40
64
Gini Dietrich

Website Content Every Organization Needs

By: Gini Dietrich | March 27, 2013 | 
161

Website Content Every Organization NeedsThe other day, I was scrolling through my shiny, new Feedly (which I love and am so happy Google Reader forced me to try) and I saw website content that caught my eye.

On Marcus Sheridan’s website there is an image of a gorgeous pool and the headline says, “Considering an Inground Pool? Get Started with Pool 101.

Right below that is a thumbnail of a video with copy that reads, “Watch the video and learn how to make your backyard dreams a reality.”

The redesign of the Arment Dietrich site is on my task list and this struck me as very, very interesting.

Why not give new visitors 101, 201, and 301 content?

From our perspective, it could be start-ups and small businesses, mid-sized organizations, and Fortune 500.

Then, yesterday, I received a nice note from a friend. In it she said it’s time for them to grow their business and she wanted to know our process for working with new clients.

Huh. We don’t have content for that, either.

Then I read Laura Click’s, “Your Corporate Website: Four Deadly Mistakes” and I took the Arment Dietrich site on the task list from “nice to get it done in Q2″ to “we’re starting this now and it will be finished by May.”

It’s time for the shoemaker’s children to get new shoes!

Business Owner’s Disease

The reason I’ve been dragging my feet on getting this done is because I have business owner’s disease. You know the one where you think your business is different and what works for our clients won’t work for us? After all, we’re a professional services firm and most of our clients sell widgets.

Why would someone fill out a form on a landing page to get an ebook or white paper or attend a webinar for a professional services firm? What would we use to market to them to help them through the funnel so they eventually buy?

These are questions I ask myself constantly, which is why we spend all of our time on Spin Sucks and not on the Arment Dietrich site.

I’m calling baloney on myself…and the image of Marcus’s site got me there.

Sure, I could tell myself he sells swimming pools. His customer is a consumer. And those things could continue to dissuade me. But I prefer to look at it, instead, as we make our clients see things: Content marketing works.

Website Content

I’ve created the beginning of a list of things we can include on the site:

  1. Content for start-ups and small businesses, particularly for those doing software as a service
  2. Content for mid-sized organizations, particularly for those in manufacturing
  3. Content for Fortune 500, particularly for those who want to emulate some of the best-known companies of our time
  4. Our process for working with new clients
  5. Pricing
  6. Calls-to-action
  7. Personality (while the home page has a video that changes weekly, the rest of the site is devoid of personality)
  8. Tops of the funnel content: Blog (woo hoo! Already has this one down!), company news, how-tos, podcasts, and videos
  9. Middle of the funnel content: eBooks, longer podcasts and videos, white papers
  10. Bottom of the funnel content: Frequently asked questions, live Q&As, case studies, and testimonials

One of the things I really want to do is write an eBook called, “Communications According to Arment Dietrich” and send that to prospects before I meet with them either in person or on the phone.

While we do a pretty good job of qualifying before my time is spent with someone, I think this would help even more.

What am I missing? What else does an organization need on their website?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

159 comments
Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

I think that reviewing things, directions and goals is part of life of every human being and especially of business owners. Given that every blog or website is a business, or kinda like, thinking how to make things better is or should be normal. Not that it has to develop into a burden though because even changing things every month has drawbacks.

 

Last two months I edited all my posts, and deleted a couple of them; fortunately I have just 80 and almost all needed a refresh, and a bit of tuning. Now I'm working on the homepage, and next who knows. The difficult part is using readers' shoes also because what seems great to us might be unimportant for readers who seldomly leave hints on what they like.

 

Well, it's all part of the game, isn't it?

 

As for Marcus, well, that man knows what he does and most importantly of all when he does something "wrong" he says it. Not that we should all do what he does as every niche is different but we can surely get hints about what works and what doesn't. Or what we should do, at the end he did it, right?

 

Happy Easter Gini! And everyone else too!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

I'm right there with you, Gini! This cobbler is in such need of new shoes, it's not even funny. Now, all the little 'fixes' that we do to the site end up looking like duct tape on an old pair of shoes, with some fun pink laces thrown in so that we distract from the real issue! Thanks for the kick in the pants.

 

My challenge? I have to figure out a way to slide that into the mix of business planning; capturing existing systems that live in my head and translating them for a growing team; and client work. Oy.

allenmireles
allenmireles

This pleases me no end. We have great stories to tell about the work we do and I am excited to see the task bumped up on the list. Also appreciate the list you've included in this post because so many will get value from having it spelled out simply, in list form, for them. Yay!

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

How to use Killer Dolphins and Attack Squirrels to drive your competition out of business is the kind of ebook everyone wants to read. Just ask @HowieG 

bdorman264
bdorman264

All I know is you can never have too much insurance, so that's all I have to say on my website. And whatever you say should be on a website, then I'm copying you because I know you are smart like that.

 

Website design and/or content is not something to be asking me...:)...I have other skills...no, really...

 

 

KevinVandever
KevinVandever

Think you've covered the secondary requirements. Primary, of course, is to make sure to keep your awesome tag line. I'm almost certain that any success you and your business has achieved can be linked to that.

