Last week our new website went live….. hooray!
I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to tell the world about how amazing Space HR and our platform for Employee Engagement is and now we’ve finally done it. I’ve got a website that I can be really proud of.
My new website helps me convey the proposition of the business, talk about our amazing technology and showcase some of the great work we’ve been doing with some great clients! It feels like all the hard work is starting to make sense and pay off.
I’ve learned some pretty incredible things whilst building this website. It’s made me think about things that I haven’t really thought about before and its tested my skills and my knowledge as a business leader. I had a website already which was fine, but this new one is critical. It’ll set a precedent for all my future websites to follow because it’s the first one that talks explicitly about the Space HR Employee Engagement platform.
So if you’re building a website, whether its your first or your fifth, here’s a few of things I learned. Maybe it’ll help you avoid a few pitfalls that I navigated along the way….
1. Building a website is hard!
Where do you start - genuine question? Well you (sadly) don’t start with design that’s for sure! I started with a lot of soul searching. I started asking myself some deep questions about my business such as;
> Why does Space HR exist?
> How do we differentiate from the competition?
> What do we offer?
> What is our mission, our vision, our values?
> Who are our target customers?
> How do we benefit our customers?
Once I had this down, it became a lot easier to start writing from a position of conviction and understanding based on the business I wanted to create.
2. Put your customer first
You’re not trying to win awards, you’re trying to win customers. (Although if there are awards going, I’ll take a few please!). Write your copy with your customer in mind and answer the questions that they would ask. These could include;
> Is this product for me?
> Why do I need this product?
> What am I actually buying?
> What is the cost?
> Why you and not your competition?
> What do I do next?
Then break the answers down and serve them back on your pages. Pretty obvious stuff really (once you know that’s the aim!). But don't underestimate how long (and how many versions), it might take you to get this right!
3. Align with your Category
I also did a lot of competitor research, but not because I wanted to steal their ideas. I had to make sure I was aligned with my competition so it was easier for my customers to enquire/buy. I needed to think like a customer.
I asked myself the same questions as in point 2 above, to see whether they achieved this. I also put myself in the mind of a customer who gets two quotes through from two suppliers. How do you begin to compare the two if they’re wildly different in price, product, proposition, service etc? Answer-you don’t. Do some benchmarking, make sure you are aligned with your category. If not, you might end up being discounted or discredited by your customers.
4. Building a product website is really hard
Underpinning Space HR, is a platform that’s designed to build a more engaged team. This is our product and with it comes a lot more information that makes the job of building a website even harder. There was a lot more to think about in terms of showing the platform off and talking about the product features that really make us awesome.
Focusing on benefits rather than features was crucial, as was keeping the amount of information just right to keep my audience engaged and not overloaded with info. After all, I can explain more once they’ve enquired!
5. Write, re-write, burn it and write again
I must have written about 6 drafts of content for my new website and even then it there was a lot of iteration when it came to building web pages. The first draft involved writing everything I’ve ever known about Employee Engagement ever! As you can imagine, it got pretty boring pretty quick and I gave up this approach. Then I did a whole draft of content that explained my entire proposition, but again it was boring.
Less is more when it comes to website copy, knowing what to include and what to leave out is where the real skill is. I’m more than sure our site isn’t perfect and I will continue to change my website as it develops. Keep iterating as you learn and your copy will refine into something that starts to sound like you.
6. Be more genuine
Just when I though I was happy, I realised it just didn’t sound like me. I took a hatchet to my last draft of copy and took out loads of things that either didn’t sound like me or that sounded really boring and generic. Clearly I had to leave some more obvious stuff in there, but if it didn’t speak to anyone, it probably got the axe.
I’m still a small business and until I’m a huge corporate, being genuine and unique is something I can continue to be. It’s pretty brave to put a huge picture of yourself on your product website! But it isn’t just a product, it’s a product supported and loved by me!
To round this blog off, I hope you love my new website. It’s been a challenge and an amazing experience getting it live. Have a proper look through it, please offer feedback and refer it to your network too!
If you’d like to know more about how Space HR deliver Employee Engagement to companies throughout the UK, contact email@example.com