Andrew is a furniture maker. He is a craftsman with over 30 years’ experience who takes a great deal of pride in the creation of his pieces. Andrew has the ability to breathe life into wood. He transforms rough and raw into elegant and unique. Andrew can re-imagine ugly, tired and old furniture into a bespoke antique of the future. But Andrew has a problem.
Andrew has always relied on word-of mouth for his business. He believes it is the only way to get good business and it was pretty much his entire marketing campaign, except for the occasional advert in the local paper.
But business was quiet; his adverts weren’t getting much response and people weren’t passing by and calling in like they used to. Andrew needed a marketing tool that would put his name in the market place, give customers information and testimonials about his work, be a window into his company and have a wider reach than the small town he lived in. Andrew needed a website.
Today there are over 2.2 billion people on the internet. The recent MYOB Business Monitor reported that in New Zealand only 34% of businesses had a website and sole operators (26%) were less likely to have a website than businesses with more than five employees (74%). However, three quarters of New Zealanders research their business purchases and service providers online – goodness even Andrew did that!
A website will:
· Be a window to your company, your online face and identity
· Be your brochure, phone listing and sales outlet all in one
· Be a validation tool for others wanting to check you out
· Be a doorway to increased sales
· Provide numerous options for cost effective and often free marketing
· Give your business both a national and global reach
· Enable you to communicate with your customers easily
· Turn casual visitors into viable customers. A new way of lead generation.
While it is important to have a website that is easy to navigate, has good images and graphics, what is most important is to have well written content. As the cliché goes – content is king. Once potential customers have found your site, your content must engage them, be easy-to-understand and reduce any barriers to connecting your business with their needs.
Verbosity and jargon don’t have a place. If you use too much technical language or business speak that customers don’t understand they will move on in their search. Language has the ability to play power games and customers don’t like to feel foolish. Your goal is to draw them in, make them feel comfortable and convert them into your biggest fans!
Writing content doesn’t have to be daunting, but it does have to be done well and that includes having the right keywords for your search engine optimisation. It is no good having a website if it can’t be found. If you would like to know more about writing web content, I’d love to have a chat with you.
Sue Avison is the Director of ‘Say It Once’- Business Writing for Success. Sue specialises in writing web content, newsletters, articles and business documentation.