AstiAlexandria
AstiAlexandria

when you should delegate and when you shouldn't 

shane_mahoney
shane_mahoney

@ginidietrich Yr point about 'owners disease' is spot on - users are who need to benefit, learn and transact from yr website, not the owner.

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

I've never heard it called 'Business Owner's Disease' but I definitely suffer from it. We have way too many wish list items on our list -- things that we do regularly for our clients but never seem to find the time to do for ourselves. A website overhaul is at the top of the list. And I love the ideas that @Sean McGinnis and others have thrown out regarding pricing (something that I struggle with.) Right now we don't have prices on our site, but we are in the process of tweaking our business model to work solely 'behind the scenes' for SEO, PR and marketing firms rather than with end users, so making that clear on our website is something that will be critical.

 

jdrobertson
jdrobertson

How about a 'website for dummies' section where you really hammer on: How to know if your site is really really REALLY, "user friendly?"

rdopping
rdopping

Please don't put pricing on the site. It dissuades so many people. If the first thing a client asks me is "how much" I always have a very strong urge to walk away, er, run away. Sure, you need to be competitive and your cost is critical to your success and understanding your client's budget is very important but should never be a lead in. If you survey the architecture industry's websites price NEVER is displayed. Skills, market sectors, projects, case studies, client testimonials and all the great things that make us desirable are the main focus.

 

Having said that, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, right @belllindsay ? Or, in your case a puppy....hehe.

ClaritySol
ClaritySol

@ginidietrich You're very welcome! Great reminder.. I've been subject to that with my accounting systems as well. Sigh.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @TaraGeissinger  I totally made that up because I hear the same things from business owners: My business is unique. We don't have time to do that. Clients come first. Blah, blah, blah. It drives me crazy when people say that and yet...

Latest blog post: Facebook Updates the News Feed

belllindsay
belllindsay

 @rdopping I have to respectfully disagree Ralph (re: pricing, not Hank LOL). I despise going to a website that doesn't list prices. It always strikes me as smug and condescending, "Dah-ling, if you have to ASK, you can't afford it!" I don't care whether it's for an article of clothing, a stunning piece of mid-century modern furniture (right??) or a service worth potentially thousands of dollars. I want to be able to make my own mind up whether or not to call. And it's the inquiry itself is an extra step I am usually not inclined to take. :) 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @rdopping  I want to dissuade prospects, though. The reason I do it is because lots and lots and LOTS of people call wanting our services only to find out they can't afford us. That's why we have a minimum. If they can't afford us, I always refer them to a cadre of freelancers I know will do good work. And you know what happens? Two or three years later, when they can afford us, they call me again. Happens all the time.

Latest blog post: Facebook Updates the News Feed

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @ginidietrich  @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Considering the White Papers and EBooks I get offered by the likes of Wildfire, Brian Solis, etc this would be the way to go.

 

BTW while I seriously questioned why Google bought Wildfire, and while they haven't fixed the bullshit yet it was brilliant for two reasons. They have a foothold in the Facebookverse and I bet they are working on 3rd party aps for G+

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

 @ginidietrich I think it stems from being so darn close to everything as a business owner that you simply can't see what you're lacking. If I were to 'analyze' my marketing (like I would for a client), it would be glaringly obvious. Sounds like a blog post to me -- Things I Would Tell Myself If I Were My Own Client. :)

rdopping
rdopping

 @belllindsay Well then you really could make some waves in the Architecture industry. Until we know the scope of what you want we don't even want tot start talking about how much it's going to cost. I just think there is a difference in how services are rendered in our industries. What works in PR (don't shoot me for lumping it together 'cause I don't know the exact distinctions) won't exactly work for the Architecture world. Clearly.

 

I had no intention to give the impression about whether anyone can afford the services or not or any type of entitlement. Furniture is a widget and can't be valued the same way as intellectual property. 

jdrobertson
jdrobertson

 @ginidietrich  @rdopping

 Bravo! A basic tenet of leadership is to avoid the negative. I can't begin to tell you how much it means to a prospective client to be able to walk away thinking you actually care. A reputation espousing, "if they can't help you - they know who can" will get you everywhere!

bdorman264
bdorman264

 @HowieG  @ginidietrich While being struck by a falling satellite we insure......

 

I do insure http://www.fantasyofflight.com/ and it has planes, boats, cars, balloons, ropes course and people, lot's of people coming in the doors. 

 

And you know what I tell them? Repeat after me....'you can never have too much insurance'......:). 

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @bdorman264  @ginidietrich Bill doesn't insure easy stuff like homes. He insures crazy things like Nuclear Plants, Cargo Ship, and Off Shore Oil Platforms. Maybe have a picture of a cargo ship crashing into a nuclear powered oil platform?

belllindsay
belllindsay

 @rdopping Well, yes, I agree it would a BIT different were you looking to build a house! LOL And of course you weren't inferring that I was poor - which I am. LMAO!!! 

Trackbacks

  1. [...] issues with your own business. She says, “I’m calling baloney on myself.” Take a look at her website checklist. I bet a lot of these items could use fixing on your website. And mine. But first, I really should [...]

  2. [...] Gini Dietrich discusses “Website Content Every Organization Needs” at Spin Sucks. [...]