99% of websites are rubbish. Does yours make the grade?


Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

There are now over a billion websites out there in Internet land. Most of them don’t really live up to the high expectations their owners had for them.

In the vast majority of cases a client would have provided a web developer with text and images. The developer would have coded the site, made minor edits at the customer’s bidding, and gone live.

So in effect, the standard website formula is client’s text + client’s photos + developer’s coding = website.

Content is King

The problem I see with this is that great content is not necessarily a component of this process. You may have heard the expression that ‘Content is King’ – essentially the understanding that a website or online presence needs great content to work well.

A website is merely an arrangement of your content in a digital form. Bad content is still going to be bad content.

And while business owners may be great plumbers, builders or lawyers, they may not be great writers or photographers. Even if there is talent there – and I have seen some fantastic efforts – the reality is that a business owner can be too close to the process to find fresh angles.

Online window-shoppers

Remember we now live in the age of the online shopper / browser. We are a nation of online window shoppers. Prospects can visit your site and a number of your competitors in a 5-minute online burst. How will your content stack up? Will it draw them in or get them Googling for another option?

Now it may be that you already produce amazingly engaging content. Well done you. For other mere mortals, here is a checklist of what you need to consider to turn your poor website into a great one:

  • Be clear on your proposition: Why should prospects be interested in you? What do you offer them in real terms that others don’t? Make sure your proposition is customer-centric, specific, and realistic.
  • Invest in great photography: I recently saw a motorbike for sale on TradeMe. It was black. The vendor clearly couldn’t be bothered wheeling it out of his unlit shed so he took a number of shots inside. Presumably with his six-year old cellphone. The result was some very unappealing, difficult-to-see images that didn’t convince me he had a worthwhile item for sale. Too many clients invest in a website but then baulk at the cost of getting a photographer to take some great shots – shots which in many cases are a long-term investment that promote extra sales. Remember – a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Get your copy professionally produced: A great copy-writer can turn meandering scribbles into elegant prose that creates an emotion, and then an action. It will be worth the effort – particularly if writing is not your thing.
  • Remember – marketing is all about the CUSTOMER: While I do encourage shots of your staff, building, and in some cases, vehicles, the real gold is in producing content that appeals to the customer’s point-of-view. For example, if you produce a building product, showing that product installed on or in a home is going to be much more rewarding that showing how it is made in a factory, or showing your installers lined up by their sign-written vehicles. Most of us (consumers) are only interested in how your product or service will enhance OUR lives.

Once you have great content, you will find ongoing uses for it. From Facebook, to Instagram, to magazine and press advertisements and so much more. In businesses that operate a number of social media platforms, the same piece of content can be replicated across many touch points.


Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

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