Back in 1996, Bill Gates coined the phrase “Content is King” in an essay published on the Microsoft website. Gates’s claim quickly gained traction, and 25 years later, “content is king” still enters the conversation, when discussing digital value or a website redesign.
I don’t disagree for a minute that content is king — for all of the good reasons that Bill Gates cited back in 1996, and then some. The current competitive imperative of SEO has added an entirely new dimension to content’s kingship.
Too often, though, when redesigning websites, conversations concerning when, how and by whom content writing for a website will be created get pushed to the sidelines. Content creation ends up as an afterthought.
The fact is, content writing (and digital content strategy) for a website is a specialized skill, and it takes a lot of time.
For many, though, there is a belief that shoehorning existing content into the architecture of a new site should be easy, or at least manageable, or something that a few SMEs should be able to take on — possibly with the help of some AI tools to expedite the process.
Sometimes marketing directors who have the context and organizational expertise, along with a thorough grasp for the voice and vision of the new site step up to the task of content creation with a sense that it actually shouldn’t be that difficult — despite a calendar that’s already packed with meetings, deliverables, and to-dos.
The result of content not being treated like a king is that, time and time again, it emerges as a pain point. Website launch dates get delayed and teams scramble to fill a void.
Not surprisingly, this is not an approach that fuels optimal outcomes.
Websites now serve as the essential representation of an organization’s brand, and that great design only works if the content is powerfully and strategically aligned. Unless an organization has a content writer as part of their marketing team, we at Solid Digital are strong advocates for contracting with a writer or agency specializing in website content writing services.
Here are our top four reasons why:
- Thorough knowledge of your company can actually complicate content creation. It might seem logical that someone who is steeped in your company’s history and vision for the future is best suited to craft the messaging for your website. That’s often not the case, though. There’s a thing called “the curse of knowledge,” which amounts to a big set of blinders. A professional writer who takes a fresh look at your marketing objectives, competitive differentiators, and vision can be far better positioned than an in-house resource to cut through jargon and address your market with messaging that resonates.
- In-house resources are already pulled in a lot of other directions. Cobbling together a web content team that consists of a few SMEs, sales, and a member or two from the marketing department is an all-to-frequent approach. The problem is, everyone on the team had a fulltime job and more than enough work to keep them busy prior to being tapped to work on content for the new website. Hiring a professional digital content creator amounts to a dedicated, deadline-driven resource with a sharp focus on creating content that both engages visitors and attracts the search engines.
- Google is constantly switching up its search algorithm. In our current digital business climate, the search engines, and Google in particular, serve as gatekeepers. If you want clients and potential clients to find you — versus finding your competitors — on the web, you’ll need to ensure that the SEO on your site keeps pace with the most up to date search criteria. Google is getting smarter all the time and last year’s SEO expertise may no longer apply.
- Content and design need to work together as an integrated whole. Even if the content writer whom you hire does not work for the agency that is redesigning your website, a professional writer is adept at asking the right questions and engaging with the design team concerning discovery findings, market objectives, vision for the company, and the brand voice. This is what he or she does, and true expertise always fuels both efficiency and effectiveness.
At Solid Digital, we take an integrated approach to redesigning websites that drive digital value and focus on future growth. Looking to continue the conversation concerning a web content creation process that amplifies your brand and aligns with the design of your website. Contact us today!