As a business owner, your single most important marketing tool is perhaps your website. It functions as a “home base” for those seeking information about your business and is often the first touchpoint in what eventually becomes a sale. We have clients come to us all the time wanting a new sleek, modern website for their business because that’s what has become popular in the past several years. While the way a website looks is certainly important, too many clients seem to forget about the other piece of the puzzle: content.
A website needs rich, valuable content for two reasons; search engine ranking and, of course, the website visitors themselves. Good content will initially draw visitors to a website and then later convert them into customers. Transformation Marketing has developed, designed, and written content for countless websites, and this is what we’ve learned over the years.
Good content should be:
- Grammatically correct. You’d think we wouldn’t need to explicitly state this, but too many times we come across website content that has misspelled words or incorrect grammar. Your website is a reflection of your business, so it’s worth it to invest in an editor.
- Fluid. Website content should read smoothly and effortlessly. You want your visitors to focus on your business or product when reading the copy on your website, not have to go back and reread strangely worded or run-on sentences.
- Fresh/current. Parts of a business change, so naturally, the content on its website should too. It’s important to keep content updated and relevant to accommodate the changing needs of both the company and the customer. Do you need to rewrite everything once a month to keep your content fresh? No. But you should be revising periodically throughout the year. Incorporating a blog or news section into your website is a good way to easily share new information on a frequent basis.
Good content also needs:
- The right information. The purpose of website content is to not only educate visitors, but to educate search engines as well. Think about what kind of information your website visitors would be searching for, and only include info that is relevant and valuable. Would an FAQ be useful? How about how-to articles/videos? Keep in mind that search engines will decide what your website is about based on its content, and then display it in search engine queries accordingly.
- Keywords. In the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), keywords are the specific words or phrases within a website’s content that make it possible for internet users to find that site via search engines. For example, a company that specializes in roofing would probably want to use the words “roofing” and “contractors” in their website content, because those looking to purchase a new roof would likely be searching for those terms. Keywords should be highlighted in content in a way that is natural and not overly obvious. It’s crucial to not overdo it with keywords (this is known as keyword stuffing), as search engines will recognize it and penalize you in the form of lowering your search engine ranking.For example, “At Bob’s Roofing, we specialize in metal roofing, asphalt roofing, wood roofing, tile roofing, and other types of roofing.” Not only is this sentence awkward to read, Google would recognize it as spam and kill your website or specific web page’s ranking.
- Calls to action. Regardless of how good your website’s content may be, it can’t be effective unless the visitor is able to do something with it. Good content should include links, buttons, or other avenues that allow the visitor to complete some sort of action (contact us, add to cart, request an appointment, etc.) Calls to action are convenient and persuasive to the user and ultimately help increase conversion rates.
Maybe in 2016 or the years before you bought a new, minimalistic, flat-design website that looks like a million bucks. But when was the last time you reviewed or reworked its content? Most of the time, a successful website cannot have one without the other, yet the importance of content is easily overlooked. Improved website content should always be a business goal with each new year, so make it a priority to schedule time and pool resources to revamp or just enhance your copy this year. And if you don’t think you’re equipped to do it yourself, consider outsourcing the work to the pros (ahem). Cheers to great content, higher search engine rankings, and a very happy new year!