Website content is the undisputed king – search engines rank you by it, people rate you by it, and most of all, it’s the number one tool (in conjunction with a solid website design) that tells your visitors who you are, what you do and what you can do for them.
But your web copy isn’t working. WTF, over?
Today’s post is the first in a series of five posts that will cover website content. As a reminder, installment two in my WordPress Series will be published this Wednesday (catch installment one Three Reasons Your Website Sucks and One Simple Way to Fix It here), so if you haven’t subscribed, have a lookie-loo at the right hand side of this page and subscribe via RSS feed or email. Let’s face it – you get a lot of crap in your inbox every day…why not get some crap you actually want to read?
Most people think that the mere act of having a website is their ticket to instant traffic and an exponential increase in sales. Yeah – you’re wrong. There are two key components that go into a solid website: content (king) and design/coding (a piss-and-vinegar queen that’s bucking for the throne at all times). A pretty website alone, while nice to look at, isn’t going to result in higher traffic or sales. It needs the compliment of coherent, purpose-driven content. Now, before I get the commenters who think I’m being sexist by putting forth that a website is a patriarchal entity and the matriarchal figure is subservient (blah-blah-blah)…it’s a metaphor. The king and queen compliment one another and work together to create a web-based kingdom that:
- Is sticky (keeps visitors on your site)
- Lets visitors know what you want them to do (click here, buy this, subscribe, submit a form)
- Converts visitors to customers (creates revenue or another desired result)
In the words of Mel Brooks: It’s good to be the king.
Any old words slapped up on a web page simply won’t do. There’s a tried and true method for developing coherent and conversion-oriented web copy that works. The next four parts of this series will cover the following topics:
- Do Your Homework: Audience Identification and Keyword Selection (WTF is a keyword?!?!)
- Who do you want to visit your site and why? This post will delve into how to think like your target audience and how to do the research for your entire site that will result in web copy that speaks to your audience and more importantly, speaks to the search engines. Search engines are smart, but you’ve gotta tell them what they want to hear.
- Specialization of Labor: Why Each Page of Your Website Should Have a Job
- Ever worked in a company where everyone was the sales/marketing/administrative staff/lead developer and CEO? Too many cooks in the kitchen! We’ll look into why each page of your website should have a clearly defined purpose and talk about how that helps the search engines and your business simultaneously. Copy rules here, and it takes a polished pen/keyboard to write purpose-driven text that gets you where you need to go.
- Who Loves You, Baby? The Importance of Links and Anchor Text
- Expanding on the idea of specialization of labor, we’ll discuss why the specialization you committed to will help your website from both the inside AND the outside. There’s a heavy importance that search engines place on links (both internal and inbound from other sites) as well as the way you create those links – anchor text. Stop pasting URLs and hyperlinking the words “click here.” Do it right, reap the rewards.
- It’s Not Over Until It’s Over: Revisiting Your Site, Making Revisions
- When you’ve finally achieved a site that works and one that’s got a design and the complimentary copy to do what you expected it to do—you can’t just let it be. We’ll go over the importance of analytics, competitive analysis and how to stay one step ahead of your competition through some smart “tweaks” to your web copy and site meta data to ensure that as the months and years roll by, your site isn’t left in the dust with the dinosaurs.
There’s a lot of crap lurking out there on the interwebz, but your website doesn’t have to belong to the Crap Club. Follow this series of blog posts and take your website from crap to content-rich in a few easy weeks of reading. We’ll see you next Monday with Do Your Homework: Audience Identification and Keyword Selection, and don’t forget to catch this Wednesday’s installment in my WordPress series and how it can be used as a tool to help you build a solid website.