You may have sacrificed your website’s greatest strength.
I know, I know. You needed to save money. The go-live deadline was breathing down your neck like a rhino with halitosis. Clients are complaining. Just get the site up, we need X Y and Z!
So you went ahead and did it.
You skimped on the content.
Why Did You Do That?!
Maybe you succumbed to the “talk about ourselves” temptation.
Or tasked the writer to come up with a whole website’s content with barebones source material, and wound up with sparse content.
Or maybe you just put content development off until the last minute and wound up missing a piece of the website’s puzzle 3 days before launch.
Whatever the reason, the end result is the same. The website LOOKS great – nice clean layout, colorful, easy to navigate. Except the pages read like an stockbroker’s ledger from 1914.
The (Scary) Reasons Content Gets Low Rung on the Totem Pole
Time – Researching, writing and testing good site content takes time. More time than most people have, given their other tasks each day. More time than they’re willing to give to it too.
Money – The biggest reason. “We can’t afford spending that much on content.” This sort of thinking comes from undervaluing content in the first place. And from…
Under/Overestimating Your Audience – If you assume your audience either doesn’t need to know anything specific about you (overestimated), or they know absolutely nothing about your industry & you must teach them (underestimated), you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The Inevitable Cost of Skimping on Content
One way or another, bad content (or worse, mediocre content that acts like it’s helping) bites you back. This can come in a variety of ways.
- Loss of business
- The site isn’t able to compete with bigger/more popular competitors
- Your site launch stumbles – not much search engine traffic, poor rankings
- Difficulty promoting the site in social media
The worst part of it is, sometimes you can’t feel the bite until much later. When you’re already in panic mode.
When doing any site updates, put content FIRST.
Poll your audience, and respond to their needs. Make and stick to a strategy for updates. Test content if you’re uncertain how effective it’ll be.
Yes, this all takes time and money. It also forces you to prioritize content. Guess what? The Web no longer cares. Skimping will cost you.
(P.S. – I’m aware this sounds like me trying to justify my work. It’s not that; I’m actually pretty busy right now. I’m blogging because I know I’m not alone in this. And my colleagues and I see lots of opportunity just slip past our clients.)
Are you guilty of skimping? Confess below! Were you good and put content first? If you comment you get a Web-cookie.