Three reasons why content lets down web sites

I’ve worked on more than 1,300 web sites over my web writing career and I’ve seen some sites that are downright embarrassing.  They’re out of date, poorly written, overly grandstanding or just plain dumb.

When I’ve talked with the company about why their web site’s content doesn’t work, there are usually one of three reasons why.

The first of these reasons is …

1. Time

Writing great content takes time.  It takes significant time to understand your audience, determine their needs and supply the right information.  It takes time to evaluate web stats to determine pages that need overhauling.  It takes time to identify the right keywords that customers care about.

Unfortunately, some corporate, government or University web sites are the responsibility of people who just don’t have time.  They’re busy – swamped at 120% capacity.

If you can never find enough time to update your site … you’re actually quite normal.  75% of participants in my web writing workshops say they don’t have enough time.  Most of them say because the task of updating the company web site just isn’t given enough importance by their manager.  A few of them say the responsibility for what is effectively a window into their organisation doesn’t even appear on their job description.

How sad is that?

What that leaves you with is cobbled together material, often pasted in from other sources. It isn’t written to be reader-centric, it probably doesn’t connect them with the next stage of their customer journey with you, but it does tick a box for you: we published something. This is how web sites end up full but not effective, based on quantity but not quality. You need time to be able to craft the right message that will connect and convince.

If your company suffers from a lack of time to update your web site, you could benefit from outsourcing that task.  If you want to talk to someone about it – or to just to commiserate – let us now.

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