As you go about setting up your website, you may realize there is a very important component you might not be prepared with – page content! You know you want to fill it with compelling copy that engages your users and convinces them to buy your products and services, but how do you do this?
Define goals for your content
First, decide what the goals of your website will be:
- Advancing and informing your visitors?
- Building trust and a strong relationship with your visitors and customers?
Keep them coming back, not only for your products but also for the guidance and support you provide?
- Converting prospects into paying customers?
- Nurture existing customers on their customer journey?
- Engage visitors with your brand?
- Grow your social media fan base and e-mail subscription list?
- Or maybe you want to sell products online?
Most likely it will be a mix of multiple content marketing goals.
Reaching your content marketing goals
- To reach these goals, your content needs to benefit the visitors of your website. The most powerful incentive to keep visitors coming back is providing them with valuable content.
- Your content has to inspire them, to motivate them to try new things.
- Your content has to show that your products are the best solution for them to get started. Explain how features benefit their lives.
- Your content needs to build trust. Focus on ideas and realistic solutions. Guide visitors and customers to one small success at a time, do not over-promise…
Audience and style
Think about the needs of your audience first.
You will never produce valuable content if you don’t know your audience, their goals and skills. Ultimately you will want to provide accessible content that guides your audience to your products, but most of all, enables them to do great things with your products – by increasing their expertise. Building great testimonials along the way.
The type of content, style, complexity and terminology all depend on your target audience.
Who is your audience? If it’s a more formal, technical audience you may use industry terminology and address users as if they already have previous knowledge of the topic. However, many businesses today are choosing a casual, conversational voice and tone for their website. A friendly, unassuming style appeals to a wider target audience and makes it easy to engage and connect with visitors right away.
Structuring your content using categories and pages
The best way to get started for content creation is to create a plan to determine what pages and categories best support your audiences needs (i.e. site map). Pages might be based on products and corporate structure – this is often a requirement – but aside from covering these basics, make sure to provide categories and pages that reflect the goals of your audience.
As an example, this might be some valuable categories when producing content for small business owners:
- Growing Your Brand
- Managing Relationships
- Selling Online
- Cloud Security
- Improving Website Performance
- IT Outsourcing
The following pages would be the most important ones to add first:
- Home page – This is where you might want to introduce your company, focus on very briefly introducing the benefits of your website from a visitors perspective. You can do this by introducing the major content categories. Keep it short, simple and interesting so visitors want to learn more. Include one main image or a few high quality images for visual appeal.
- About Us – Tell potential customers about your company, what makes you unique from your competitors? How did your company get started?
- Product/Services – You want to make it easy for potential customers to learn more about the great products and services you offer. Provide detailed product & service information, making sure to highlight the benefits and value over competitive products. Include any customer reviews you may already have (people love to know about other people’s experiences and recommendations)!
- Blog – A blog is a great way of adding short, quick posts on topics such as new products, industry related discussions and company events. This is your opportunity to provide a voice for your website – let customers get to know your company personally and feel connected. Share insights, news, helpful tools, resources and anything else to position your company as extremely knowledgeable with industry expertise.
- Contact Us –Include a contact form as well as your company name, mailing address, telephone & fax number, e-mail and business hours of operation.
Communicating with images and media
You can capture a user’s attention with visually appealing images. It’s important to not overwhelm a site visitor with a lot of text on your website. If an image can replace content, go ahead and do it.
Remember: In the end, it’s about communicating information effectively. Every image that grabs attention but does not support your content (generic images come to mind) is an image you might want to get rid of immediately. A powerful image might communicate complex information in an easy to understand metaphor, but do not expect the right image to be a stock photo. If you want to reduce the work your visitors have to invest, be prepared to invest time and effort yourself.
After all, optimizing information and making it accessible for your audience is a key value that will keep visitors coming back to your website.
If you have your own images of company employees, products, etc. make sure to upload and add them to relevant pages. There are several ways to display images using image galleries or within the page text itself.
Connecting with your visitors
- Expand your Audience & Increase Engagement
- Add social media icons to link to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest pages
- Include an e-mail subscription form
- Increase traffic and visitor engagement by adding content on a regular basis, which could be just as simple as writing a short blog post
- Interact with users who leave comments, contact you directly, post on social media pages
- Include links to relevant sites within your content which builds your search engine ranking
Keeping your content fresh
Analyze content– Set up a schedule to review existing content, make changes, and add new content. Use analytics to see what content visitors are looking at the most.
(Written by Sara Fierman, published by Philipp Bellmann)