A website is like an expensive box of chocolates. The outer carton may have a satin finish, the letters embossed in copper foil, the edges die-cut love-hearts and the whole lot wrapped in a purple satin ribbon. Gorgeous! Who cares? Let me at the chocolate!
Say that pretty box did its job and enticed the browser to buy. How happy will he be with the purchase if its contents are past the sell by date, the chocolates covered in mold and the sweet centres fermented and rotten. Eeew.
The same is true of a company site. The outer design may be picture perfect but if there is no website content strategy the material it contains may leave a lot to be desired. As a content marketing agency, Webdirexion helps our clients reach their clients and typically one of the first items to address is the client’s website or blog.
Is Your Website Stale?
“If your website is under performing and you have been focusing on tweaking the design it may be time to take a step back and see how well your content is meeting expectations.”
By the time they reach out to us, it is not unusal for the company website to have become stale. Perhaps someone breathing the rarified air of the C-Level suite decided that what the company really needed was a website. Without too much discussion with the underlings in the marketing department an expensive designer was brought in and a shiny new website built. Eventually with great enthusiasm the new site was launched upon an unsuspecting public … and it sank like a stone.
Perhaps there had been great intentions in the beginning to keep the site updated but without a clear content strategy and lines of governance, this initiative soon withered on the vine. Unfortunately because a website is such a visual medium, people often make the mistake of elevating the importance of the visual impact of the site and devaluing or failing to consider the importance of its creative content. Of course, it is essential that the site design should reflect well upon the corporate brand, but a site’s livery has nothing at all to do with its effectiveness in the search engines or the import of the information it presents.
Quite frankly a website can be plain ugly and visitors will still beat a path to its door if the content it provides has value. Don’t believe me? What about Craigslist and Wikipedia? They have got to be two of the least visually appealing sites on the web but both provide such a treasure trove of information that they are ranked amongst the most visited websites in the world.
The Internet is Broken!
If after the initial disappointing launch someone in the head office does not take an interest and investigate why this expensive new marketing tool is not proving itself, it is possible that the blame for the poor ROI will simply be placed upon the internet itself.
- “Perhaps all that hype about what a great marketing tool it is is just a load of hot air?”
- “The internet is not effective for our industry.”
- “There is already too much competition out there on the internet. You have to have deep pockets to compete with that.”
Anyone who has worked in internet marketing will have heard these statements and more. the frustrating thing is, they are always entirely wrong. The internet is a great marketing tool. It can be effective for any industry and the problem is not the quantity of competition but in the quality of your message.
Content Must Meeting Expectations
Forest Gump’s analogy compares life to a box of chocolates in as much as “…you never know what you are gonna get.” I guess that is true if you did not pay any attention to the wrapping. But if you bought that box expecting a selection of soft-centred liqueurs and instead ended up with a run of the mill box of assoted fondants then I think you would be disappointed. A visitor to your site would be equally disappointed if he landed there enticed with the prospect of practical and informative content and instead got a run of the mill rehash of sales collateral.
If your website is under performing and you have been focusing on tweaking the design it may be time to take a step back and see how well your content is meeting expectations. Does it go beyond the sales hype to really outline your product and services? Does it reach out to and attract your target client with well researched and presented articles. Does it provide content created not to sell but to enlighten, inspire, interest…?
Is it Time for an Audit?
It is hard to look at a creative project, especially one that you have been close to for a long time, objectively. That’s why the editor role is so important as a critical eye prior to hitting the go button. When considering your website’s effectiveness, step back and ask others outwith your company to describe their experience with the site. Or go a step further and order a website review from Webdirexion. We offer a Content Marketing Audit , Site Fix or Review Consultation. See the options on our website review page and contact us today with any queries.