Here are 12 things we know for sure about websites.
They are derived from the philosophy and beliefs which underscore the website design and website copywriting work that we do.
Since we’ve being doing this (and only this) for 14 years, we decided that it’ll be fun to let you in on the 12 things that we know for sure.
1. Your website is the hub or headquarters. You lead all your prospects and customers to your website to get the full information. That is why your website should be comprehensive in its information. That is why an ongoing website maintenance programme is crucial to the success of your business. On top of that, you need to focus on web marketing too.
2. You need an information and communications strategy for all your online endeavours. This includes strategies for your website and any other social media touchpoints such as Facebook and Twitter. Without a strategy, you won’t get anywhere.
3. SEO is built into the website when your website is being developed. It is one of the major components of your website. It is NOT an afterthought, to be added onto your website later. Any good web designer or web copywriter should know this before they start developing or writing web content for your website. If you have SEO problems, check with the people who built your website.
4. Without an idea of what you want to achieve from your website, you might as well not have a website. Having a sloppy and ugly website is going to do worse things for you than you can imagine (and anyway your website cannot be found so what’s the point of having a website?). You might as well focus on doing demos, roadshows and other offline methods.
5. In the early days, you want your website found by prospects using keywords because they don’t know you yet but they know what service or product they are searching for. When you are more established, you want to be found for your brand or company name. Do not confuse these two.
6. A great website design without kickass copywriting will fail desperately and you will just be wasting money. The secret sauce lies in the lovely marriage between website design and web copywriting. If you want to take it up one notch, add marketing. Marketing is what your website should do. Never settle for less.
7. Website copywriting isn’t just about writing grammatically correct sentences. It is about using words to persuade, convince and sell. It is about getting your prospects to take action after they read about you. It is about making words a powerful persuasion tool, perfect for marketing. It is empathy, psychology and descriptive prose. Very few writers understand this and that is why very few writers write marketing-driven copy.
8. You need an ongoing marketing strategy if you want to dominate your market. You cannot launch your website and leave it to rot and yet expect your website to work miracles. If you do not pay attention to your best lead generation and marketing tool by creating a committed strategy and plan, you cannot expect it to bring the results you desire.
9. You may not know everything there is to know about maintaining websites or marketing your website. That is OK. You can always ask people for help but ensure that you ask the right people for help. Ask people who have been in this industry for a while. Get expert opinions from the experts. Far too many people wouldn’t think of letting their neighbour’s son run their businesses but they often ask their neighbour’s son for website tips! If you value your website for its ability to generate new leads and sales for you, then ask the right people for help.
10. Facebook and Twitter are channels to lead visitors and prospects to your website. Do not forget that your website is the only real piece of real estate online that is yours. Facebook pages may change, so does Twitter. Their policies change too. Build your audience but lead them back to where it matters – your website.
11. Spend time building value and earning trust from your website visitors. Give information of value to people who arrive at your website. Strive to build genuine relationships with people who give you their names and emails. When you do this, your credibility rises. When people know, like and trust you, it is much easier to sell. Above all, be ethical. Treat your website visitors the way you’d like to be treated.
12. If you have an under-performing website, it is best to start anew. It’s going to be much more expensive trying to fix a badly designed website. In the early years of our business, we offered copywriting for websites because we thought that if we could fix bad content, it would help. Yes it helped somewhat but we cringed at the juvenile way the content was handled by an external webmaster. We came to a serious conclusion that if the overall design is not built around content, content is left out in the cold like Cinderella. That is why we decided that for a website to work, you need to have a perfect alignment of Content and Design. Perfect alignment can only come if everyone on the team understands the magic that comes from both Content and Design. This is why we control both Content and Design in our studio.
So there you have it. 12 things we know for sure about websites.
Actually we have more but it’ll be way too lengthy for this blog post. We’ll save some for another time.
Drop a comment below and tell us what you know for sure about your business or industry.