I was talking with a client the other day about content and she was wondering how much content she should have on her website. Should she pare down her content to be minimal, or should she write a bunch? Turns out, many of my web design clients have this question.
My website content philosophy disclaimer
My focus in web design and branding is to make my clients stand out and create an exceptional customer experience. I’m also huge on being human in everything you do on your website. So with those disclaimers, here’s my answer.
Your website content is an extension of you
Your website is an extension of you. A lot of your potential clients will visit it and will immediately make a judgment about what you and your company are like. If your design is old and dated, they’ll feel like your company is too. If your content is hard to read, they’ll be led to assume that you might be hard to communicate with. If they have a hard time finding the answer to their questions, they’ll wonder if it might be hard getting straight answers from you. And so on.
So with your content, you’ll want to make sure it represents how your company interacts with people in real life. If you are naturally brief with words with your clients, then you can be so on your website. If you are a conversationalist, then don’t hesitate to be so on your website, so long as your content is broken up into digestible bits that make it easy for people to find the information they need.
You can save time and money with strategic content
But here’s another consideration. Your website is an extension of your company right? So it can actually save you and your staff loads of effort by answering LOTS of questions that you’d normally get by phone, in person, or by email if you didn’t answer them already on the website. So if you make a robust FAQ page, and fill out your other pages with all the information people who look to hire your company might want to know, it reduces your workload.
And by answering these questions prior to personally connecting with your potential clients, you prefilter the people so those that contact you are more likely the people you love to serve. Who wouldn’t like to connect more with the people they love to serve and less with the riff-raff that zap time and energy?
A little story to illustrate the point
We had a client that gave us reign to help her write her content. Because of the nature of her business, we felt a really robust FAQ page was going to be a big help. So we came up with all kinds of questions…like lots! of them. We then worked with her to answer them all in a very fun, straightforward, and human way. Turns out, it did wonders for her business. She attracted people who totally fell in love with her. And the clients who signed up were perfectly awesome.
Why did it work? Well, my philosophy on why it worked is that she was straightforward and real about what she offered. People who resonated with her answers knew instinctively that she was the right choice for them. People who read her FAQs (and other well-done pages) and DIDN’T resonate, simply didn’t hire her. It was that simple.
Want awesome clients who totally love you? Make it clear who you are before they ever sign up. Simple. As. That.
Reminds me of what you want to do when you’re dating as well. Happens that one of my daughters is in the dating world right now. And while it might be a temptation to hold back and play the “hard to get” game, we’re encouraging her to be completely herself. Completely real. Even if it might cause a little pain or lessen her dating possibilities. Why? Because whoever she ends up in a relationship with needs to know who she is from the get-go. If she’s only half-available, or half-open, it will invariably lead to disappointment and frustration later on. So, she’s being herself and being real, even when it can feel vulnerable. And we’re proud of her for being yourself.
And we’re proud of all our clients who are open and forthright in their website content with their potential clients. By doing so, they’re saving themselves lots of frustration in the long-run!
Take a human viewpoint
Think about your content from your potential client’s viewpoint. What would you want to know if you were trying to choose a company to do business with? Would you want minimal content on a website that required you to pick up the phone and give them a call? Or would you like the answers to your questions a click away?
Once you’ve got that figured out, then when you write your content, I highly recommend you write it in a friendly, “I’m-a-human-too” way. Be focused on your reader, not on yourself. Make your reader the hero of your content, rather than yourself.
You’ll get a lot more mileage for your words if you do, no matter how many words you choose!
Thanks for the photo Kaitlyn Baker!