Website content – both copy and imagery – always seems to take way longer than anyone ever expects it to! You always underestimate how many pages you need to write, the kind and breadth of content that is required and then finding the time to actually do it……well, it is always that job that can get ‘bumped‘ to the next day, because naturally, client work comes first!
This blog outlines five simple and quick tips to build into your website plan so that you can get content completed and uploaded without delay.
01 – Bring in a copywriter
Even if you work for a larger company that has a marketing department, the advice is always to bring in someone external to write the bulk of the content for the site. This brings with it a range of benefits:
- They break things down in to only the detail people need as they are one step removed from the subject
- All of the content is written in a unified tone of voice
- It saves a huge amount of time for team members as they are asked questions and answer verbally, rather than thinking about content and then having to write it all down
- They will have a solid grasp of SEO and ‘keyword’ your content more effectively
- It is paid work for them so it won’t get ‘bumped’ down the list!
- They will keep you on track as it will be within their schedule
A copywriter will take most of the pain away and do what they are good at, leaving you to concentrate on your own job role. If you can’t get in a copywriter, then follow the advice below!
02 – Schedule content in early
Once you have run through the process with the development agency, you’ll have firm dates when certain milestones are complete. When the site wireframe is approved you’ll know what the structure of the site is and therefore be able to plan out the content. Rather than wait for the whole of the site to be designed and built and then have a mad rush to complete all of the copy, plan it in early on and do it bit-by-bit.
03 – Little and often
This is really a follow-on from the point above. From our (limited and very low budget) research, we find that when clients say “right….. I’m going to lock myself in this room for two days and write all of the content” it really doesn’t happen. Why? Because life and clients get in the way of that master plan coming to fruition! Instead, set yourself two hours a week or break the content plan down into sections and sub-sections, allocating time on specific days to do ‘a bit’. That way you can feel like you’re making progress with it but it isn’t eating much time out of your schedule.
04 – Don’t overcomplicate it
When you’re in a meeting and talking about writing content for the website, it all seems pretty straightforward because you will be writing about your products, services and business – all stuff that you know a good deal about. Then you sit down to start putting it together and all of a sudden it’s like you’ve been asked to write a concerto. With a B2C website, you need more detail because in the vast majority of cases you want someone to ‘buy or book’ there and then, whereas, with a B2B website, there is usually a more sophisticated sales process where you’ll need a follow-up call or meeting to seal the deal. Therefore the person who is looking at the site doesn’t need to know everything, they just need to know enough – you do what they need, you look credible, you have examples or a track record and you match their expectations on price. Then they make contact and the website has done its job – it’s over to you now. Don’t overcomplicate it, put yourself in the shoes of the client and think “what would I need to know to make a call to these guys?”
05 – It isn’t just about copy
When clients think about content, it is always centred around copy, but the imagery, illustrations and video are a massive part of modern websites. There is a line where the agency developing your site will take care of the design, but there will be a number of areas of the website where you need to curate visual content. Decide on a visual style and stick to it, don’t bounce around using all manner of different styles and approaches. Find a direction that matches your brand personality and find imagery that links with it well. Oh, and please, please don’t use those truly awful ‘literal‘ images where the descriptor word is randomly part of the image like the one below – they really are horrendous.