The core refurbishment of website content
As the responsible online marketing agency, we have also been responsible for the content marketing strategy in many website relaunches in recent years. Revamping website content is something that in many ways is reminiscent of the core renovation of apartments or houses.
The reasons for core refurbishment
There are essentially two reasons for a nuclear refurbishment: 1. Nothing has been done for a long period of time or 2. A major event, e. g. a water intrusion, has caused intolerable conditions. It is similar for websites and texts. The situation that for years hardly anything has been updated or even optimized is more common than you think. Basically, it should have been around long ago that websites, similar to houses, need regular maintenance.
A hole in the roof caused by a fallen roof tile corresponds to the vulnerability in the content management system, which requires a security update. The peeling paint on the facade needs a new coat. This is also known from websites that no longer look up-to-date. The lawn should be mowed every 14 days at the latest – like the blog, which can tolerate a new post at about the same pace. And when all the electrical power is simply untrustworthy, it is similar with untrustworthy websites that are simply ignored by Google.
Major events in companies can be, for example, a change of shareholder. It is hardly surprising that the new parent company turns a lot of things upside down. The new orientation must then also be reflected in completely new website content. Strategic reorientation within the company itself can also have similar effects. First comes the new strategy, then the website has to be overhauled.
How does such a core refurbishment typically begin?
First, all the old stuff has to come out. Many websites have created a lot of dust. The fact that content is too long is a constant issue. That online nobody wants and has the time. Reading long texts is well known. That is why I would like to recommend the waste collection method at the beginning of the revision. It works like this: Print out all texts and delete everything that does not belong to the core of the company. Don’t paint. Pull it out.
Shorter is always better at the beginning. The less that is left, the better. The apt phrase for this, put into the mouths of several famous designers, is "Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to leave out." Anyone who has tried to pack the essence of a company into two sentences knows how difficult it is to formulate as briefly and concisely as possible.
In content workshops, I have seen it time and again that employees from the product area in particular express their love of the product by wanting to describe every detail. They then think that the customer would be convinced by these details. This can also happen with sales people. Here it is rather an insecurity concerning the own product or the service, which is to be concealed with as many words as possible. It is much more convincing, however, if you can succinctly convey the importance of the product for the customer in very little text.
Effect on the trustworthiness
At this point, I would also like to point out clarity as an important building block of trust. Companies appear trustworthy when new customers understand right away what services they offer and what needs they satisfy. Clarity is thus part of the aura that the company radiates.
And how is the reconstruction process going?
As a rule, there are several parties involved. All craftsmen (agencies and freelancers) are ideally bundled and structured by a general contractor (lead agency). Of course, the homeowner (marketing manager) can also take on this task. In doing so, his friends and family (employees) hopefully provide him with competent support. Because in both cases applies: Too many cooks spoil the broth (the comparison with the restaurant kitchen perhaps another time). The clear final responsibility is in any case very important for the successful project result.
The website is now about rewriting the content. Google likes longer texts. This must be reconciled with the clarity and clarity that comes from short texts. My recommendation for this is to either create separate pages with shorter texts on overview pages and longer texts on detail pages. If the overview pages are among the most important pages, there should be shorter blocks at the beginning, which are supplemented by further and longer texts as you scroll down. This way you can kill two birds with one stone.
In such a core renovation project, which you don't have every day, it is an incredible pleasure to work with professionals. One or the other is of course tempted to save money. Similar to the house, which is renovated by the cheap craftsman from Ebay classifieds more bad than good, it behaves with the copywriter from the other end of the planet, who promised all the content very quickly for a flat rate. Then nevertheless rather directly to the professional. And how great it is when the result from the carpenter (= graphic designer or copywriter) not only meets expectations, but also creates enthusiasm when you first enter (=read) it.
In my experience, such a core renovation usually takes longer than expected. And yes, unfortunately that's also the case with website content. The important thing here is the experienced site manager (=project manager), who clarifies in advance what can realistically be done. His main task in the course of the project is to make sure that all parties involved fulfill their tasks in time and are in the picture about the current status. So it may take 4 weeks longer than hoped at the beginning. But there are no negative surprises. And the result is convincing.
From time to time, there are reasons for a core renovation. After thorough clearing out, such projects succeed with concentration on the essentials, experienced professionals, a good project manager and clear decisions. If you then allow a few more days in case of doubt to finish everything thoroughly and check the quality (= proofreading), it can only turn out well. Exactly the same applies to your website project.