Often times, entrepreneurs get their business a website and pay outlandish amounts to have it designed to serve their own business and customers. Once this website has been set up and launched, those same entrepreneurs who were hoping to bring in customers from the Internet find their websites unused for months on end.
This happens because the entrepreneur doesn't understand what all goes in to website maintenance. Just as you wouldn't leave your store constantly unchanged and unadvertised, you can't leave your website to gather dust in a corner and expect to bring in results. Websites that are well known and widely used get that way through a constant stream of updates and added information.
Importance Of Updating
The first fact that you must understand about the Internet is that its contents are like a pond. Without a constant source of fresh water coming in, that pond will turn stagnant and fail to support any new life. Your website must be given fresh information on a regular basis, just as that pond needs fresh water.
Entrepreneurs encounter this information, then promptly disregard it as someone's attempt to make your life more complicated than it needs to be. The truth is that your website's new information shows that your website is an active place. Search engines see this activity, and rank your page higher than those websites that show zero activity.
Once you understand this simple fact, you realize how important that weekly blog post becomes to your business website's ability to draw in new customers through search engines. Beyond this, the fresh content serves your website in other ways by:
- Showing your website visitors that you are an active part of your industry. The information you present on your website, including on your blog posts, should provide the reader with useful information regarding your industry, your products, and your services.
- Providing a means of interaction to those who are exploring your site for the first time. It gives you the ability to show not only your knowledge on your topic of choice, but also your expertise and how your company cares for your customers.
- Allowing you to reach out to your customers, through first person or second person points of view in the writing process. A handful of “we here at (insert your business name)”, mixed with a healthy helping of addressing the reader as “you”, makes them feel at home with your company.
What Your Visitors Want
Now that you understand how important your website actually is, and how that blog allows your company to interact with your clients and customers, you need to learn what your readers are looking for. Everyone who visits your page is looking for something. Normally, a website visitor is looking to accomplish one of three things: to make a purchase, to gain information, or to be entertained. It is up to you to determine which of the three readers at your site would be looking for, and to provide it for them.
The way that you go about providing for your visitors can take on various forms. Websites often employ the following devices to help their readers get what they are wanting.
- Pictures – People enjoy pictures. Even if all you can include is a stock photo of an item or a free photograph of something related to your topic, these images go a long way. They are that little extra step that your readers are hoping to see, and they serve to break up the text.
- Current Information – Your readers want to know what is up to date in your industry. Provide the most current information that you can in a light-hearted, relaxed manner that your clients can relate to.
- Clean Writing – Your reader may not be able to tell you why that comma is needed, but they can certainly appreciate it. Grammatically correct writing, with the correct verb forms and proper sentence structure, will provide your readers with a viewing experience that they consider pleasant. If you've ever encountered a website written by a non-native English speaker, you understand this point all too well.
- Relevant Information – The reader has come to your website because your company specializes in something. Whether this is patio furniture or clothing, your reader was promised information on your specialization. Make certain that all information on your site is relevant to what your company sells or does.
What To Avoid
There is an unwritten law on the Internet, a list of items that will turn any reader away from a website, regardless of how vital the information provided is to their needs. These taboo items can repel and offend readers, and get entrepreneurs in trouble with their competitors. When writing for your website, make certain you avoid:
- Text Walls – Reading has become dangerously close to work in today's society. A wall of text, generally more than seven lines long without a paragraph break, intimidates people.
- Too Many Bullets – Using bullets is a great way to break up your discussion and to make the content easier to understand. However, too many bullets will become as intimidating as text walls. Limit your bullets to six or less in a single group. Place subheadings and regular paragraphs between groups to break up the bullets.
- Strange Features – Bright text colors and hard to read fonts don't draw attention to your work, they turn people away. Stick with an easy to read font, and make your text color dark. Don't rely on clashing colors or crazy fonts, let your writing do the talking instead of the features.
- Competition Bashing – You're an adult, who is hopefully drawing adult attention to your website. Act like one. Don't bash your competition on your website. In fact, it is safest to not mention your competitors at all. Any mention thereof will only serve to remind your readers of the competitor, and will create a mental invitation for them to view the competition's site as well as your own.