So, your website's been built. What next? You need to think about your website content.
The golden rule is to MAINTAIN YOUR WEBSITE. Don’t just get it built and then forget it – you'll be ignoring a valuable marketing channel and potential for growing your business.
There are many ways you can increase traffic to your website:
• Optimise your site with search engine optimisation techniques
• Google Adwords pay-per-click campaign
• Promoting your site through advertising on popular industry websites
• Newsletter marketing
• Promotion through social media
• Promotion through traditional marketing such as press adverts and flyering campaigns
Another way of driving traffic to your website is to continually update the site with fresh and valuable content, which we'll talk about here.
So, do you do it yourself or outsource? This depends on your own time and your skill. If English isn't your best subject, this may damage your business' image. If you don’t have the time or skills to maintain your website, use the skills of a professional.
What is website content?
Basically, it's words, pictures and video.
Your web developer might enter the initial content to get you going (make sure you know if this is included in the quote).
People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed – and it's also great for SEO. When a website is updated regularly, Google sees it as an active site and therefore ranks it more highly in search results pages.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is taking your website content one step further.
Many customers nowadays shut themselves off from the traditional world of marketing. They own a Sky Plus box to skip TV advertising, put themselves on the TPS to avoid cold calls on the telephone, often ignore magazine advertising, and skim-read online information without looking at banners or buttons.
Content marketing aims to reach these people in a different way. It's a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving customer action.
Content marketing is being used by some of the biggest companies in the world, including P&G and Microsoft. It’s also carried out by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.
It can include, blogging, social media posts, e-newsletters, videos, articles on other websites, infographics....the list goes on.
If you're going to write your own words, here are some tips:
- Try to be clear, direct, and sincere
- Remember ‘KISS’ - ‘Keep it Short and Simple’
- Avoid long sentences - split them into two where possible
- Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem. Get someone to double check what you've written
- Avoid “wishy washy” words like: may, maybe, hope, wish, try, but, could, perhaps and strive. Instead, use words like will and can to describe what your business will or can do for your reader
- Avoid the passive voice where possible, e.g. use “We created ten new designs” instead of “Ten new designs were created"
- Consider why your customers should buy your product or service
- Know your target audience and use a writing style that suits them
- Break text into small easily read chunks separated with headings and images for easier scanning – most people skim-read website text
- Create a call to action as often as possible (without becoming repetitive) – more on this next
Calls to Action
Call to action help your website to work hard for you. Calls to action are also very valuable in email campaigns, as one of the purposes of an email campaign is to get your potential customers to take an action.
Calls to action are a marketing necessity. Get them right and you have the means to drive your customers to just the conclusion you want, for example:
- Increasing leads and revenue
- Purchasing goods or services
- Downloading your latest white papers, etc.
Get your calls to action wrong and you are potentially damaging your digital marketing efforts.
Some people have a blog separate to their website, and sometime it's incorporated into the actual site. It's best for SEO to have everything in one place, but if you've got a separate blog, just make sure that you've got obvious links back to your main site.
Your goal with a blog is to:
- Show yourself as an expert in your field
- Showcase your products and services – within a good story
- Make it interesting so that it's shared, thus increasing your brand awareness
- Having obvious 'sharing' buttons on your website will help get your content shared
Some tips for writing engaging blogs:
- Identify and understand your target audience
- Be original
- Don’t be afraid to make it a long, magazine-style post. If it's interesting, people will read to the end
- Make it positive – positive blog posts are shared more often than negative ones
- Use current trends and recent news events as inspiration when you are creating content
- Use pictures
- Make is useful – maybe it will help people to solve a problem
- Make it easy to read, using the copywriting tips above
- Think of a headline that demands attention. For example:
- Include a promise in your title: “Everything You Need to Know About Web Design” (sound familiar?!)
- Numbers let your reader know what to expect: “10 Ways To Build a Great Website”
- Ask questions to stimulate curiosity: “What's Your Favourite Ever Website?”
- Write a “How To” article: “How to Become a Web Design Expert”
With so many options for content marketing out there, the biggest challenge SMEs face is – how do I find the time? You might be a sole trader struggling to fit everything in. Or an SME with a small number of staff covering a multitude of different roles.
Large organisations will either outsource their content marketing, or have staff whose sole role is to work on the content. SMEs don't have that luxury.
We can't create time, but what we can do is draw up a content schedule to fit what can do within the limited time we have to do it.
And as always in marketing, think about who your target audience are.
If you need any help or advice on getting your website content written, drop us a line.