Does your website give you the type of return on your investment that you expect from a business project? If your content is being slapped onto the site without concern for structure and function, then the answer is most likely ‘no.’ Likewise, it’s important that your audiences find your content riveting, while the search engines rank it highly. This takes a bit of planning to make sure your content strategy is working.
Ask yourself: ‘Is my website structure enabling visitors to find what they need or not?’ When someone visits your site, can they get their mission accomplished in a few short minutes or is it going to take them inordinate amounts of time to get what they’re looking for? To enable your visitors to get the most from your site, you need to focus on the following in your website structure:
Once you have the perfect website design, you will then need to make sure all your content is also optimised to produce results.
However, no matter what design you choose for your website, the search for profits will always come down to the actual content served to your visitors. In order to be appealing to both humans and search engines, the content has to captivate your audience and command a good ranking with search engines.
Writing is an art that can take a lot of time to perfect. You may be able to understand the dynamics of a good article, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can craft a great article simply by following the rules. However, for those that want to attempt to write their own content, here are a few easy steps to take to write quality content.
Create an outline of the main points you want to get across. If you find you have too much to say, split it into two articles. Pick topics that appeal to your audience, not something that appeals to your company. Your company is not the buyer. Your audience is the buyer.
You need a minimum of 500 words to rank well with the Google search engine for blog articles, but over 2000 words and you are going to lose your audience soon afterwards. Match the word count to the type of content. Product summaries and descriptions can be less than 200 words. E-books and case studies can be over 2000 words.
If you’ve organised your thoughts well, you’ll have come up with a major theme or concept idea. Use this to research semantic keywords using tools like Ubersuggest.org or Google’s advanced search facility. You will generate a keyword cloud to use within the content to prove to Google that you are an expert in this particular theme or idea.
When people surf, they read differently than when they pick up a paperback. Online, they will search for content and make a decision to open it, based on the title alone. They may even read the first few sentences in the opening paragraph. These have to be so captivating that it makes people want to read your content. You can do this by adding attention-grabbing, emotionally-triggering, words, but often it goes back to the skill level of the writer themselves.
Some people are skimmers while others will want to read more in-depth as they research some topic extensively. You need to put enough information in the article to please the researchers (i.e. not just ‘fluff’) and also make it easy to skim by adding white space, headings, subheadings, and bullet points.
You will get more credit for an authoritative article from Google if you include your references. You will also want to include links to other relevant information on your website, whether it is an archived blog post or a product description.
You can make blog posts easy to share by including buttons for common social networking sites, like Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter ‘tweets.’ You will need to include images if you want to make it shareable on Pinterest. You should also have an email option for those that want to share the article via email to their friends.
Add a call to action. If you want people to share your content, ask for the share. If you want people to comment, tell them to comment. If you want them to check out your latest product, provide a link and ask them to go there. The call to action is absolutely necessary if you want the page to convert someone from visitor to buyer.
The content should match your audience’s interest in coming to your site. For instance, if you are a car part dealership, your audience will consist of hobbyists and certified mechanics looking for a particular part. In that case, product summary and descriptions are more important than case studies and testimonials. However, if you are selling a product or service that is innovative, then you would want to emphasise the case studies and testimonials instead.
As can be seen, the path towards an effective, high-performing, content strategy involves a path of many steps and nuances. Those that can master these skills (or at least outsource them to those who already know), will end up reaping more sales and exposure than those that don't. If you need help with your content, be it a content review, strategy or writing your site content, contact us today for a chat.
Whitenton, K. Neilson Norman Group (2013) Flat vs. Depp Website Hierarchies. Retrieved from: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/flat-vs-deep-hierarchy/ Patel, N. The Moz Blog (2012) How to Improve Your Ranking with Semantic Keyword Research. Retrieved from: http://moz.com/blog/how-to-improve-your-rankings-with-semantic-keyword-research