Colors, buttons, and cool images are all things that pop into your head when you think about creating a website.
You’re doing well to think of such elements, you’re doing great if you’re thinking about how to integrate them in a good content strategy.
In fact, the sooner you think of your content design in a unified manner, the faster you’ll be able to present your visitors with a more solid website.
Your website is not about you
And if you want to be successful, you have to be all about the visitors. Accept the simple truth that your website is not about you (even if it’s created by you) and get comfortable with the characteristics of a customer-centric mindset.
You start with engaging in a lot of listening and note-taking, especially on social platforms.
But you don’t take notes so you can say you’ve done so and then forget about them. You draw clear conclusions, print them out, and have them somewhere they won’t escape your attention.
This is what drives your business. Not just your website, not just a campaign, not just your online platforms. This is how you realistically meet customers needs and expectations.
Enthusiasm and rookie mistakes
The thing is, a large number of small business owners figure out their website before they figure out pretty much anything else. The reasons can vary from the excitement of it all to the desire to have a practical translation of their inner business monologue.
It’s common for most young entrepreneurs to jump into something and put together a plan as they go. And while the principle in itself isn’t a damaging one to hold on to much pain, sweat and tears can be saved by simply doing a bit of that uncomfortable pre-thinking.
Slow down, you’ll get to design your website too.
Before that, however, take some time to seriously consider how the market for your product or service is shaped. Is there a market at all?
Seasoned business owners can use their years of observations to spot market challenges and white spaces in a heartbeat. These people start a mental map of how to design a good content strategy as soon as they are scanning the data related to their market of interest. They know the website can and should wait for a bit.
How may I help you?
It’s important to respect the time and the place of pre-thinking. And the easiest way to adopt this approach is for the business owners themselves to be convinced of the benefits of customer-centric marketing before any of their customers are.
Remember: before your customers pour any of their money into your idea, you pour yours.
Don’t make the mistake of looking into your competitors after having launched your website. You have to know if you have a shot at this before you’ve picked your web color palette.
You see, solving customer pain points starts with an honest self-evaluation of your product or service. As much as it hurts your ego, you’ve got to ask yourself: do they need what I have to give? Figuring out how to properly meet customer needs and expectations is not something you can afford to learn later.
If the thought of deeper research on the characteristics of a customer-centric mindset has formed into your mind as you were checking your Google Analytics reports, you might have started with the wrong foot.
It’s not anything impossible to fix, but it always takes longer to repair than to prevent something from happening, right?
Know your customer before building your website. Start with the right foot. Consider solving customer pain points even if only on paper before choosing your website’s domain name. In fact, doing so might get you to come up with a more targeted domain name that will ultimately play better in the long run.
Consistency and comfort
A good content strategy doesn’t just happen. It is the result of a thorough understanding of your customer persona(s).
No one cares about your company’s history, or about how much fun you’ve had creating X, Y, Z product or service. Show them how what you’ve got helps them.
And you better display your solutions on a page that’s fully loaded in about 3 seconds, or they’re gone. The millions of other search results to their query give them all the reasons to bounce and none to remain on a buffering page.
Here’s the single most important factor to keep in mind when putting together your content strategy: consistency.
Everything has to read and look like it belongs there. This means the copy on all your pages centers around the same unified message.
You can’t have your product pages filled solely with descriptions and prices of the items but then your landing page makes points about how your products are cruelty-free.
This type of disconnect between the copy of the landing page and the copy of the product pages is the most common (still heavily practiced) rookie mistake.
Your website visitors might even believe your web pages have been written by entirely different people. Which in all fairness they might have. But if people notice it, your marketing copywriters did a terrible job.
Cruelty-free methods are your pride and joy? Let that transpire from ALL your website’s pages. That way you’re not only consistent in your message, which solidifies your credibility as a brand, but you also put yourself in the position to fully leverage a potentially game-changing selling point. Why miss out on all that?
But if you’re going for a truly flawless content strategy, here’s another thing you should consider: giving your potential customers what they need with just one click on their part.
This is why doing the homework on your customer persona(s) is such a valuable asset to you and why you need to get it done early in the game.
With a clearly structured funnel, you know exactly what you need to push in front of their eyes and at what point. So, displaying the info they are looking for with a single click is really not a thing of marketing fantasy assuming you’ve done your homework.
If your leads are in the awareness stage, then feed them content that answers new users’ questions, or if they’re in the shopping mindset, display offers. Clean and relevant architecture leads to happy users which, in turn, lead to more conversions. Nobody likes complicated things. Especially not when they’re spending money.
What better way is there to show your potential clients you respect their time and resources other than putting your time and resources into strategizing how to gracefully cater to their busy schedules and limited attention spans?
Create content that responds to your customer needs concretely and intelligently, and you’re already above the guy that tried to get them hooked with an annoying timer pop-up counting down a whatever once-in-a-lifetime offer.