Developing and delivering new content can be a struggle. Aside from needing to know who you are as an entrepreneur or company, you also have to know what content to create. The following four pierces of content are foundational to gaining giving value to visitors, creating trust and interest.
It has finally come to light over the past few years that content is very much a driving factor behind all the value users get online. It’s also what most users are looking for, content. Users come to your website because they want to know more about your company, they want to know about products, or they want to connect with a story.
Below are four foundational types on content you need to have on your website to be successful.
4 Core Content Elements You Need
1. A killer about page.
That’s right people want to know about you. This will build trust in you company and that’s a big deal. Trust is what influences people online to engage, buy, and partner with you.
2. Position statements.
This is a mission statement or manifesto or like document. This is simply content that explains the core of what you do. This defines what sets you apart from others. You should have a few of pieces content that explain your core focus and perspective.
Having great photography and visual media is undervalued quite a bit by small and medium size businesses. I see lots of stock photos not because they are great at conveying a message, but because they are cheap and available. Investing in few good photos that help tell your story or showcase who you are and what your all about will make your message have more weight.
4. Trust Content.
This is content that tells people that others know you and trust you. These could be photos, logos or text but they should act as testimonials, case studies, interviews, partners logos, affiliates and portfolio pieces. The idea is that this content points to your interactions with other people, customers and businesses. This not only shows your strength but again it builds trust that you are good at what you do and that the user should feel safe to have a real interaction with you.
1. We need insights
In reading Youngme Moon’s book Different she remarks ‘What business people need today is a fresh set of insights, not a fresh set of instructions.’ She was talking about competitive differentiation in business. But the same principal applies to running a business online. Many company’s and business owners hopelessly craw the Internet looking for the how-to’s on building a better website, growing their social network or learning the latest in online marketing.
Many experts can be found.
It’s not that these how-to’s are bad, they are just massively useless.
It’s as if you where invited to take a trip to the river. So in a fit of excitement you buy a set of water skis and rent a speed boat. The problem is you are going down the Grand Canyon, this means white water. You would be much better suited to have a raft. The speed boat is fast, if you could use it.
So I see businesses wanting the latest in SEO, social media, graphic design and content management. They want the speed boat but they don’t know where there going worst they don’t know the type of trip they are on.
Before you start building buying your boat. You need to know where your going.
Maybe you need a kayak.
I see hoards of businesses using stock photography as key imagery on their website and in advertising collateral.
First off lets be clear when you use stock photos with cheesy people you are not fooling anyone. Clearly staged over polished stock photos are not helping anyone look like a real business. Instead you are reinforcing an un-personal brand image which lacks real people.
I hope by pointing out some of the most common traps of choosing stock photos as a path forward and seeing how it can hurt a company, stock photos can be avoided more often and used when appropriate.
Let get right to it. The information below is largely centered around user experience.
Just knowing the below will change the way you think of your site and it’s design and function.
These are helpful items to think about when doing a quarterly review of your website.
One of the keys to successful online presence is that a website is not a stagnate like a brochure. What websites do you go back to over and over? Ones with a sticky factor. Most likely they are websites that have a ton of new content. That’s one of the great things about social media is that things are always updating and that the experience is customized to each person.
So do you want a website where your customers want to come back to see what’s new? You need to keep content updated. This is the ‘trick’ to success, the problem is that if we don’t plan for new content, then know one is tasked with the job of creating new content, and then there’s know new content created. At some point you will realize that your website feels old and you will need new content, then it’s to late.
Lacking new content is like being dehydrated, by the time you know that you’re thirsty you are already dehydrated.
If you are in charge of making SEO effective as part of your online business then this should be a helpful for you. There are a ton of check list online. But I don’t really want to give you a checklist I want to give you a path to success.
1. Do an SEO website audit and set up tracking.
The first thing you should do is set a benchmark, and know where you stand. Do a basic SEO website audit to make sure that you don’t have any gratuitous errors. If you are new to SEO this will help you learn some of the key on-site factors that are import to success.
Tools for website audits
Code and Content Audit : Checks your content for key tags like the page title, h1, h2 etc. You may also see other factors like text to code ratio and keyword density.
Technical Errors Audit :Looks for errors like not having a 301 redirect, or broken links.
Track for success : If you are investing time and money into SEO then you should be tracking it for success so you can see what keywords are giving you gains and what tactics are working.
2. Do keyword research, creating a plan of attack
Keyword research will help give you the direction you need. Ranking for you company name is normally easier todo. The hard part is finding what your customers looking for, how they are searching for what you offer and then optimizing your content to your audeince.
How to start keyword research:
There are all kinds of free and paid tools. The easiest place to start is by using google keyword tracker to see what is being searched for and get ideas of similar searchers.
3. Optimize content for top keywords
Once you have found keywords that you want to target that will bring a good amount of traffic it’s time to optimize some of your content. In the beginning its best to keep things simple. Optimize a page for only one keyword phrase at a time.
It’s import to remember to not fall into the trap of keyword stuffing. Your content still needs to be both useful and readable for the reader. The last thing you want to do is driver more traffic to your website and then have it make not sense.
The best action to take is the one you can. Start simple.
Do you feel overwhelmed by trying to get your website found and ranked by search engines? It’s hard to know where to start with so much content and mystery around search engine optimization (SEO). Often, this means that no action is taken or old tactics are used or over used. If this sounds like how you have been dealing with SEO, it could be hurting your search rankings and traffic more then helping.
So how can you make sure you’re taking the right steps towards increasing search engine rankings and getting more traffic? Well, you’ll first have to learn a few SEO basics and how to implement them on your website… here’s where to start:
Your business is not simply on your website, it’s online.
Even the act of searching your website puts your business in the context of other businesses online.
The reach that your brand has in not restricted to the confines of your website, your reach is (hopefully) much larger then just the pages on your web site.
I’m not just talking about social media.
Think for a second how users find you online?
(order depends on audience)
1Direct to Website URL
In only one of these options do your visitors experience your brand completely in the confines of your website. Even the act of searching your website puts your business in the context of other businesses online. Understanding how your business looks next to tohers online matters.
Questions to ask when looking at your business online:
– Can you difference between my company and others offering?
– Does your business look the same or different online?
– Is your company next to the right competitors?
With change comes challenge and opportunity.
As we see the internet has brought about great new ways to learn about, discover and review products and services. Well many businesses are feeling the growing pains and some are dying, there is still a great opportunity to engage customers where they are.
As the infographic points out, mobile purchase conversion rates are low, however social and mobile access is heavily influencing in-store and online purchasing.
Is the ‘Making the most of the opportunity‘ section of this infographic helpful or does it seem more like fantasy?
Is there a difference for Retailers that are reselling verse custom services and products?
The internet has been revolutionary for our culture. Yet, it seems that this revolution has left many businesses untouched. Many have a website, but it has not transformed their business. So, how do you build a website that is part of this revolution, a website that transforms your business?