Website Content Strategy
The Hub for Your Online Marketing Activities
Your website is central to your online marketing activities, and may even be your biggest marketing tool. It’s the online home for your business, and key to your inbound marketing strategy. Good content, strategically positioned, will help you proceed on a path towards meeting business goals and continually adapting to changes in the market. In most cases, the goal of your website is to attract the right visitors, generate more leads, and keep people returning.
A comprehensive approach includes good skin (the content) over a strong skeleton (the architecture and underlying foundation). When developing the overall content strategy, include elements that address these “5 Must-Haves for An Effective Website”:
- Provide information that users are seeking in an easy-to-find manner; update and evolve to keep it fresh, useful and relevant
- Establish/reinforce branding
- Drive traffic to targeted landing pages on your site – attract new prospects and generate leads
- Establish expertise, authority and reliability in your field
- Inspire visitors to act – have a clear and easy call to action
The content should relate to your business goals for the website, to generate leads amongst people who have interest in what you provide. While quantity (number of visitors) matters, quality is key in terms of getting the right visitors to your site – those who will act in a way that supports your business.
Other channels, such as social media and directories where you may have pages, and search engines, serve as great funnels leading people to your website.
Site Wellness Tip: Own your URL. Your website is equity for your business, therefore you should own a unique URL (ex: www.yourbusinessname.com). Avoid using subdomains or subdirectories where your site is part of another. This can come across as amateurish. Own your domain to build your own equity and recognition online.
What Makes for Good Content?
People buy from or hire companies they know, like and trust. The content on your website should aid this by being informative, interesting, authentic, and/or entertaining, with a tone that’s welcoming and relatable. Good content includes a mix of:
- Text and links to your documents
- Images – photos and illustrations add visual interest to a page
- Video – growing in use, especially for users on mobile devices
- E-Commerce – shop online
- Strong call-to-action – CRUCIAL! Identify what you’d like visitors to do and make it easy for them – call you, visit your location, buy something, sign up for your e-newsletter, share an article, etc.
- “About Us” – can be a simple statement describing your company, its leaders, employees, history
What not to do! Avoid black-hat SEO practices that could hurt your search ranking.
“If you build it they will come”…
Well, yes, if your content is maximized for SEO
What exactly is the most effective content to put on your website? You’ll have information about your products, services, and business – in words, images, videos or other cool methods. And the goal is to generate leads. Simple, right? Yet, the content on your website can and should do much more than disseminate information or be an online brochure – it can be a magnet to attract new people to your site, people who are on line searching for what you provide.
People generally land on a website in one of two ways:
- Direct visits – they already know the company/URL and go straight to the site
- Organic visits – they search on Google, Bing, etc. for a specific topic related to your business, see your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and if the listing captures their attention, they click
Factors that contribute to appearing on the first page of search results include relevance and quality ranking. Performing well in there areas results from a mix of site content, keyword usage, inbound links, number of visitors, how long users stay on the site, how long the site has been visible in the online world, and more.
Keywords, Title Tags, Meta Tags, Descriptions
Once they get to your site, you can dazzle them with your content. But first they must get there. Attracting new and returning prospects to your page involves leveraging your content to have the most effective site and page architecture, titles, keywords, and tags. Use jargon your users use to search. Considerations should include whether your business is a service, a local brick & mortar shop, strictly online, B2B, or B2C, as there are different nuances for each. Make sure pages are named correctly in the title tag, meta description and URLs, and properly use headers, subheads, phrases and terms.
Continually Attract and Engage
For the website to remain effective, content strategy must be ongoing, where performance is evaluated regularly (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and adjustments are made. It’s good to evolve and try new things as your business and the market changes.
Some additional best practices to keep in mind – Progress Not Perfection!
- Provide clear, useful content using terms that your users use, to make your site relatable to people and visible to search engines. Quality content is a magnet for inbound links.
- Post content you already have and create more material strategically. Use targeted landing pages.
- Review analytics regularly. Overall numbers for site visits can be helpful, and some deeper measures, i.e., which page users spend the most time on.
- Learn through analytics whether most people are viewing the site on a computer or a mobile device. This will influence how the site is built (using responsive or adaptive design), to optimize viewing.
- The power of inbound links – as more credible sites link to your page, the more Google’s and other search engine’s algorithms rank your page higher. Get listed on directories and get your content shared.
Whether you’re creating a new website or updating an existing one, once you decide upon the content, take a step back and do a “sanity check” to make sure you’re focusing on the important things that resonate with users. Perhaps have others review it to ensure something key wasn’t missed. This may sound intuitive but it’s happened where people miss the big picture view as they strive to provide details.
Benefits of Content Strategy, the Bigger Picture
Overall, remember that following a comprehensive, user-focused content strategy will help you continually provide your audience with the most relevant information – and help make your site more visible to Google and other search engines. You’ll trigger more visits by matching the topics, products and service offerings that users are targeting. This overview of SEO (search engine optimization) further explains the relationship between content and ranking well in search engines.
Strategically rolling-out website content can be part of an overall online marketing plan that includes social media engagement, online advertising (PPC [pay-per-click] or AdWords), SEO, blogging, e-mail, online speaking/teaching events, local directory listings, and reviews. Your website works hand-in-glove with these channels to educate and help your audience while improving your search engine ranking.
Online Marketing – Getting Started in 10 Steps
Hummingbird: How Google Has Made Searching More User-Intuitive (Including Semantic Search)
Inbound Links and How to Get Them Organically
5 Things To Keep Your Content Marketing Efforts in Check
Keywords to Concepts: The Lazy Web Marketer’s Guide to Smart Keyword Research