Part 3 – Understanding Your Content and Why It’s Important
Your website will contain two main types of content.
- Static or Standard Pages and
- Relationship Building Content
Standard or Static pages are the areas on your site that provide your visitors with basic information like opening times, location, services offered, prices and contact details.
These are the “brochure “ details your customers need to transact with you.
Even though they hold straightforward information they need to be clear and provide information in the quickest way possible.
It helps if they are set up in a specific order, although you are free to choose how they are displayed.
- Offer or Lead Magnet Page (Title will depend on what is on offer)
Your relationship building content is very much different.
This is the stuff you add to your site that informs and educates your audience and builds connections with them.
To get you started, I’ll go over the 2 types of content and how I approach setting them up.
SET UP YOUR STATIC PAGES
Although this part is straightforward, I usually draw a simple wireframe and add the menu items. It sets me up for the next phase and also gives me a visual on how the menu is going to work.
Here’s my quick sketch I did using LucidChart, based one of their templates.
There’s no tech wizardry here, I just took a standard template and added the menu items as text to start my planning process off.
You can use a tool like this or something like PowerPoint, or you can even sketch it out using your trusty pen and paper.
The method is not as important as getting an outline of your primary menu in place.
Let us briefly go over these pages :
This is your shop window and the digital entrance to your online store or business. As such you need to make sure it creates the right impression for your visitor. There’s a 3 step test you can apply to see if your Home Page ticks the basic essentials. It’s based on the questions that are subconsciously running through he mind of your ideal customer when they land on your Home Page.
These are questions your Home Page needs to answer – and quickly.
- Is this page for me?
- Does it answer my question or lead me to it?
- What do I need to to next?
You only have a few precious seconds (around 5 to 7 at last count) to make sure your Home Page leads your visitor successfully through these 3 questions, so they either stick around on your site or make contact with you.
Offer or Lead Magnet Page
This is an important, but often overlooked page.
If you are running any sort of lead capture process where you need to collect email addresses or contact details to build your buyer or customer list, this is the place were you put your Lead Magnet.
A Lead Magnet is a (usually) free offer that is given in exchange for your prospective customers contact details. This could be a PDF report, a video series or a coupon.
Whatever form your Lead Magnet takes, it must offer a measurable and actionable benefit to your customer.
The job of your Offer Page is to show this benefit and how to get it with the least amount of friction.
This page is where you list your main services or products, You can add pricing here if appropriate. As with all your other pages, this one needs to have clear calls to action for folks to make a purchase, get in contact or leave their details/make an enquiry.
Your social proof page. You can tell the world how great you are, but this is not as effective as exsiting buyers giving the world their honest opinion of you to other folks who are in the same boat.
This page is made more effective by structuring the testimonials to answer the same questions your prospects have at the ready, as opposed to folks just saying nice things about you.
This is where your Relationship Building Content lives (see below).
Blogs have been around for ages now, but they are still a great way of self publishing your expertise and enthusiasm for your chosen occupation.
Blogs are also a great way to increase the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) value of your website. Well constructed blog posts are a great way keeping in favour with the search engines.
Each search engine platform wants to keep as many eyeballs on them as possible. If your content helps them to do this, they will view your site as one to promote.
Believe it or not, your About Page is one of the most frequently visited pages on your website, so you need to pay attention to this one.
Unfortunately, most folks make use this space to talk about themselves, which is a BIG mistake.
Please make a mental note here:
YOUR ABOUT PAGE IS NOT ABOUT YOU – ITS ABOUT YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER AND THE VALUE THEY ARE SEEKING.
If you load this page up with your life history and credentials, it only serves to stroke your ego and does very little to engage your visitor.
The people visiting your site are looking for what you can do for them. If you focus solely on yourself, you will miss the mark.
Do you want folks to get in touch in with you?
This page should list all the ways that they can, and also what each process is. For example, if you are offering a consultation or introductory chat, then the process for getting this should be explained here.
If you need your customers to submit a form, try to limit the number of fields, as this makes it easier for them.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDING CONTENT
Ah, now this stuff is a little more involved, but you must remember it’s an ongoing work in progress.
The relationship building content on your website is your opportunity to share your knowledge with the ideal customers you want to attract to your gig.
The thought of creating this type of content may seem overwhelming, especially if you are not confident with putting pen to paper, of hitting the keyboard.
However, if you want your website to work for you, then this is something you will need to take on.
Keep Calm and Keep Planning…
Before you run off to the hills or get too worried about adding this content to your site, you don’t have to be an award winning novelist to create the type of content to resonate with your audience.
You just need a good working knowledge of what you do, an enjoyment of your subject and empathy for your customers.
Did I mention having a Customer Avatar helps heaps with all of this?
For my example site, I can draw on the issues I have faced working within various back office set ups and knowing what headaches they can cause for tireless account dudes and duddettes.
Getting started with this is pretty simple, however you need to apply a re-engineering technique to make things go your way.
Always begin with the desired outcome in mind – what is the thing you want to happen or idea you need to explain, then work back from there.
I usually start with working from the customer avatar and mindmap. These provide content topics as I am completing them and also start me thinking about how to bring them to life.
As always it’s super important to be able to capture your thoughts as they come to you.
For example this entire blog post you are reading now started out life on my phone as a simple list.
I had a few spare moments at a sport event for one of my children, so I started a list of content ideas for my example site:
- Helping small business owners manage their cashflow
- Advising on the most appropriate business entity set up
- How to avoid getting arrested by the tax authorities
- How to free up time by reducing the amount of tedious paper work
- Make inefficient record keeping efficient
- How to convey the business key numbers to simple formats so the business owner can understand (even if they hate numbers)
- The perfect invoice layout, and why that’s important.
- Sending a remittance advice – large multiple invoices, make sure in inv number order
This is my WIP (Work In Progress) list, so there are many, many more topics and content ideas to add to it.
Want to know how to squeeze more ideas from a list you feel you’ve exhausted?
If you have created your content list and you feel like you’ve nothing more to add, then the trick here is to dive deeper.
For example let’s look at the perfect invoice layout topic (from my initial list) as an example.
Deeper dive questions or areas to cover are:
- Why? (Too hard basket)
- Common mistakes
- Legal issues
- Key information, pay due date (ties in with cashflow topic)
- Tools to use, (does your software allow customisation)
- Adding links in your invoices to your T&C’s or key pages on your website
- Feedback from customers
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. (I know you are not here to learn about boring accounts stuff!!!)
Again, I have to stress that this is always going to be a WIP exercise.
Once you get into the flow of capturing your ideas and expanding them, you’ll be drawing up content lists and performing deep dive exercises all over the place,
At this point you should be ready to create your static pages and start planning your relationship building content.
Next up I’m going to get all the website infrastructure ducks in a row.
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