Blog

By Emma Dixon, Sep 28 2016 01:00PM

Some of my clients write the content for their own sites. It helps keep costs down and is particularly useful when the tone of voice flows directly from the business owner – after all – you are the expert in your field!


I often have to give guidance and edit the content that they send to me to make it work better on their new website. Here are my top 3 tips for creating engaging website content...


1) Consider the customer!

Always consider the customer and their goals before writing anything. People get so nervous about writing that it ends up being a brain dump of everything they know on a subject, or the complete history of their business or project. Think about what questions the customer is trying to answer when coming to your site – and address them as quickly as possible.


2) Break up content

If your content is many paragraphs long it is very off-putting to most people – who tend to skim and scan text for what they need. Break it up into small bite-sized chunks, add relevant headings and break text down into bullet points if possible.


3) Put your key message first

Most people write down thoughts as they come out of their heads – which means that when they finally arrive at the key point, it is at the bottom! Take that key point, and put it right at the top. Back it up with pertinent information or a summary, and then go into the detail/history/background further down the page for people who really want to go into detail. That way, even if someone only reads the header and the first sentence, you have got your most important point across.


Of course writing engaging content takes practise and time, and you may be busy running your own business. I can write all necessary content for your new website, as well as designing and building it. Please contact me at info@emma-dixon.com to discuss your requirements.






By Emma Dixon, Jul 13 2016 03:39PM

One of my challenges as a person who builds websites for small businesses is a lack of content. Typically, a customer only wants 5 or 6 pages, which doesn’t allow much room for content. But when it comes to generating site traffic "content is king" (still!).


Why do I need content on my site?

You already have everything on your site that your customers need to know – opening hours, contact details, a description of what you do etc. However, adding bite-sized chunks of content –usually in the form of blog posts can deliver real benefits to your business…


1. It’s a great way to demonstrate your expertise

Adding tips and expert opinions to your site can show prospective customers that you understand their problems and you know how to help them.


2. It plays on the give-get principle

In ‘Influence: The psychology of Persuasion’ Cialdini describes how give-get or ‘reciprocation principle’ recognizes that people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift. Give a little bit of knowledge away and you could get customers in return.


3. It optimises the site for long-tail keywords

People are unlikely to google the name of your business straight away. They will most likely type in a term connected with what you offer. If you have those phrases on your website, they are more likely to find you and visit your site.


4. It creates multiple entry-points to your site

More entry points with engaging content means more chances to entice new customers and keep them on your site for longer.


5. It can boost your ranking on Google

Google favours sites with fresh, relevant content so regularly adding content to your site can help it climb towards that coveted No1 spot on google.


6. It can generate new customers – surely your end goal?


Bonus Point: As Bill Gates said in his paper ‘Content is King’ “No company is too small to participate”. There are no prohibitive costs to generating content, unlike advertising or employing someone to generate leads.


Types of content:

Use your imagination and pick mediums which resonate with your customers. Or mix it up with different types of ‘bait’. This applies even if you are a B2B company – you are selling to PEOPLE after all!

Blog posts

Videos

Memes

Infographics


Subject Matter:

One of the greatest blocks to generating content is ‘what should I write about?’ But if you employ a systematic approach you soon find that you have more subjects than you can shake a stick at!

Your content should be of real value to your prospective customers and be based around the problem(s) they are trying to solve. Carry out some keyword analysis and identify what gaps you have. You can also look at popular search terms for your industry and target them. Just remember to be customer-centric. Popular themes include industry commentary (good for B2B), valuable tips, How-to videos and interesting industry stats.


Blogging success stories


‘Thank you for making me blog’

A while ago, a customer of mine wrote to me to thank me for encouraging them to have a blog on their website. It had started to deliver fresh leads which were turning into customers. They were so glad they had started. Even though they used to curse me while trying to stick to their blogging schedule, they understood that it was worth it in the long term.


The experimental blog

Many years ago as an experiment, I started a horse riding blog. I reviewed equipment, venues and competitions and focused on writing around tightly defined keywords and subjects. It didn’t cost me anything to set up and I didn’t spend any money on promoting it. However, the relevant blog always appeared near the top of the google search results for each key phrase that I chose. (and still does!)


Next steps

Do you already have a website and are interested in content generation? Or do you need a new website and believe content should be at the heart of it? I can help you develop a content strategy, write the content and add it to your site. Simply email me at info@emma-dixon.com




By Emma Dixon, Jun 17 2016 04:24PM

It’s true. There are lots of free and very easy to use website platforms out there. The advantages of building your own website are...

1) It’s cheap

2) You know your business best and so you can easily write all your own copy

3) You are in control


One great example of a self-built website that I have come across is that of Gormley & Gamble – built by Phoebe Gormley herself. Not only is she a talented tailor but has built a seriously impressive website which suits (excuse the pun!) her business perfectly…





However, there are a few disadvantages that you may want to consider before taking the plunge…

1) ‘Free’ doesn’t always mean free.

Often with free websites you have to take their URL (so it is not fully customised to you) and must also put up with their branding – and even advertising on your site. If you are looking to build a professional looking website, you may have to pay extra to make it exactly how you want.


2) If you build it will they come?

You may be able to build your website, but do you know how to get people to find your website amongst all the others out there? There’s no point building one and then languishing on page 20 of the search results for all eternity!


3) In the picture:

Are you able to take good quality photographs that do your product or service justice and engage your customers? Some people are naturally good photographers, but not everyone!


4) Writer’s block:

You may know your business inside out, but unless you can write engaging, mistake-free copy, your customers will take one glance and move on to your competitors.


5) About time:

You may well start out with the intention of building your own website but very few people actually get round to doing it because they are too busy building up their own business and serving their customers – which is great!


6) User error:

Do you know how to build a site that customers can navigate around quickly and easily while carrying out the task at hand in as pain-free a way as possible? If not, you may find that customers disappear faster than they arrived!


7) Designer price tag:

Fortunately there are some fantastic design templates out there which help budding entrepreneurs build slick looking sites. But beware, many come with a hefty price tag. Sometimes they are used inappropriately by enthusiastic novices and the site ends up looking like a dog’s dinner!


If you are worried about any one of these areas, you might want to hire a professional (like me!). A professional website designer can help with any area that you don’t feel confident in, or simply take charge of the whole project and leave you to do what you do best – serving your customers and building your business! Contact me at info@emma-dixon.com to see how I can help you...



Lucy Hayes of luluhayes.com had a lot of design input into her site so this was very much a collaborative effort between us. I even chose a platform that was easy to use so that she could populate her own shop area!

By Emma Dixon, Jun 14 2014 09:08PM

I am very proud to announce that the luluhayes.com website - designed and built by Emma Dixon Webstie Services has officially launched!


On London's fashionable Brick Lane, at the atmospheric Vibe Bar, supporters of the brand gathered to view the new Summer 2014 collection, see previews of the website, buy clothing from the pop-up shop and enjoy entertainment from DJs and vocalist BB.James.


The new website took centre stage all night, with a video showcasing its features showing on the stage all night.


The online shop started taking orders straight away, and the website as a whole has received a lot of positive feedback.


If you run a small business and would like a professional website capable of taking your brand further, contact me at info@emma-dixon.com.