Digital Marketing Insights

Arrrrrgggghhhh! Do you know what that sound is? It’s the voice in my head when I (yet again!) come across a website that just frustrates the living daylights out of me. I’m sure most of us can attest to similar frustrations especially in relation to poor design and navigation, but those are just a speck of dust on what really irks me. For me it’s the content – or lack thereof – in regards to how some companies just don’t explain what it is they do. Instead, it’s just assumed because they know what it is they do, then so should the user. You know what I mean?

My job means I get to view a lot of website content on a daily basis. Some is great, others good. However, the majority of it is poor. Am I being too harsh? No, I don’t think so. I’m not pointing any fingers and dishing the dirt on whose content I’m referring to. Although, nor am I going to wrap you up in cotton wool and praise your content because that would be a lie. Instead what I’d like to do is hand out some constructive criticism on where businesses are going wrong with their website content, and how to make some quick fixes to alleviate my (and I’m sure your) frustrations.

1. 30-second Elevator Pitch

Networking 101 – the “pitch”. We’ve all got one and most of you will use it on a daily basis with the goal of presenting what your company does in a short and concise way. What you don’t do is boggle the mind of your listener with a dozen buzzwords (see point 2) and leave them feeling utterly confused about who you are and what you do. And the same scenario should apply directly to your website.

It goes without saying your website homepage is the most viewed page of your website, hence why businesses use this space to showcase who they are by offering a brief insight into what they do. Take a look at our homepage for example. The majority of it advertises our services, but we also include our 30-second “online” elevator pitch…

Screen shot of 2 Web Design homepage elevator pitch

As you can see the goal here is to state what we do (“web design”) and who we’ve provided solutions for (“business, non-profit organizations, and municipalities”). Although, on the other hand we could have easily created some linguistic gold stuffed with confusing terminology to leave the user feeling utterly dazed and confused, but what good is that? Chances are people would forget it in an instant.

Ensure your website homepage includes a straight to the point, yet brief statement about what you do highlighting any key information that you see relevant to the user. And if you want to get more in-depth, then add a link to an internal page with more thorough and detailed information.

2. Reduce Buzzwords, Increase Keywords

Let’s be clear. I’m not going to categorically state that you shouldn’t use any buzzwords in your content, because that would just be wrong. However, we are ALL guilty of being a little too buzzword-friendly with our website content. This is because the fine line that currently separates buzzwords and your industry keywords begins to blur when writing your website content.

It’s important to realize that website users may use different terminology when searching online. If your website is stuffed full of buzzwords that only make sense to you and you alone, then what chance does a website user have of understanding your message? Instead your content should be focused on using keywords that your audience uses. For example a buzzword that floats around the web design industry is “online presence”, but we know that the majority of our potential clients are not Googling that. Therefore, we use the keyword “web design”, because it’s more realistic for a customer to Google search that.

My suggestion to you would be to first of all put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer and view your website from their perspective – does it make sense? If you even hesitate at answering that question then there’s clearly a problem.

Start by cleaning up the content, removing any unclear description or industry jargon that might be confusing to the reader. Then revisit the content and add your keywords. However, in order to do this correctly you might need to invest some time in researching what keywords work for your business. Although, a quicker solution would be to contact your existing customers and ask them what they searched for in regards to finding you online.

3. Revise Content

When is the last time you reviewed your website content? I bet 90% of you have no answer to that. So with this in mind how do you know if your content is still current? Admittedly, reviewing your website content is a timely process, but surely it’s important your content remains up-to-date and what your potential (and existing) customers are reading is correct, right?

I always view revising website content like cleaning your house. If you stay on top of it and clean it once a week, then it constantly looks good and takes you less time. However, if you decide to live like a dirty pig and clean once every 2 months, then your place looks a mess and takes FOREVER to clean. And your website content is no different.

I’m not saying you should constantly revise or refine it weekly, but stay on top of it. If something new happens within the company – an important update to a service or a product you no longer offer – then update this information ASAP. It’s also good practice to revise your content, making small changes here and there, throughout the year with a good overhaul once a year. It might sound overwhelming and time consuming at first, but if you keep your eye on your website content then it shouldn’t eat into too much of your time. PLUS there’s an array of easy ways (that can be found online) on how to effectively manage your website content.

So, what can you take away from this? It’s simple…

  • Ensure your homepage contains a simple, jargon-free statement that sums up who you are and what you do.
  • Throw out those industry buzzwords, instead making sure your website content is keyword rich.
  • Constantly revise and refine your website on a regular basis.

By following the advice I have laid out above – as well as sticking with it! – I promise you it will help reduce the amount of frustration website users feel when visiting your website.

Do you agree with the frustrations I’ve listed above or do you have your own frustrations regarding website content that I haven’t mentioned? If so, then feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and comments below!

Mouneeb is an experienced digital marketing strategist with a passion for helping clients achieve their goals online. With over 15 years of experience in designing, developing, and managing a team that develops top-notch web projects, he brings a wealth of information to the teams that he leads and the leaders that he follows.

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