Butler County Times Gazette
  • Digital Media Marketing: Your go-to website content checklist

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  • What really needs to be on a website? Is there such a thing as too much information? Where do you draw the line of too little?
    When it comes to building your companyís website, it can be hard to tell what you absolutely need to have, or what might be overkill. Overloading your website with way more information than is necessary can overwhelm your readers and turn them away.
    In todayís digital instant gratification world, people skim for the key facts theyíre looking for and leave the rest in the dust. But under-loading your website is just as bad. If your customers are left with questions, theyíll look elsewhere for answers.
    The question you need to answer when deciding what to put on your website is: Whatís best for your customers?
    When it comes to answering those questions while keeping your website succinct, it can be tricky to make the final cut for whatís included and whatís too much, and where you fall on the scale of barely-there to overkill. Hereís a checklist of items you should absolutely include in your businessí web presence to provide a bare minimum, OK or excellent user experience.
    Whatís the minimum you can get away with?
    - Business name: Make sure your name is front and center where people can see it right away.
    - Contact info: Do you prefer email? A phone call? Donít make people work to contact you. Make it easy!
    - Basic services obviously displayed: What do you do? Especially if your business name doesnít name your industry (Smith & Sons Inc.), make sure your services or products are clearly stated.
    - Brief explanation: What do your customers need to know in order to understand what you offer?
    Doing the bare minimum will get your name out there, but as with anything in life, minimum just isnít good enough. Only providing the least amount of information possible limits customer engagement and does little to encourage potential customers to call you over your competition. What makes an OK website?
    - Whatís your specialty? Tell people what you really excel at, what your best work is! People pick up the phone for the best.
    - What sets you apart? What differentiates you from your competition? Point out the facts that are unique about your business that will make people choose you.
    - Experience and professional background: Tell people how you got where you are and what makes you qualified to do what you do.
    This is a decent start. Your website is getting there, providing a bit more information to open up to potential customers and let them know why your business is the one to choose. However, itís still not ideal for the best customer engagement. To be excellent, have these:
    Page 2 of 2 - - Detailed descriptions: Depending on your industry, people might want to know more about what each product or service entails. Tell them about your process, how you approach each service, and why thatís the best way to do it.
    - Vivid photos: People are very visually driven. Are you a landscaper? Show beautiful images of your hard work. A restaurant? Tantalize the taste buds with photos of your best dishes.
    - Testimonials: Put your good word-of-mouth right on your website. People trust reviews of other real people. Ask your customers to say a few words about how much they loved the services you provided, their opinion of your character, and other good things.
    - Company philosophy: What drives your work? If you strive to treat customers like family, or be the craftsman they can trust, say it! Put to words the mission or motto you work by.
    Bring personality to your website, along with the hard-and-fast facts of who you are and what you do to provide the most engaging and comprehensive view of your business.
    You donít have to be a professional writer to have good content. Grammar and punctuation are important, but your word processor can easily help with that. The most important thing is to think about what is best for your customer. Put yourself in their shoes, and consider what questions an average person might have when approaching your business. Let your website answer all those questions, from the simplest (How do I call you? Do you offer ____?) to the more complex (Why should I choose you?).
    Starting from scratch with your website? Sprucing up the one you already have? Either way, this checklist is a great place to start to get you from ground zero to a stellar web presence. If you only have a little time, you can begin with the bare minimum, and work your way up to an excellent, comprehensive website thatíll instill confidence in your customers and answer all their questions; making your business the only choice!
    Propel Marketing is an online marketing company providing digital solutions to local small- and medium-sized businesses: www.propelmarketing.com.
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