Friday, December 7, 2012

Website About and News Pages for Competitive Advantage

Productive Websites Require Effective Page Strategy

Two areas of website design and content strategy that are often neglected are the About page and the News page.

Nearly every website has these pages, but they're typically sparse or abandoned. This neglect results in fewer qualified customers visiting your website. In other words, it's bad for SEO (search engine optimization).

Your website is not just a billboard occupying space on the internet.

Your website should be productive, working hard to tell your story, communicate your message, display your products, share your expertise, provide customer service, and increase your sales.

Take a look at your website and ask yourself:

Is this the best we can do?

Is it going to get a potential customer excited about our products and the problems they solve?

Does it present our company history, legacy, and vision for the future in an accurate, complete, and compelling manner?

What would a new visitor to our website come away thinking about us?

Will we be Top of Mind Choice?

Or will they rush off to check out our competitors?

Building Your About Page

A good place to start improving your website is the About page.

Your About page is where you can communicate your company's mission, goals, vision, greatest achievements, and history. Companies evolve. Many were started by interesting, hard working founders. Some begin in obscurity, go through heartbreaking setbacks and difficult struggles, then eventually rise to the top of their industry.

Why not brag a bit? Why not tell the glorious story of humble beginnings that resulted in triumphant success? Let potential recruits know what your firm has gone through to get to where it is today. Motivate and encourage your employees with tales of perseverance.

An About page should not be some emaciated couple of paragraphs that briefly describe your business. A sparse About page communicates mediocrity. Why rush through it? Why just throw a few sentences on it and move on? Is that how enthusiastic you are about your organization?

If I asked you to tell me a little bit about yourself, we could sit in a coffee shop for hours and hours. You'd go on and on, regaling me with narratives about your past and how you toiled to be the best in your field. Why treat your company like a footnote? Why be stingy with your About page?

Yet you'll see it everywhere. About pages that are wimpy. Weak. Boring. Quick little summaries full of fluff and nonsense.

Think about your About page. This page is your website's first contact with a lot of visitors. Many people will look at it first. Your About page needs to make a good impression.

Make it thrilling. Compelling. Comprehensive. Be sure to break up the text into small, bite-sized paragraphs so people can easily breeze through it without getting bogged down.

About pages are a good opportunity to enrich your website with relevant, naturally occurring keywords. As you discuss and explain your company, you can't help but use words that potential customers and recruits will be using in search engines.

Take advantage of this perfect occasion to give the search engine spiders what they hunger for -- words and phrases associated with your expertise and product categories.

News Pages

How many times have you visited a website and wanted to know what was currently happening with a company? When you clicked on the News page, were you informed about the latest ventures and activities? Or was the News page stale and out of date?

A News page that is updated only once a month, or every two months, makes your company look like it's dying. Or plodding along with no growth, no development, no innovation, no fun.

Is that the image you want to project?

Surely you can think of something to say about your company, your staff, your products, your customers every day. Are articles being published that mention your firm? Are you helping a local charity? Are you participating in a hometown event or contributing to a non-profit organization? Do you have testimonials coming in regularly?

What is going on? What is happening? Say something.

Treat your News page as a type of blog. 

It's another opportunity for keywords that will drive search engine traffic to your website. Make a statement. Announce something new. Introduce a new employee. Talk about a company picnic. Create the impression that your organization is alive, vibrant, on the move, not stagnating or falling asleep.

Get your About page and News page in shape, and you'll be leaping ahead of your competitors, without requiring a big investment of time, money, or other resources.


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