Writing Great Website Content is Challenging But Worthwhile

The content of your company website has many purposes, but ultimately its goal is to help sell potential customers on your services. It’s hard to generate content that is good and truly serves that purpose. Here are some tips.

Writing Great Website Content is Challenging But Worthwhile

Anja Smith

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Considering how many times I've re-started this first paragraph, it's fair to say: Writing is hard.

Writing for something as specific and high-stakes as your company’s website is extra challenging. Several things are working against you:

1. Writing is time consuming. Stephen King writes for four to six hours a day, aiming for 2,000 words. His method works — he has written a reported 98 novels (so far).

Still, most of us in the plumbing world aren’t as skilled a writer as Mr. King. A well-written website article clocks in between 800 and 2,000 words — this might take a while.

Great website copy may take days, but it’s worth the investment. Relevant content, optimized for search engines, will drive traffic and sales for your plumbing company.

2. It’s difficult to know what to write. For all your plumbing knowledge, I bet your head feels empty sitting in front of a blank screen. Just remember that your plumbing website serves a specific purpose: to sell work. It isn’t a place for you to get on a soap box and rant or share opinions.

Content should focus on location served, services provided, and value to the customer. Once you’ve completed the basics of a homepage and about us, contact us, and service page sections, you may want to add blog style articles that attract additional traffic.

There are several ways to do keyword research and find suitable writing subjects. As the expert, I say keyword research is unnecessary. Every customer question is a potential blog entry.

3. You are very technical. Oh boy, can plumbers talk plumbing. In writing website content, this deep technical knowledge may work against you.

We use a ton of industry terminology most people don’t understand. When writing content for your website, use simple language that a middle schooler would understand. Try to relate abstract concepts through examples or metaphors.

4. You are a plumbing nerd. Speaking of technical, don’t be. Remember, you are talking to a customer. Customers aren’t spending Sunday night researching water heaters because the tech is nifty. That’s a topic only a plumber can love.

Website users want an answer or an appointment. Your goal is to offer guidance and build trust.

5. You forget the obvious. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t get so excited discussing hybrid versus tankless that you forget to ask for the sale. Turn that browser into a buyer. 

Users should never be over three clicks away from their appointment. Your phone number and service area should be prominent and displayed on every page. 

6. You ignore user experience. Not every page on your website greets the same guest. The page linked from a “plumber near me” ad versus the one for a “what’s that smell" Google search should be different.

Advertisement landing pages should push for an appointment. The customer wants to confirm you can solve their problem and then get the ball rolling.

On the other hand, if a customer asks Google a question and lands on your site, they want an answer. If you build trust and confidence with that answer, you may get the job. 

As you write, consider how the customer is likely to end up on that page and what you hope for them to achieve with the visit.

7. You are a braggart. It’s natural to be proud of the company you have built. And yes, we know you love your equipment. But show off your tools and team to establish credibility, not to display narcissism.

Your website is a first impression, so use it as a trust building opportunity. The customer is only interested in how you use that fancy equipment, well-marked truck, and stocked warehouse to help them with their problem. 

8. You don’t know search engine optimization (SEO) basics. While some website optimization requires a web developer, copy is the SEO backbone that drives traffic. Maximize the impact of your content by making it search engine friendly. 

It isn’t hard to learn the basics of keyword optimization and the effort will pay dividends. 

9. You don’t proofread. Typos happen to the best of us. That’s why you need to proofread. Better yet, have a detail-oriented person proofread for you.

If that isn’t possible, read the article out loud to yourself. This trick helps find issues you won’t otherwise notice. 

Finally, pay attention to those squiggly lines that appear beneath your words in a Microsoft Word doc. They are trying to tell you something. 

Writing content for your plumbing website can be difficult. It’s easy to forget that while most people can write, doing it well is a skill. Plumbers understand better than most how an easy project can turn into a lesson in humble pie. Think back to all the honey-do lists you’ve rescued. You’ll get better with practice. If you decide writing website copy isn’t for you, there’s a copywriter out there who will happily take over your web copy to-do list.  

About the Author

Anja Smith is managing partner for All Clear Plumbing in Greenville, South Carolina. She can be reached at anja@acpupstate.com.


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