It used to be that the most expensive part of doing your website was hiring a web developer. Using free software like WordPress has brought this cost down significantly, to put non-custom WordPress websites in the range of $2000-5000. You still need to pay hosting and domain purchase charges.
Once everyone had a website in business, we had a new problem – how to make sure that prospects find your website first? That’s when the SEO industry tried to rap at the door a few years ago and get everyone listed on free directories with links to your site – for around $1000-2000/month.
But Google didn’t prefer this “free push” or views it as a bit of a cheat.
Google is really just a bunch of happy librarians – they just want every searching Google user to type in a question and find the book (webpage) they seek. So they started publishing changes like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird to deter “link exchanges” and to make sure that what was purported to be on a website really was on the website. It’s said that Google wasn’t just an algorithm anymore, but a huge labour force who individually rated websites and was employed to help with this quality control.
Google is now prioritizing the quality of content on your website above all other website tactics.
In Aug 2013, to further push their “don’t be evil” motto of trying to prevent black hat SEO methods, Google scrapped previous algorithms and released the most content-driven algorithm of all. The changes were magnanimous for the website industry, and positioned copywriting and content marketing strategy as the most important element of your website.
Because you can spend all kinds of money on a website to exist (developer charges), you can spend money on SEO, but when people come to your site, if they don’t want to pick up the phone and call you (Website Copywriting), you’ve wasted all of that money.
Because of these changes and how Google is now prioritizing the quality of content on your website above ALL other strategic website tactics you do – expect thatcontent development will now be the biggest cost of doing your website. Make sure you budget appropriately.
What does this mean for your business?
It’s kind of what we’ve been saying for years. If you don’t have a Communications Plan and Content Strategy for your website (a process skilled website copywriters will lead you through) you’re wasting your money, trying to build a website by searching for a needle in a haystack, rather than looking at your target customer personas and creating content of them. Now your second audience is not just the personas you want to attract, but creating Google-friendly content – SEO copywriting to make sure that your copy is recommended to the end user, because you produce frequent, accurate content.
For a free white boarding session about how you and your team can start assessing your website, contact Tangible Words to set up a virtual meeting with your key sales and marketing team members.
Or order your $100 Website Content Audit to help you articulate to your team what’s wrong with your website, and how hiring the website developer to fix it might not be the best move to make first.