Great websites have 5 things in common: great copy, great layout, informative content, are easy to read and navigate and eye catching fabulous graphics.
Unfortunately many sites are let down by one or a combination of the above. The most common is the use of bad photography. It pays to get a professional photo shoot of your product or business. Without good images you are already coming second, regardless of how good your product is.
Fortunately there are alternatives if your budget doesn’t stretch to a high end photographer…there are numerous royalty free websites available online. Royalty Free refers to the right to use the copyrighted photo from these sites without the need to pay royalties or license fees each time you use the photograph. You pay a one off small fee to use that image as many times as you like. When I purchase a photograph on your behalf, I tend to buy a large version so that it can be re-used for printed material that may be required as part of your marketing campaign in the future.
I use dreamstime.com, 123rf.com, shutterstock.com & istock.com for many of my clients. It does pay to shop around though. Shutterstock and istock are more expensive than the other two and very often photographers sell their photos or similar photos from the same photo shoot to multiple photo libraries. 123rf is the best value for money and I have often saved clients over $10 for the same image available at dreamstime.com. The issue I have with these sites is that they can by very American, depending on the nature of the photo. If your product is heavily people orientated, it really does pay to get a professional photographer in for a few hours to capture the gist of your business.
If you have decided to take your own photos or getting a mate to take the photos on their flashy camera, consider a few things that will make my life a whole lot easier and help you to get the ‘perfect shot’.
How you write content for your site is crucial. You need to connect with the reader and at the same time provide content that connects you with potential customers through great SEO (search engine optimisation) and builds your audience, drawing them in and wanting to read more.
Use your key words in your website. Get your point across and write to your audience. Keep it interesting and informative. Simple. Or is it?
Writing copy for your marketing material, including your website, isn’t as easy as you think. With a plethora of Spelling and Grammar Nazis critically poring over every word, you need to get it right. Bad spelling simply isn’t acceptable.
For our high end websites, Troika procures the creative writing skills of Casey Cravens, an entrepreneur and writer with three decades of strategic communications experience in creative content, public relations, speech writing, journalism and digital marketing. Story telling is his forte and I work with him and Troika to create digital masterpieces that both look good and read beautifully.
Although I do pale in comparison on the evolutionary scale when compared with Casey’s talents, my writing skills are well honed, having been Secretary to the Executive Director of the Law Society of WA and trained through Hartill’s Business College in a previous life.
I’ve been writing creative copy for my clients’ websites for many years, coming up with marketing headlines and slogans for clients, adjusting simple text and bullet points and transforming them into clear and easy to follow text that flows well from one page to the next.
I’m more than happy to work with my clients’ text, but the Grammar Nazi in me is prone to pop out here and there and tweak a little where needed!
According to Neil Patel, one of Forbes top 10 marketers…
“Search engine research shows that almost 85% of the total factors determining how a web page is ranked are based on things that happen off the page itself. But what you do with your site can influence that 85%, and push you even further up the rank.
Google displays web pages in their search results based on the authority and relevance of the page, determining the relevance of your page by analyzing its content based on several factors, including where and how often you use certain words in that piece of content.
Google measures authority by the number of links pointing to that page and how trustworthy those links are.
On the Internet, links are like votes, with a slight difference. The winner of the election is determined solely by the number of votes, whereas your web page’s rank doesn’t depend so much on how many incoming links it has (quantity) but rather on the quality of those links.”
Who Is Troika?
Troika is a strategy firm providing advice to small and medium-sized businesses. We offer strength in numbers and diversity. We are a collaborative group that leverages collective expertise to solve client challenges.
Heather Frank is Troika's Lead Advisory for Website & Graphic Design.