I am a private person, but when it comes to my business I love to meet new people and to help them as much as I can.

Very occasionally, I will get an enquiry from someone who has a business idea and they just want a website to sell it for them and make them money, and that's it. They don't want the hassle of coming up with content, and they want to be on page 1 of Google straight away, regardless of any (usually national) competition!

The attitude that you have behind your approach to business matters - in the long run....

We all want our websites to sell our products or services and to make us money - however, the motives behind your business are just as important. Do you want people to buy goods or services from you, or do you want to help people with your goods and services, and get paid for that help in return? In other words, are you selling or helping? There is a difference. You can get paid for both!

I would urge people to think carefully about the content that they put on their website. Here are some traps to be avoided:-

  • Wanting someone else to sort out the content, so that you can get your site up as quickly as possible. This is a missed opportunity. Even if you hate writing, I am guessing that you don't hate your product or service. It shows when people are passionate about their business. It shows when they believe in what they do. Anyone can write factual content, but only you can write about your business.
  • Filling your pages with 'sales' talk. There is so much competition out there for most businesses. Lots of websites filled with promises and special offers. Remember, your website is there to help people find something that they need. Write your content to help as opposed to sell.
  • Not knowing who your market is. This can make a difference in how, and where, you market your business. What sort of person would be looking for what you have? What is their need? If there is industry terminology to be used, that's great, but remember to let your personality come through too. There is competition out there, people are drawn to those they feel they may have a rapport with.
  • Concentrating more on the search engines than your customers. Incorporating search engine friendly content is key to being recognised by the search engines BUT be real, make sure your content actually gives value. If your potential customers get halfway down your Home page and amongst all the keywords and wikipedia links they still don't know if you are for them - then your website has failed.
  • Spending more time worrying about social media instead of striking up a conversation with the person next to you. Seriously, real live people are your best way to market yourself (and I don't mean just in business meetings). You don't know who you will bump into waiting in the bank, at the train station etc.. Instead of tweeting that you are waiting at the bank or at the train station (people do!) have a chat with someone. Although it may be a challenge finding someone who isn't engaged with their mobile device. But who knows, maybe they are doing a search for someone like you..... um, better make sure your website is mobile friendly :)
  • Forgetting that you are your business. Dealing with real people is almost getting to be a luxury nowadays. Choose to be different. Chances are your products and services can be found elsewhere (even though they may not be as good!) - it's you that makes the difference. People like to deal with people - nice ones, knowledgeable ones, humble ones - we are all human and we need to interact on a human level. Your website is a perfect place for you to show that you are approachable.
Your website is so important. What will yours say about you?

If you are worried about the content for your website don't be. I might not write it for you, but I can still help you fling a few ideas around, and together we can work out the best way to get your message across to your potential customers - and to Google too!