As we talk to business owners, almost everyone agrees that they need a website. Very few understand what their company should expect to get from the site. Most business owners fall into one of two camps. Either they think that the site should be like a jackpot slot machine that dumps leads at their feet, or they think that it is just a cost of doing business that won’t ever be more than an online brochure.
The true opportunity lies somewhere in between. A website should generate leads, but it will only do this if you have a good digital plan that incorporates the site into your overall marketing strategy.
Now, if you are like me, my eyes start glazing over when I read phrases like the one in that last paragraph: “digital plan that incorporates the site into your overall marketing strategy.”
Let’s get away marketing terminology and distill this down to the core concepts.
A good content plan = an effective website
It’s really that simple. Creating high value content helps customers find you as they move through the buying process. Content marketing turns the tables on cold calling. Customers find you when they need your products and services.
How do customers find me when they are ready to buy?
Every company has an area of expertise. The best way to generate leads online is to share your expertise through your site. You have knowledge that your clients need, and you should share it!
Sharing is great, but you may be asking how this is going to generate leads. Almost everyone uses Google at some point as they consider a buying decision. Google sends traffic to responsive sites that have high value content that is updated frequently. If a potential customer finds the answers to their questions on your site, who are they going to trust when they are ready to make a purchase? YOU!
So what are the key ingredients of an effective content plan for your site? Let’s take a look.
#1: Hub and Spoke
There are many different kinds of content including product and service descriptions, blog posts, videos, photography, and infographics.
Your website should be the hub that coordinates all of the different kinds of content that you create. Lots of companies launch YouTube pages, social media plans, and email marketing campaigns without any reference back to their website. This is a missed opportunity for many reasons, but the most important is that your site is the only thing that is capable of coordinating these activities so that they can multiply each other. For example, let’s say that your company creates a short educational video. You can post the video on YouTube because YouTube videos get tremendous exposure in search. Then embed the YouTube video on your site. Every time someone plays the video on your site, it boosts your YouTube play count which helps you get more exposure in search. This, in turn, brings more people to your site. All of these things feed off of each other to multiply your marketing efforts.
#2: High Value Content with Calls-to-Action
High value content is vitally important to a healthy website. Are you answering the questions that your clients are asking? Are you using terminology that they will understand, or are you using insider lingo?
The best way to start coming up with content ideas for your site is to try to view it through your customer’s eyes. What are the questions that they are asking? Are you describing your services using the same terms that potential clients would use? If not, Google won’t know that you are relevant for their searches, and potential clients may not feel confident that your site is the site that can help them.
Finally, look at EVERY PAGE and ask yourself, “If I were a client who found this helpful, what would I do next?” Include a white paper that they can download with more detailed information, or add an easy method for scheduling an in person consultation. Make it easy for potential clients to take a small step towards doing business with you.
#3: Blogging to Keep Things Fresh
The importance of blogging can not be overstated. We are going to talk more about this in a few days, but a blog provides a way to share your key messages fresh ways. You can share case studies and promote product releases. If you develop a plan to guide your efforts, a blog will be one of the most powerful tools in your bag.
Content is King (and Queen!)
High value content is truly the key to a successful site. As you share valuable information, clients trust you as the go to source for answers to their questions. When they decide to do business with you, the relationship starts on a solid foundation of trust.
Do you need help reviewing the content on your website? Contact us today! We are happy to sit down with you to review your content any time.