5 Content Mistakes You're Making On Your Website
Whether content is king, queen, or something else entirely these days, one thing is definitely clear: you still need good content on your website.
No, this isn't another pitch for content marketing or a plea to get that company blog going. This is about the words on the main pages of your website. You know, those bread and butter pages. Your main services, products, and those pages that talk about how great your company is. If the content on these pages isn't dynamite, you can give up those hopes and dreams of more leads, higher conversion rates, and top rankings in search results.
Here are the 5 content mistakes you need to stop making if you want your website to work for your business:
Being a Content Minimalist
You've probably heard that no one really reads that much anymore. Naturally, you want to have as little text as possible on your pages. But many websites make the mistake of going too minimal. While you don't necessarily need to go to the extreme of having a minimum target word count (300 words or bust!), you do need to make sure your pages have enough substance. Otherwise, you're going to run into three potential problems:
- Lack of SEO value: Search engines these days seem to be pretty smart at detecting what your page is about, but if you go too light on the content, you're going to have a hard time being visible in the search results. Rule of thumb: Pages with more words generally perform better in search than pages with fewer words.
- Lack of internal search value: No matter how great your navigation is, many visitors go straight to your internal search feature to find what they want. If your content pages are too bare, your site's internal search is going to have trouble showing your visitors the right stuff. You have to make sure there's enough on your pages for the internal search to find.
- Lack of consumer value: While your super short page might ensure your visitors will read all the words, it's probably not providing any insight into your business. If your potential customers don't get enough sense of what you do from your content, they aren't going to contact you. Business on the internet isn't about being suspenseful or cryptic. It's about making your value proposition clear so your customers have a reason to contact you.
Forcing Your Visitors Up Against a Giant Wall Of Text
You've probably heard that no one really reads that much anymore (did someone say déjà vu?). So when your main content pages feature a giant block of text, your visitors are probably going to leave your page without looking at a single word. This isn't to say that you shouldn't have a lot of words. Words are important for many reasons (see above). But how you present those words is a pretty big deal. Rather than the intimidating wall of text, make it easy for your visitors to skim your content by:
- Using bullet points
- Using appropriate headings
- Using images and videos
- Using design elements to separate chunks of text
You need to say what you need to say. Just make sure you say it in a way that your visitors can digest. After all, this is the internet. Nobody reads that much anymore.
Being Too Generic
Here is what our business does. We are good. Contact us.
No matter how special and unique you think your business model is, there are many other businesses out there that do the same thing you do. Your content is the opportunity to position yourself as special and unique. This is your chance to make it clear to your potential customers why they should contact you. Don't stifle your company voice with generic content that reads like it could be on any other website in the universe. Let your company's personality come through in the words on your web pages. You know, make your visitors say, "Damn, I want to do business with these people!" This goes for e-commerce sites as well. If your product descriptions are the same as every other product descriptions on the web, then what's going to compel anyone to buy from you? Set yourself apart.
Letting Your Content Run Wild
Your company needs a voice. That company voice should be clear and consistent. It should reflect the values of your business. Many websites suffer from multiple company personality disorder. When visitors go from page to page on these websites, they start to wonder if they're still on the same website. How exactly does this happen? The most common cause is when too many different people get involved in writing the content. Many companies will ask people from different departments to write their own content. Then they'll just blindly throw it all up on the site. If there isn't a unifying voice to tie all these different pieces together, it's going to look like your company is a mess. And your customers don't want to work with a mess.
Not Hiring a Professional Copywriter
No one else knows your business like you do, so why would you hire someone else to write your copy? Here's the obvious answer: because your business isn't writing. And here's another answer: because the way you talk about your business isn't ideal for your potential customers. A professional copywriter will capture the vision and voice of your business and express it in a way that's readable for your online audience. Remember all those problems you were having with generic content and too many voices and the wrong length (not to mention all the grammatical errors)? A professional writer will fix all those things. And he/she will do it a lot faster than you would.
Depending on who you ask, content may or may not still be the king. But when it comes to the key pages on your website, it definitely needs to be treated like royalty.