Today’s topic is this designing and writing the content for your new website. In Episode 169, the continuation of this multi-part series on how do you market a business from an idea and where you’ve decided to open something to launch, we’re now on the step where we’re going to talk about the website content.
You want to listen to that one first if you haven’t already, that was all about getting the framework of the website designed.
In this episode, we’re going to talk about content. As a quick reminder, we’re focusing on opening up a childcare center so that it’s a real-life example, rather than something spoken about in theory, or just at a high level.
The thing with content is that it tends to be the one thing that holds up the launch of a website. And there’s a lot of different ways to approach it, I’m going to give you different schools of thoughts. I’m going to give you different ideas and options. The approach that I tend to use for a launch is that I’m looking for you to just get almost the bare minimum amount of content out there, and then continue to add content for the preceding months.
In the childcare center example, ideally, you’re doing this website, six-plus months in advance. When you’re opening, you’re going to want to have the core amount of content that you would need to just launch the website. As you start to then execute some of these tactics, because you’ve got to keep in mind that when someone hears about you somewhere else or sees something on Facebook, or they see an ad on Google, they’re going to eventually make their way back to your website. They’re going to go and they’re going to Google the name of your center, read everything word for word that’s on your website, because if you think about this childcare space, if you’re looking at enrolling your kids in a center, you want to know anything and everything you want to know who’s working there.
- How are they trained?
- What are the safety measures?
- What are the precautions that are being taken?
- What kind of food is naptime?
- What is the curriculum, all of these different things?
The first thing you want to do is look at and put yourself in the shoes of that parent. What do they need to know in order to move forward in the journey with you? So obviously, the homepage needs content. And on the homepage, even if that’s the only page that they visit, you want to make sure that that page has lots of really great content, sort of like a nice welcome message. You might give a little bit of information about the center.
From there, you can go into different directions based on the type of center that’s being opened. You might put some information about your mission, the philosophy, the type of curriculum—something that’s very, very important, the programs, and just kind of giving a really good overview. When you’re writing content, you have to be writing it with that persona in mind.
We had developed building up personas from our previous episodes. What you want to do is when you’re writing this content, you want to look at one of the personas and you want to write the content to that persona.
You want to think about that person, you want to put your shoes in their place. You want to be literally, I mean as if you are that particular persona. You never want to be writing content just in general. Speaking in generalities, and you really want to speak to a persona, the content is going to come across more authentic, it’s going to come across real—it’s going to speak to what people actually care about. That is a mistake that I see made time and time and time again when it comes to website content. So write for the persona, write for your audience—don’t write for yourself.
The other thing that I think greatly helps is telling a story. We have talked about building a core story from the last few episodes we’ve had which need to be mentioned throughout your content. It should be on the website. telling your story, you want to make sure that that story is coming across because the story is giving the parent kind of a guiding path of “here’s where you are, you’re going to go through this process. And we’re going to make your kids so your son, your daughter, into better human beings, we’re going to take care of them.”
You want to make sure that you’re telling that story. Storytelling has been a part of our lives and culture for centuries. Make sure you’re leveraging it in your content.
The other thing to keep in mind is really making sure you’re focusing on the benefits before features, benefits before features and that in a lot of the copy that I’ve read for childcare centers, okay, great. We have healthy meals, we have good food. Okay, what is the benefit your kids are going to be more affected? Their brains are going to operate more efficiently, there are fewer toxins in their body. If you have cameras, that’s a feature, but what is the benefit to that? That you can spend more time doing what you are doing and not be distracted throughout your day to have to call in, you can push a button and very quickly check in on your son or daughter, for example.
So you want to make sure when you’re writing all this, that it’s also scannable. And you’re leveraging headlines, subheadings, bullets, buttons, image captions, etc. So as you’re listening to this, you can tell and even by my tone, that this is a pretty complex process to make sure that you have all these things lined up story-driven content. Content that speaks to your personas, Talking about benefits before features using urgency and proactiveness, NIS leveraging everything to make it really nicely scannable.
There’s a lot of stuff. But I’m going to give you two different ideas that I think will make your life easier to actually get this done effectively.
But before I do, I want to give you in case you do want to write this content yourself.
Those core initial pages, like the homepage we talked about, that again, should have your welcome message, talking about your mission philosophy and then some kind of CTA or call to action.
The “About Us” section or “About our Staff” should have pictures and information about you or your background, and ideally photos of your team and their background there at the very least a photo of the director, but I’d prefer to see photos of the director as well as the teachers, the next set of content should be the programs.
You need to talk about the curriculum and what the infant program looks like versus pre-k versus twos or any other ages that you would be serving.
The next session section would be a location tab. And that location tab should have pictures. If it’s in construction, things like that you want to continue to update but here’s where it’s located. Location is one of the top five most important things when it comes to picking a childcare center. Do they want to see it on their way to work? How far is it—10 miles, 20 miles, 3 miles, there’s a lot of different factors that go into picking but the location is very important.
The other link would be a Contact Us link where they can just quickly get in touch with you. Those are really the main ones that you would need initially but then as you expand from. Further, you can have communities served and talk about all the different areas that you serve, you’d want to have kind of happy families as you start to bring in families and things like that.
Blog and Gallery
You could have a blog that has lots of other content, you could have a parent portal section. So there’s that bit of content is, well, you could have a gallery. Those are things that you could add on after the fact.
Initially, it’s a homepage, an about us page, a program page that then lists out your different curriculums, a location tab, and then contacts us. That’s all that you need, initially, but the most important page out of everything is that homepage. It has to compel them. It’s got to be captivating, and really bring them in and get them to take action.
So I promised you two different ways to get this done faster or easier.
The first one, the most obvious is that you just literally really outsource this to a company selfishly speaking like mine or an agency that can write story-driven content that knows the childcare space backward and forward. That’s option A.
Option B is actually the one that I would prefer. And that is where you are not necessarily writing it. But you’re working with a third party, whether it’s a writer, whether it’s an agency, someone like that, and you’re speaking, and really being interviewed.
So I would say, tell me about your curriculum. Tell me about what makes you unique, tell me about why you’re starting this childcare center. Tell me about the areas that you want to serve. And I’m interviewing you and just letting you talk.
I’m then going to take that call, get it transcribed, and you’re going to have a writer that actually then takes all that and ends up reading the content for you, but it’s in your own words. If you’re well-spoken, that is a much better option, because it’s going to then capture your exact brand and mood and different feelings.
Again, that writer can massage it and make sure that it’s speaking to the persona. It has all these other elements that we talked about.
So there you have it, that is how to write content for your website. Now the final piece to it, and I’m going to address it in another episode will be search engine marketing, but I didn’t want to talk about it on this particular episode, because it’s always a stumbling block. If I tell you you have to not only write and do all those things I just shared with you but also working keywords and things like that it becomes a little bit of a challenge.
Get out there, make a change, and take some action.