Creating a great website is more than simply picking colours and placing a logo. It is essential to have detailed, informative, well written, grammatically correct text, original photos and other media to create an interesting website that potential clients will want to find and Google will pay attention to. Let’s dive in to what we consider to be essential elements of your new website content if you expect to rank in search engine results.
Essential for any business where you want to demonstrate capability to your potential clients. Take photos on your phone or camera. They don’t have to be award winning shots but try to make sure they do look good.
Organise the photos on your computer into folders
You may know what is in each photo and where and when it was taken but your web designer will have trouble guessing and may waste a lot of time trying to find the relevant ones.
Create a folder for each job or type of work or service and put the photos for each type in those folders.
Name your photos
A photo from your camera or phone will have a filename like IMG0387.JPG, which is completely useless for search optimisation.
Rename the file to be something like aluminium door installed on house in newcastle.jpg
This is great for the search engines because that description identifies what is in the photo, it is picked up as text on the webpage too and it also makes it a lot easier for your web designer to figure out what to do with the photo.
Save the folders of photos to a usb stick
Your photos are probably going to be too large and numerous to sensibly email. The best options are to either put them on a usb stick which can be collected and copied or if you would like a good ongoing solution which keeps your photos backed up and easily accessed from your phone or ipad then we can help you setup a dropbox account which is like a usb stick on the internet (cloud).
Get a photographer to take your ‘hero’ shots
If you want some feature photos to use on your homepage where everyone will see them it is worth considering the hire of a professional photographer who will have lighting, lenses, cameras and experience in taking just the right photo at the best time of day. Great staff photos are best left to a photographer too.
Video introduction for your website
Video is an outstanding way to convey a lot of information quickly along with personality, authenticity and a point of difference. Technically taking a video is not much harder than a photo. Every camera and phone you can buy will be able to take some video as well as photos.
There are lots of cheap tripods you can buy on ebay for phones that will help you get a steady shot. The most recent phones include some image stabilisation which makes the video easier to watch and smoother as well.
Introduction video for your homepage
Set yourself apart from your competitors. A video of you giving an introduction to who you are, what you do and how you can help potential clients is a really solid way of putting your personality front and centre.
It’s best not to read from a script. You can write a few notes to remind you, like bullet points or have someone interview you so that you are in answering questions mode and not trying to tell your best sales pitch.
The more natural and fluid and honest the words that come out of your mouth the better. If it looks like a tv commercial or is hyped up and makes grand sweeping statements about how wonderful your customer service is an how high quality your products are then people probably won’t even make it to the end of the video.
- Pick a location that makes sense for you to be in, eg office, paddock, workshop
- Make it at the start or end of the day so that you aren’t glowing with perspiration
- If you are indoors try and get some light coming from in front of you from a desk lamp or a floodlight reflecting off a wall or something like that, it will help take the shadows out from your eyes and lighten your facial expressions. Don’t sit with a really bright light (or the sun) behind you either.
- Clean up a little so that there isn’t any obvious garbage or weird stuff in the shot
- Setup your phone or camera on a tripod
- Put your reminder bullet points somewhere behind the camera you can see them
- Sit and breath for a bit so that you are relaxed
- Press the record button and walk casually back to where you will be standing or sitting
- Pause and be silent for at least 5 seconds
- Say a sentence at the volume level you intend on speaking
- Walk back to the camera, stop the recording, play it back and check that its ok
- Repeat the record and check process till you are satisfied that you are in the frame of view and you are speaking at a level which gives a good clear sound from the cameras microphone
- Once you are ready to do the real thing go to your spot and pause for 10 seconds of silence
- Start talking, take your time, be clear and relax
- If you fluff up so much that you want to start again you can go and stop the camera and start a new recording or just stand silently for 10sec or so (it creates a blank spot on the audio waveform that is easy to spot when editing)
- Then start again and work your way through the points you have outlined
- Aim for 30sec to 2min approximately
The first time you do this, if you haven’t done much public speaking or been on camera before it can be a bit daunting but take your time and redo it till you are happy and stop trying to make it perfect. So long as the sound is clear and you pretty much get your keywords conveyed in a way that people will understand it will be fine.
Videos of products and services
You can make quick videos by pointing your phone or camera at something and describing it. For example, if you have just finished installing a tiled roof, grab your phone, video the roof and talk a bit about what type of roof it is, where you are, the type of house, what the client was asking for, how you solved any problems or challenges and anything else that comes to mind.
If you imagine that someone was standing beside you saying ‘hey that looks great, tell me how you did it’ then you want to talk about the job in standard english, you can mention some specs and figures if you like but don’t go overboard with facts and technical details, save that for the website text.
Aim to convey a brief summary of the job done, why its great and any points of difference or interest.
You can do these before the delivery of a product too if you want, like in the workshop as something is being fabricated or as it leaves on a truck for the destination. Give people a perspective that they might not often see. Whilst it might be an everyday event for you to be inspecting the underside of a dump truck its probably not the case for the rest of the population.
Experiment with camera height and location too, try using a step lader or crouching down or lying flat on the ground.
Avoid windy days if you are outside and the light at the start and end of the day will generally give better results because a midday sun will make things look bright and washed out and create very dark shadows.
Text for your homepage
The first bits of text that people read and perhaps the only bits they will read are what is published on your homepage. Key information to include on your homepage text:
- type of industry or business you are in
- preferred client businesses or projects you like to provide
- examples of some clients or projects completed
- points of difference, what makes you stand out
- what do clients like most about you and your business
- an invitation to contact you or request a quote
- featured products or services that are most popular
You might not need all of those or some may overlap depending on the type of business you have but as a bare minimum you are aiming to have a couple of sentences of introduction to what you do, a bullet list of some benefits of working with you and a welcome to make contact, your name and phone number/s.
Do not say ‘thank you for coming to my website’ or ‘welcome to my homepage’ or make broad unmeasurable statements like ‘customer service is our top priority’ or ‘we sell only hight quality products’. No one expects you to be terrible or provide cheap crap, they expect the service to be decent and the stuff you provide to be at an acceptable level otherwise they will go elsewhere.
Text for other pages
Just about anything that isn’t commercially sensitive can be useful for reworking into website content. The overall goal is to create pages of text that are original (ie. not copy and pasted directly from other websites), interesting to your potential customer, informative and detailed.
Writing all this from scratch can be a mind boggling and depressing thought but there is a way to get a jump start on this whole process of content creation that you might not have considered.
Are there documents or emails which you have already written that include the keywords for which we would like your website to appear in the search engine results?
Popular places to find hidden gems of information on office computers include:
- emails to clients describing work done
- emails to prospects answering their sales questions
- files on the desktop and my documents
- notes saved in contact management software (CRM)
- job descriptions in billing and invoice programs
- quotes and tender applications
- internal process and staff training documents
- brochures, flyers and promotional material
- rewritten versions of supplier information
- letters of introduction
- your resume or linkedin profile
- testimonials received from clients
- transcriptions of audio or video you have recorded
- articles you have had published in the media or journals
- posts made to your blog, facebook or other social media
- hand written notes or brainstorms
- notes from meetings or onsite visits
- spreadsheets of calculations
can you think of any other documents you might have?
Other ideas for content creation
If you are interested in more ideas about the types of content you could use on your website then I have prepared a guide on 74 types of information you can use on your website here: jezweb.info/74-ways-to-add-content-to-websites