It’s a noble thought.
After all, who knows your organisation’s strengths, ethos and voice better than you? But, you really don’t have time to actually sit down and write out twelve pages of content, do you? “Can’t the new intern, what’s-her-name, Alice, handle this?”. Possibly. But probably not.
Writing effectively for the web requires a unique combination of skills. A strong grasp of the English language is a pretty obvious requirement. But you’ll also need intimate knowledge of structure of your site (“Should this bit about Bruce developing the new starting gate for the cockroach race go under History or Products?”), as well as a moderate understanding of how search engines will interpret your site, which keywords to use, and which to avoid.
Another essential skill is being able to write content which is short and poignant. It also needs to be written in the ‘voice’ of your organisation.
Do you think Alice can handle that in the 30 minute break after the morning meeting?
Generating content for your site will quickly become a burdensome task, with no willing volunteers. The launch date for your site will rapidly approach, and then slip away, while the web development agency calls you every few days to check how that bothersome About Page text is going.
This is a difficult time for everyone involved, and can leave a sour mark on an otherwise enjoyable project. It sounds melodramatic, but we know it happens. We’ve been there.
But it shouldn’t. We firmly believe our job is to not only create something of great intrinsic value for you, but to make the entire process stress-free, and even enjoyable for you. That means using our expertise to make decisions, guide the project, and choose the best people for the job.
We almost always organise professional copywriting, even for our smallest projects. Obviously, it’s an added cost, but we believe the advantages far outweigh the comparatively small initial outlay.
You’re site will be more readable, more attractive to visitors, will rank better in search engines, and ultimately fulfil it’s goal as a valuable marketing tool.
So next time you’ve commissioned a new site to be built, get the right people to do the job. Designers to design, developers to build, and copywriters to fill the site with glorious, useful and insightful content.
- A really interesting look at design and designing in the digital space http://t.co/yVnT2Nmy
- @WebdevObserver thanks :)
- Oh and make sure you like it!
- Updated the Clear Assembly Facebook page, FB is rolling timeline out to all business pages at the end of this month -> http://t.co/nJr8MfcJ
- New marketing material arrived! http://t.co/qFjVPDiX
- Just posted a photo http://t.co/ddrIN5bO