Planning the Content for Your New Website

Web contentWhen you start a new website for your business, you’ll need to have a good amount of content on it before it goes live. There is a lot to consider when creating content for a new website. You have to think about the purpose of your site, what you want to showcase, what kind of content you want to share with your readers, the overall tone of your writing and who will be the person writing all of your content.

Creating new website content is essential if you’re looking to have a successful content marketing strategy for your business. It isn’t something to be taken lightly, either. Although content marketing doesn’t directly do anything for your company’s bottom line, a properly carried out content marketing campaign can turn website visitors into customers. A properly maintained website with new content added regularly can also help improve your business’s online presence, since fresh content helps you achieve and maintain a high search engine ranking.

What Pages do You Need?

When planning your website there are certain pages that you’ll want to have in order to have a decent online presence. Of course, you’ll want a blog page, which will hold your article and interest pieces, but there are other desirable pages.

First, your website should have a homepage – this is your website’s main page. A successful homepage will have some kind of welcome for visitors to read. There might be links to new content or to social media pages but most importantly there should be a call to action. Tell visitors to contact your company for help, ask them to visit your business’s main website or e-commerce site, or even just write a simple push to call your company for information. This will give your page a purpose and help visitors understand what you can offer.

Your website should also have an “About” page. This page will tell your visitors about your company, you as an individual (if you’re a sole business owner), or you can have short biographies on key members of your staff. There could also be a company mission statement and links to contact certain people or divisions, on this page you want to humanise your company.

Your third web page should be a “Contact Us” page. This is where you’ll have all of your direct contact lines spelt out for visitors. You may only want to include a generic contact form for visitors to fill out if you don’t want people calling or emailing specific numbers or addresses. There should also be a call to action on this page so a visitor understands why they’d want to get in touch with your company.

The fourth page is your blog. This is where new content will be published. A proper blog page will feature the latest and most popular posts but also provide access to archived posts, in case readers want to check out more of your older content. You may also want to organise this page with categories on a sidebar for easy navigation.

The last pages of a successful website are your online store sections or service offering. If you do have products to sell you’ll want to make sure that your shop is easily accessible to all visitors, increasing your chance of gathering new custom. Your shop’s page should work well with your blog page, in order to turn your readers into buyers. Links from one page to another, or even links to outside blogs regarding specific products (reviews, introduction of new products, etc.) can also be a great aid in converting readers into customers. With service pages ensure you spell out what you do and your unique service proposition- what makes you better, more experienced and a more compelling proposition than the competition?

Brand Voice and Style Guide

When you begin writing websites, keep a consistent tone that represents your company’s brand. When considering your brand voice or tone, you should take your target audience into consideration. If you’re targeting professionals your writing should be more authoritative and formal but if you’re speaking to a young audience, then your writing can maintain an edgy or casual tone.

Once you have an established voice, you’ll want to make sure that you have a set style guide. A style guide contains all the rules for writing your company’s content so that writers can refer maintain a consistency in style through all of your blog’s articles. These rules may deal with grammar, capitalisation, keywords to use, and length restrictions; anything you want. This can be a house style guide that is created specifically for your business or it can be a known style guide used throughout the wider world of writing, such as the Oxford Style Manual or the AP Style Guide.

In-house Writers vs. Freelancers

When choosing your regular writers, you can decide to use in-house staff members with a knack for writing or you can choose to hire freelance writers or a writing agency to do the work for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both strategies. The bottom line in this debate comes down to cost. In-house writers are paid employees that you keep on payroll, but freelancers are usually paid per assignment, so may save your company money in the long run. The main disadvantage to freelancers is that they may not know your business as well as a full-time employee will.

The best thing to do is to try out different systems; in-house writers and freelancers or writing agencies, and see what works best for you and your business.

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