This is a tale of two construction company websites. Both had approved designs but were lacking content. One website was done in two weeks. The other lingers with an “Under construction” message for visitors to its site. Both websites were to be used as affirmation of the firm’s existence, services offered and approach to new projects. Because both companies relied on word of mouth and personal contact to gain clients, a call to action and heavy selling on the sites was not encouraged.
Experienced professionals with good reputations run both companies. They know a company website is necessary in today’s world. One realized that a website requires a disciplined approach to content development. The other was not as focused.
From the beginning there were differences. The “Done” website was being spearheaded by the firm’s owner who had a clear understanding of his market and clients. He also had a vision for what he wanted his website visitors to feel and think. “I don’t want to beg for business. The potential client should look at what we offer and say, ‘I want to work with them.”’ He wasn’t interested in getting a single project. He wanted to build on-going relationships with clients who had multiple projects in the works. His clients care about quality, safety, accurate estimates, and reliable schedules.
He brought a similar approach to his website project. While happy with the web developer’s design, the first writer he worked did not have a good understanding of the industry, and came up short. He searched for professional writers with knowledge of the construction industry and found Content For Biz. We developed a schedule for content creation that included reviews and approvals by him on set dates. He adhered to this schedule and provided what was needed along the way.
A marketing department subordinate who offered broad ideas and no deadline was directing the “Undone” site. Content For Biz developed a content creation schedule that included interviews with past clients to determine what problems they were facing and how their challenges were resolved by the firm. This approach was appreciated. But instead of moving forward with what they had, more names were added to the list of past customers to interview. This was not necessary and we told
The client with the “Undone” site did not adhere to the content schedule. Responses such as: “The owner is terribly busy and hasn’t had time to review the copy” or, “I know you requested that information but we can’t find it” were common.
Content writers are flexible and often offer a Plan B or C to help clients reach their goals. Content discipline, however, is necessary to get the job done. It means adding website content to the priority list, follow up, producing what is needed, as well as review and approval of the content in a
In the process of building a website, companies often find that they have some content areas that need improvement, but it’s important to keep moving forward. When applied, content discipline is what gets websites done on schedule. Companies and business owners reach their content goals. It’s a satisfying experience for them, the writers they work with, the web developers and the people who engage with the well-presented, informative and well-crafted content.
Best of all, content discipline makes it easy for visitors to think: “I want to work with them.”