your website's content is hurting your business


Derek’s got a problem.

He’s been a painter and decorator for over a decade. Most of his work comes from word of mouth, but with more and more people asking to see work he’s done, or hear from satisfied customers, he’s decided it’s time to get with it and get a website.

Not one for spending much on marketing and promotion, he opted for a ‘cheap and cheerful’ template website.

Much to his bemusement, the website didn’t come with content (there’s a surprise). The web company suggested finding a copywriter to write it for him, but Derek decided to save his pennies and write it himself. After all, how hard could it be?

After a few weekends, he finally got some content in place.

He listed it with various tradesmen sites and directories and waited.

Days, weeks and months went by without a single nibble.

He managed to work out, from his analytics, that people were going to his website. The problem was none of them was contacting him.

What’s gone wrong?

Look at what your content is saying

Derek has kicked off his website with the heading “Welcome”.

Oh boy.

Looking at this from a search engine optimisation perspective, the main heading on your website (in technical terms, your H1 heading) is one of the primary indicators to the search engines what your site is about.

In this case, the only hint is the word ‘Welcome’ – doesn’t really give the search bots a lot to go on.

From a reader’s point of view, “Welcome”, although friendly, doesn’t show them:

  1. What you do
  2. How you will make their life easier

If you can’t be bothered to come up with something a bit more original, why should your reader have to work out what you do?

Yes, your design shows someone painting, but you could be a paint company, a brush company, or anything else related to painting and decorating.

After his less than appealing opening, Derek then goes on to say:

“We are painters and decorators working in the East Anglia region. We have been painting and decorating for over 20 years. We work with residential clients and companies.

“We offer a friendly service and can take on any size job…”

Bored yet? I am.

Your reader is now thinking “So what?”

They want to know why you are different. What can you offer them that another company can’t? How are you going to make life easier for them?

Offering proof

One thing that Derek has got right is that he’s added a few testimonials.

The only problem is that he’s not attributed them to anyone.

For his readers, this looks suspicious. Where’s the proof that they’re real?

It’s vital, if you use testimonials, to always show whom they came from.

Where did Derek go wrong?

Derek approached this project the wrong way.

Firstly, he didn’t see a website as a necessity.

Secondly, he created it to be all about him and his business rather than what he can do for his customers.

You see, despite what you may think, a website is there to sell your services and products. That’s why it has to be all about the customer. It should show them not only do you have what they’ve been looking for, but also how you’re going to make their life better as a result.

It is that approach that will make them pick up the phone.

Remember, your website (as with all your other marketing materials) should be all about how you can benefit your customers.

If you’re struggling with that, you could always find a professional copywriter to help you.


Sally Ormond is a professional freelance copywriter with over a decade’s experience in helping companies of all sizes put their customers first.