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Writing Content for your Website

Monday, 01 February 2016, Written by  Chris Hood

Investing in a professional website is a smart choice for any business that is serious about their success. But no matter how proud we are of the websites we build, the single most important element of your website is the quality of your content. Above all other factors, it has the heaviest impact on search engine results, has the biggest impact on your visitors, and is the main factor in whether those visitors choose you to provide what they need.

Here at Vibe, we build the very best platform for your content. Compare us to new-build property developers; they build your perfect home, ready for your lovely stuff. Or to put it another way, we write the backing music - the lyrics are up to you.

Good Content: What makes content effective?

  • Good content doesn’t waffle – it provides the most important information in a punchy way
    • Using bullet points
    • And bold text
    • And images
  • Good content removes the need to ‘call for more info’. Lots of modern web users want everything in front of them before they call; or they would just prefer not to. Consider Vibe the business; sales through our website are strong and frequent, and probably 60% of our customers never call us. Those who do call are in a position of knowledge and confidence before they do so, because we make our services clear and findable. So, the statement ‘call for more info’ might be excluding a vast amount of phone-shy customers
  • Good content might use images and diagrams to make things clearer or friendlier. It doesn’t have to be specific either, because the visitor already knows what the subject is.

    For example - if you’re a chimney sweep and don’t have any nice pictures of you sweeping chimneys, you can just add a stock picture of a clean living room to your “Services” page. The visitor will automatically assume you do a clean & tidy job, because they are reading about chimney sweeping, which usually happens in living rooms. Clever, no?

    Subliminal imagery such as the above is easier than it sounds – for more examples of how it’s done right, visit the website of a successful company that you know sells a lot online. Sky, Virgin and BT all sell home entertainment packages, but you won’t see any pictures of families watching TV or teenagers browsing the internet. It’s all still-shots, colourful semi-related images and…
  • Prices. Big, bold, tasty prices. There is nothing more eye-catching or empowering to a visitor than an old fashioned price tag. Likewise, there is nothing more discouraging than a big ream of text without a price in site. Price tags make you look open, honest, current and predictable. If we find a page on vibewebsites.co.uk that isn’t generating customers like it could, our first step is to add some prices, and it usually works. We live in a “buy now” world, and there’s huge benefit to gain from joining in. If it’s helpful and easy, do it.
  • Image quality – Another heavy factor in how professional and ‘legit’ you appear is the quality of your images. The internet has moved on from stretched and pixelated images, and smartphones have ushered in a new standard for quick-snap photos.
  • Spelling and grammar - It's absolutely critical to appear professional throughout your text. The first step here is to pass everything you type through a word processor such as Microsoft Word or similar, and use the spellcheck tool. Make sure that you're not using any slang or questionable words, and you'll have a solid base for your content.

And remember - the content on a Vibe Website is 100% yours, and our developers won't alter or correct your wording in any way. That includes spelling, grammar and wording!

Why don’t we write or alter content too?

We don't provide content for two reasons - the first of which is because the content is legally yours, and it has to stay that way. The other reason is because, while we’re proud to say that we’re very good at designing and building websites, we’re not the best at describing your business.

In the past, we’ve been asked to:

  • Describe why pure water cleaning is better for your windows than using detergents
  • State the 10 best cast iron radiators money can buy
  • Compare open-water canoeing to coasteering
  • State what treatments are the best for snoring if you have a deviated septum
  • Reccommend whether Tenerife or Majorca is a better holiday destination in May

… the list goes on.

Looking around the Vibe office at our developers, I know I’d trust my life with them to produce a great looking and performing website. But I wouldn’t ask them to choose the right components for my log burning stove installation. Between you and me, I’d probably end up in hospital.

I hope this helps with creating your content, and gives you a few ideas. Remember, get this part right and it could make your website hugely successful. But without good content, your Vibe site may well sit pretty in the wilderness without giving anyone a reason to contact you.

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