By Karen Kleinman
Content is the king of website design – text, images, video, and audio. Everything else is meaningless if you don't have engaging and informative content on your website. Content is also the determining factor in how many pages your site will need, and therefore how much it will cost. Content also has the power to make money by converting people into customers. Content, specifically bad and poorly thought out and organized content, can also make people not want your product or boycott your services. So when it comes to producing content for web, why does it seem so hard to do?
When you're starting from scratch, a blank piece of paper can be intimidating. The fear of messing up, of not knowing what to say, saying the wrong thing – or even saying too much. But you have to start from somewhere, so just start. You can always edit, re-order, and delete later.
What do I write about my product or service? If you want to introduce your product or service to a brand new audience, tell them the hows, whats, whys, whos, and whens of your item.
Organize your content. Unorganized content is like opening a random book, to some random page, and being expected to know what the whole book is about. When a web page loads, if your viewer cannot find the info they are looking for quickly, they will click away from your page.
Content is valuable. Always write your text with SEO in mind. Include keywords and keyword phrases in your copy. Think of how someone who is not familiar with your product or skill would search for it. What kind of search words would they type into a web browser?
Change your mind set that you are not selling a product or a service – you are selling a solution to a problem. People are more concerned with solving their problems. You just happen to have the very thing or the skill to solve whatever problem they are currently having.
You know your business better than anyone else. Don't let the bulk of your copy be written by someone that knows nothing about your business. If you need help with tone, proper wording, or someone to check for grammatical errors, that's OK. But don't let someone one who doesn't know much or not anything about your product or service write what you want your viewers to know about your business.
Don't just tell - show! The use of video and images can greatly and quickly help your viewers understand your product or service. Make sure that the images and video support the text you are creating and not raise other questions.
Prep like crazy – take good photos, video, audio, images. Make sure that your photos are crisp and clear with good lighting. Make sure objects are centered and level. Take both close ups and long range shots. If you are interviewing someone, choose a place or setting where it is quite. Take extra shots and B-roll footage of video. Make sure you know how to use your equipment. If you have no choice but to use what you have on hand, be sure to make it a priority to re-do your graphic content as soon as possible.
Always check your context & tone. Have several people read your text for spelling and grammatical errors, for readability to make sure it flows, and does everyone that reads your copy understand it? Also make sure your wording does not offend, patronize, or marginalize anyone, especially your target audience.
People like weird and unusual things. Some bit of knowledge, some new finding, or long lost trivia is irresistible to people and makes for more valued content. I bet you didn't know magnolia flowers were around long before bees even existed.