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Finishing Your Website


Let's face it. Gathering the data for a website is a pain. You have decided what your website should look like, hired a web developer, and started the process. Now the developer wants content for every page on the site. You seem to remember something about content when you met with the developer. But you didn't think about the chore ahead. Now what?

If your developer knows enough about your business, they may be able to create the content, but it is unlikely. You could hire a professional copy editor, but they still need to know all about your business. We aren't just talking about two or three sentences per page here. Search engines prefer pages with a good deal of content and rank them the highest. Following are a few tips to help you gather the necessary data to finish your site.

Determine the purpose of your website.
A surprisingly large number of people have not made this determination at this stage. Does your website cater to casual visitors, or should it focus on people already in the market for your product or service? Should your website focus on sales, service, or both? Once the purpose is determined, you can move forward with gathering content.

Consider Your audience.
Who do you expect to come to your website? Individuals, corporate entities, government agencies, or charitable organizations? Are people visiting to find out more about your product or for service? Do they know how your product or service can solve their problems?

Set the tone.
Set the tone for your website by determining the language to be used. I don't mean language based on geography. The mood or spirit of a website is created by applying a technical, friendly, skeptical, etc., tone to the content. Avoid using terms such as I, we, our, etc., as much as possible. Try using, You, your, etc. instead. The proper tone makes your website easier to read, understand, and navigate. Everyone gathering data for a website should be aware of the site's emphasis.

Avoid industry jargon.
Remember that your customer may not understand the industry-specific jargon used on your site. If possible, replace industry speak with customer-friendly prose. The clearance tolerances of your digital crankshaft mean nothing to a non-industry visitor (or anyone else since I just made that up).

Set goals.
Set goals for gathering data. Gather or create the content for one page every day, week, etc. A plan can keep you on track to complete your website. If others are helping you gather content for the site, set goals for them as well. You are busy, so it is critical to prioritize the completion of the site, or it may not get done. Focusing on your objectives can help you stay on track to finish your website.

You need a website because you are busy. A website can address customer questions and offer 24/7 sales, customer service, and prequalified customers. But it cannot do any of these things if it is not complete. You have made it this far; stay on track until the site is online.

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