Lessons from a Business Website That Misunderstands Content Marketing

metwell home page You must be clear on what you do and how your customers will benefit

I became aware of the Metwell website as a result of a promotion they had sent me via Twitter. Their website is full of unintended ironies as they offer online marketing advice which the website appears to ignore.

It’s also a good example of a website with a pretty good layout that is undercut by a lack of focus and a serious shortage of relevant and compelling content.

I found it hard to understand exactly what Metwell does or how they could help me after a quick–and then a more in depth–visit to their website The company seems to know content is important because their site attempts to provide a lot of content, at least on the surface. But they misunderstand the essence of content marketing by failing to make their content relevant and compelling to prospective buyers.

Here’s what I find to be most problematic:


  • They have a big visual slideshow on the top left of their home page but this doesn’t necessarily relate to what they do. Rather, it seems to be a sharing of widely varied business news/concepts.
  • Below this big section, they have a very quick slideshow which reviews seemingly unrelated services they provide. But once the slideshow is finished there is nowhere else on the home page that tells you what they do.
  • Below that slideshow they have an article titled, "What to Do with a Good Idea." This is fairly interesting but I still don’t know if they can help me as a businessperson take a good idea to market or not.
  • To the right they have a headline, "Hire Your Kids?" This relates to potential small-business tax benefits. But, again, I have no idea from what I see on the home page whether this company is either willing or capable of helping me with tax issues.
  • At the bottom of the page, they have a section called Differentiate Your Business. Unfortunately, on their own website’, they fail to differentiate their business from thousands of others who may do exactly the same kind of things.
  • If you click on the Our Services button, you get a bullet point list of the many and varied services they provide. But, it is so varied that you would be hard put to trust their expertise in each and every one. Moreover, because they offer absolutely no explanation of what they do for each of those bullet points, we are really left hanging.
  • The website includes no information about any of the company principals so that we are completely in the dark about their knowledge and experience as it might relate to our needs.

How they miss the point on the importance of relevant and compelling content

High up on their website they have a news section in which the lead article (with unintended irony) is titled, "What Makes a Great Website. The entire content of the article, pasted directly from their website, is as follows:

    • Hire a professional and we will build you a great website.  Rembember, five mediocre website designers working in perfect harmony can’t do the work of one super-star.
    • Avoid being clever – use insight.  Many websites scream "look at me" our goal is to design your website and customers will say "here’s what I’m looking for"
    • Update your site continuously. Keep your content fresh and always have new products on your virtual shelves.  This will generate business and keep the search engines visiting your site and better ranking
    • No great website was ever conceived by more than 3 people.  One voice, one vision.
    • Metwell will design a great website for you and maintain it or show you how to do it.

Not only is this article bereft of content, it appears to be more infomercial than legitimate information.

From those five bullet points, one derives a single piece of advice: Customers  arriving at your site should say, "here’s what I’m looking for." The rest of the content seems self congratulatory and clichéd. Moreover it’s incomplete.

If they meant to share with us the essence of a great website, they fail to do that. If they meant to tell us why they are perfectly positioned to create our website, they don’t do a good job of that either. In fact, they failed at proofreading because the very first bullet point misspells the word ‘remember.’

The final irony of their website is that several of their bullet pointed services relate directly to website design and development

The lesson we all have to learn is that good design is critical, but without great content even the best design is simply wasted effort.


This entry was posted in Examples of Bad Content, Missed Content Opportunities, News, Online, Tips & Mini-Guides, Websites. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

6 Comments

  1. Posted September 18, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Their site is built with Joomla, which is hungry for content, as it has lots of different spots to put it in the typical template. You know when you see the date/time displayed above the fold that they are trying to fill space. I tried Joomla once and found it overwhelming for this reason. WordPress is much better to keep you focused on a single message/theme.

  2. Posted September 20, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Dave J., but this has absolutly nothing to do with what CMS is used. It’s simply that within ICT they may master Technologies but certainly not Information and Communication. I encounter this issue on a daily basis…

  3. Posted September 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, there seems to be a tension between designers and content writers when it comes to creating websites. I know my tendency is to fill a site with lots of writing, whereas a good designer might tend to making the site “pretty.”

    I do think that words sell. But pictures and images should draw the eye into the content.

    This is a very good critique, Newt. I wonder if the folks at Metwell have seen this article yet and if you have received any feedback from them.

  4. Posted September 21, 2009 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Looks like their Twitter account has been suspended. The whole thing seems pretty sketch…

  5. Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I see what you mean about the site. It’s very light on content. But I find even on my own site that on the home page it’s difficult to express a broad product offering. I know that you can do landing pages specific to certain searches etc., but on a businesses plain old home page what is the best approach? I don’t really struggle with getting my point across on landing pages, it’s good old HOME that I worry about conversions on. What are your suggestions?

  6. Newt Barrett
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Anthony,
    I understand your dilemma. I think it is possible to include a lot of content in different ways. Here are two examples that show how visitors can learn and benefit from the website and the company.
    From an article I wrote on just such a site: http://contentmarketingtoday.com/2008/12/05/5-lessons-to-learn-from-a-world-class-small-business-website/
    From a client site: http://conditionedair.com

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