In our five part series we have been covering the things you need to know as a small business owner when in the market for a website. We have covered how to hire a great WordPress web designer, but there is still something critical left for you to do. In order to create an effective website you must provide your web designer with professional website content consisting of high quality text and images. This brings me to the next tip.
Tip #4: Hire Professionals to produce website content
Let’s start digging into this topic by first answering the question “Why do you need professional website content?” In the web design industry there is a saying that “Content is King.” As web designers we can give you the foundation and functionality to build on, but it is the content that sells your customer on who you uniquely are.
Web Design Content for Customers and Google
Your website content ultimately serves two main purposes. The first purpose is to communicate what you have to offer to your potential clients and customers. Those potential customers want to know if you are worthy of their hard earned dollars, and your website copy is the first step in convincing them. You need strong persuasive content to motivate a response to your calls to action. Your website content should clearly communicate your unique selling proposition (USP) as well as answer your customer’s questions.
The second purpose is search engine optimization (SEO). When customers are looking for your product or service online you want them to find your website. This means you need to rank well on the search engines like Google and Bing. Website content is one of the main factors search engines are looking at when they rank your website. They use your content to gauge how relevant your website is to the search terms you have targeted as well as its credibility in the professional community in which you compete. You need content that has been written with SEO in mind to achieve the best results.
Hire a web copywriter vs. Do-it-yourself
There are two main ways to get the web copy you need: 1. Write your own website copy; or 2. Hire a professional copy writer. We find option #2 is the right solution for almost all small business owners. Many business owners think web copy is one place they can cut costs and save a little money. The problem is that writing effective, quality website text can be very time consuming and much more difficult than you would expect, especially if it is not your area of expertise. Ask any web designer what their number #1 challenge is when building a website and you will likely hear them answer, “Getting content from the client.”
We have had countless web design projects held up because a business owner wanted to write their own copy, but they were just too busy running their business to ever get around to it. We budget 21 days for our clients to get website text to us. Initially our clients think this is plenty of time considering most people want their websites up right away. You might be surprised to hear that the majority of these businesses end up missing this content deadline, and their website launches later than planned because of it. If launching a website in a timely manner is important to you, then writing your own website copy is usually a bad idea.
So what are the advantages of hiring a professional web copywriter? There are many good reasons, and I am going to touch on just a few of them. Saving time is one of the biggest reasons. As a small business owner your time is valuable. Most business owners wear many hats and do not have the luxury of extra time. When you hire a copywriter your only involvement is typically an initial interview followed by suggesting any necessary revisions once it is written. Hiring a website copywriter also ensures you get the copy written in a timely matter. The sooner you have web content the sooner your web designer can build and launch your website. Last but certainly not least, many copywriters have specific expertise in writing SEO optimized web copy that will help get your website to the top of the search engines.
Should I hire a professional photographer for my website?
When it comes to images on your website you really have 3 options: 1. Take them yourself; 2. Buy stock photos; or 3. Hire a professional photographer. We typically recommend options #2 and #3 depending on the project. In web design it is critical to put your best foot forward. Images produced by a $100 point-and-shoot camera or your iPhone are often blurry or pixelated, and they are seldom capable of creating high enough quality pictures to use on a professional website.
Today’s consumers have high-tech portable devices they use to browse the web. These products are capable of displaying websites with increasingly high resolution graphics. High quality images of your business, your products and your employees will make a lasting impression on your website visitors. On the flip side of that coin, however, images that are visibly grainy, blurry, or out of focus will leave a lasting negative impression. The goal is to stand out over your competition and show that what you offer is the best choice for them. Stock photography also has its place, and can be great when used in backgrounds and design elements. If you do not have professional photos for your site and are not able to hire a photographer, then stock photos can be a suitable alternative.
Build your Web Design Team
Here at Oasis Interactive we have had the opportunity to work with some great local photographers and website copywriters. If you are in the market for a website and need some assistance getting your team in place we would love to help. Give us a call today at (208) 939-0493.