Monday I wrote about the contradictory judgement I have against websites. I forgive small content mistakes as long as the site looks properly maintained and has a professional look. I got great reactions on the post. Some people that would forgive the small mistakes if they knew the company was small but not if the company was larger. Others would forgive outdated looks more than content mistakes. They said that content was and is the most important thing about a website.

Well, in the end you can’t contest that. I might forgive small mistakes as do some others, but if your content is lacking there is no way a fancy look will fix my opinion of you.

But what kind of content does your website need?

I have been working on a few websites the last few weeks and discussions about what to put on a webpage and what not can go quite far.

On one hand you have those that want to put everything they know and have and are on a website. Long texts about how every step of the process goes, why they do what they do, why their company is named the way it is, etcetera…

On the other hand you have those that want to see the website as a business card. Only name, telephone number and email address will suffice if you will let them have their way.

As you can probably guess neither of them are right.

Here are some tips on the kind of content your website needs to have:

  1. Your website should give enough information so the customer can get mostly informed and then get prompted to contact.
  2. That information should be written for the customer. So no long stories about you and your company if you are selling shoes (for instance). Shoebuyers do not care about you, they care about shoes. If you are a coach this is different but still: write from a customers perspective
  3. Make sure the pages about what services/products you have are first in the menu. And don’t call them services please, give them a title that will help the customer understand what you do. (Oh, and that is good for Google too!)
  4. Don’t make the texts about those services/products too long. Make sure people feel like you know them and know what you need and you have a solution. Draw them in, then get them to contact you for the last details.
  5. Have a contact page. This page should be short and concise: how can a customer contact you. The easier you make it, the more likely it is they will contact you.
  6. Make a page about ‘why’. This might not be nessessary if you just sell shoes but for most products and services people will want to know why they need it, and why your company is so special. So tell them that your company sells sustainable products, where the farmers get honest prices. Tell them you want to help them fulfill their dream and therefor help clients with <insert service here>. Tell them only if it is true and always from a customers perspective.
  7. A search functionality. The customer needs to be able to search your website, especially if  you have a blog. Loads of customers are in a hurry. If they cannot find what they are looking for immediately you better have a search functionality so they can search for it. Sure, if your website has just 4 pages that search button has no need, but most websites, especially those with blogs, just need one!

What tip would you have for websites you visit about their content?