What’s Your Website Content Really Saying?

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One of the things that gets forgotten during marketing content developed for website use is the impact of the presentation of the content within the “look and feel” of the web page it will be displayed on. The other is what’s in it for the reader.

I just looked at a webpage that used the company’s name 20 times on one page. They also used the primary keyword phrase for the subject matter focus 19 times. Sure, they have great organic search results for that phrase, but the disappointment is that the content didn’t have any substance to it. After a couple of paragraphs it became tedious. But, that might have also been due to the amount of vague jargon and buzzwords that was included. The result; search optimized pablum.

This webpage is on the company’s website. Their company name is in the banner, the domain name and several of their product names. It didn’t need to be used 20X – people know where they are. But the true hindrance of overusing the company’s name in content is that it dictates focus. And, focusing on the company, rather than the reader (prospect/customer) is not going to do much to help you—or them.

They did try to involve the reader by including sentences that discussed what people can do with their solution and a few benefits they would receive. But the next sentence would switch back to them. The result is kind of like watching a tennis match.

Focus on You

Focus on Them

Focus on You

Focus on Them

What this content was really saying is that their company is more important than your problem.

Now let’s get to the jargon and buzz word stuff. Using jargon results in ambiguity. That’s the last thing you want your content to produce. For example – elasticity and scalability used in relation to private clouds. Yeah? I’d expect that. So what? What does that mean to me?

  • Does it mean I can expand my private cloud to meet my expected capacity needs for the next 3 months, or 3 years?
  • How hard will it be to scale?
  • Does my staff need special skills they don’t currently have?
  • Is there a catch in the expand and contract promise of elasticity?
  • In what ways can I best utilize this capability to meet business objectives?

If you’ve read my work for any period of time, you know that one of my imperatives is that content should be designed to answer prospect and customer questions in relation to problems they’re trying to solve.

What you see here is that the content only served to raise questions, not answer them. Raising questions is a great tactic if you provide pathways for the reader to get those questions answered straight from that page. Unfortunately, this company didn’t do that. So now the reader is frustrated and feels like they’ve wasted their time. The first thing they’ll do is go search for answers to those questions—although probably not on your website.

What questions could your content be raising that you need to answer? Either by making “see also” content available, or by revising the content on the page to make it more compelling.

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