Website Creation Tips | Tips on Making Company Websites

By: Peter Wise

1. Your brochure is primarily aimed at one audience – customers. Your website is aimed at two – customers and search engines. People read text online quite differently from the way they read printed materials. They scan much more, for one thing.  

2. Print copy often contains a lot of puffery phrases like ‘our service is second to none’. ‘Service’ is a stop word with some search engines and will be ignored in a search query. And how many people use phrases like ‘second to none’ in a search?  

3. Your brochure is a fixed and rigid entity. You might reprint it every couple of years, but essentially it’s an unchanging unit of 4, 8, 12 or whatever pages. You can do roll-folds, print it on glossy paper or write it upside down in Esperanto if you want, but once it’s done it’s done. Your website can not only change, it should – and frequently.  

4. Your website can certainly reflect your brochure. But it also has to act as your sales letter, your shop window, your receptionist, your storeroom, your sales assistant, your despatch department, your PR department, your think-tank, your newsletter, your press ad, your poster, your helpline and...you name it. 

5.

Does your brochure have one to three keywords per page, repeated an optimum number of times and in the right places? Of course not – one of the main reasons why your website should be treated separately.  

6. Is your brochure written in such a way that anyone can pick it up and read any page and without even looking at the front cover, let alone the index, find what they’re looking for? Remember, a visitor can arrive on any page of your website. They should know what you’re about straightaway – and if the page has been optimised well, there’s a good chance visitors will find what they’re looking for at once.  

7. Good print copy is clear, concise and broken up into short sentences and paragraphs, with easy to read headlines and subheads. This applies in spades to website copy, which readers scan even more than they would a printed page.  

8. A brochure can be put in a briefcase, in-tray or just left on a shelf or table for perusing at leisure. With a website you have only seconds to gain interest and retention. 

9. How do your customers obtain their brochures? Are they handed over by a salesperson or distributed at exhibitions? Sent out with a covering letter? Unless the visitor has been personally directed to your website, chances are he or she is viewing it cold, with nothing to back it up. This needs to be taken into consideration when writing it. 

10. Need more information? Like to view our other products? Want to contact us? Looking for testimonials? With a website, all these questions can be answered with a single click, and the copy should always be written with that in mind. Remember, you can’t click on a printed brochure.  

So never just stick your brochure online and hope - you’ll be disappointed every time. Write your website from scratch. Better still, get a professional like me to write it. I can also handle your brochure writingFeature Articles, if you happen to need a brochure writer.  But I promise the content of each will be very different. 

? Peter Wise

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