Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Business Writing Not Just On The Wall

A quick look around local websites in Anytown will show you that there is a problem with how businesses are presenting online and wasting the opportunity to be of service to customers seeking what they provide.
As ths article from Entrepreneur outlines  there are many reasons that combine which stop business from selling more (online and back in the store) than they could.

Web content is one of the critical factors in a business being found in search but it goes much further than that.  First people have to find you. Then they want to find what they are seeking and for your website to serve them well it needs to have good information that addresses their interest. They need to be able to find your location easily, your contact details and the extent of the services you provide. All of these are just the beginning and the more you can add in layers of well targeted written articles and pieces of information, the more it will help the site be found online and answer the questions the customer is seeking. So your content helps in two ways 1) Getting found online and 2) Showing customers good useful and helpful information.

So what is content? Content is really the professional know-how that you have as a business about your product, how your products can be used and what's good about those products and services. A recent study by Focus found that "Ninety percent of B2B buyers prefer to consume information online." The challenge is to make your content valuable and easy to find.

But your website is just one place for you to be providing good content. You can be adding good content to your profile on social business networking sites and the many free directory sites that are available now, which also allows you to add a link back to your website (this is valuable to help your search placement on the search engines) (Ask me if you are not sure what these are).

Content can also be made available for offline too, and one of the common written pieces that businesses don't have is a Business or Corporate Profile. You don't need to be a large organisation to need one of these for your business. You could be a small accountancy firm or a supplier to industry and this gives an outline your story and your professional bona fides.

When the act of writing for your business is given some importance you fill find that you can do things you could not do before. You can easily let people know about your business, you can include testimonials, and position yourself as the expert in your field and professional in your way of relating to customers, potential business partners and investors. Your quotes can be sent with supporting material to reinforce your professional approach and give customers confidence in your expertise.

Ultimately your business needs to be able to show its best face to the world. Online or offline, it is the same. Good quality information, great tips and well presented material shows that you know your industry, you know what customers value and you are thinking of their needs, not just your own. Your content should reflect that you are there to serve their needs and this should be the focus behind all your communication pieces.

What Content Do I Need?

Content for your website and brochures should show:

  • Who you are (We like to know there is a person around)
  • What you do and sell
  • How to contact you
  • Where you are (even if sales are made online it gives some certainty that you will be available if something goes wrong)
  • Quality photographs of your business, your people and your service (well tagged for online to help enhance search)
Adding More Value
Extra content that you can include:
  • How-to articles
  • Product reviews
  • What to use where
  • Things to know about using products or services
  • Specialty insight into common problems you see and how to fix them
  • Good service stories
  • Happy customer stories

The list is endless and once you begin to think of Content being a high value part of your inventory then you will never be short of topics to write about.

Remember - you not only need content online - it needs to be kept 'fresh' so added to regularly. Search engines put a high value on good quality content and freshness.

Gettng started can be the hard part. Email me if you would like me to review your content.
Did you know? Ask about my blog and content writing service to get you on track.

To your success!

Like to discuss your business?

Lindy Asimus
Business Coach

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