Your website is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Without engaging, compelling content, however, even a spectacularly-designed website can fall flat.
Well-crafted website content plays a huge role in attracting and educating visitors, as well as maintaining search engine visibility so that online users can “discover” you. In fact, your content may be the most important aspect of your website – one that can make or break your brand in a customer-centric market.
When reevaluating your website content (or creating new material), here are a few key points to consider.
1. Always provide value.
Your business website exists to provide information about your products or services – but it needs to do so in a way that’s interesting and relevant to your viewers. Website users can decide in a matter of seconds whether or not to engage with your brand, and even visitors who do spend time on your website are not always ready for conversion. To encourage interaction and nurture your visitors to the conversion stage, your content needs to offer them something valuable and useful.
Present a variety of content. You can engage a wider range of website visitors – and keep them interested – by offering new and exciting ways for them to gather the information they need. Aside from product or service descriptions, for instance, your website can include white papers, e-books, articles, videos, tutorials, testimonies, or even discussion panels. You can also provide links on each page to guide visitors to helpful resources on other sections of your website. By using more than one type of content, your website gives users the option to choose their own education paths – which means they’re more likely to get value from the content they view.
Sell your brand, not your product. Few people go online looking for advertisements. Rather than telling visitors about the superiority of your product or service, focus on showing them how your brand is unique and how you can solve their potential problems. Provide solutions, information, or resources that address the challenges your visitors face in the context of their everyday lives. Develop a clear voice that distinguishes your brand and demonstrates your expertise.
Write for your audience. Think about who will read each piece of your content, what they should get out of it, and what will motivate them to spend more time on your website.
- Research your target audience. The more specifically you can define your potential visitors, the more personalized, relevant, and compelling your website content can be.
- Speak a language they understand. Avoid heavy jargon, acronyms, or dense explanations. Instead, speak to your visitors directly, with the kinds of information they want to learn more about.
- Be real. Your visitors want to know that they’re engaging with a “human” brand. Keep your content professional, but use genuine emotion to resonate with your audience.
- Guide your viewers to the information they need. Use straightforward headlines, titles, and links, and don’t be afraid to encourage that next step with clear (and relevant) calls to action.
2. Stay relevant.
Few things turn visitors off faster than a stale or neglected website. Creating fresh new content on a regular basis helps keep visitors engaged and interested – but even more importantly, it also boosts your website’s relevancy to search engines like Google. The more often you produce new content, the more often your visitors will be likely to keep checking for updates, and the more often Google will refresh your website’s search ranking.
Share the news. If you haven’t already, it’s not a bad idea to create a special section on your website dedicated solely to “what’s new” about your business. Posting regular news will promote engagement and anticipation for more, and help visitors know what to expect from your brand. Plus, it allows the media and other industry leaders to see your brand’s unique insights, interests, and expertise – and perhaps quote or link to your page in their own work.
Be a blogger. MarketingProfs recently stated that consumers rank blogs as the most influential digital resource when deciding what to buy (second only to primary brand and retail websites). Blogging is an easy, cost-effective way to engage your website visitors, and for that reason, it’s one of the most important assets of your online marketing strategy. A well-written blog will:
- engage and inform your readers
- help prospective customers get to know your brand
- build a relationship with your customers
- drive traffic to your website and boost organic SEO
- show industry expertise and help your brand become a thought leader
Better still, blogging can also be managed within a tight business schedule. Having only one writer/ editor helps ensure consistency, but to distribute the work, you can also invite employees, affiliates, or customers to tell their stories or share their perspectives. (This will also get at the ‘heart’ of your business to make your content more engaging, relevant, and compelling.) Or, you can repurpose older content into new blogs with a fresh tone or focus. Then, once you’ve defined your sources, you can use an editorial calendar to map out when each blog will be posted, what topic it will cover, and who will be writing it.
3. Pay attention to quality.
With so much of online marketing dependent on search engine assessment and visitor selection, the quality of your website content is just as important as the topic. Take the time to cross those “t’s” and dot those “i’s” before considering anything you publish to be complete.
- Be precise. Nothing destroys business integrity like careless errors. Edit, read your work out loud, or have someone else edit – but make sure you use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in every piece of content you post.
- Back up your data with research and sources. This not only validates your information, but also shows that you’re well-informed about current issues within your industry.
- Optimize for search engines. Craft each piece of content around 3 to 5 relevant keywords. Try to anticipate terms consumers might use to search for your product or service.
- Analyze. Check your website performance metrics regularly for insights on your audience, traffic sources, conversion rates, and much more.
Effective, engaging website content goes a long way toward improving SEO, drawing traffic, and forging a strong connection with potential customers. To drive visitors to your website and inspire conversions, make sure your content stays valuable, relevant, and high-quality.