“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet…” (Bill Gates, January 1996)
At Image Direct, when a client approaches us about a new website, we hear it time and again: “how do we get found on the internet/Google?”
Quality content will go a long way towards ensuring the success of your website. This might mean putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and anticipating their demands, but by positioning yourself as an expert in your field, in the long run you will acquire and retain customers.
At its foundation, best practice SEO comes down to a simple – and ofter overlooked – element: web-friendly content. And by web-friendly, this means:
- content written for people first and foremost, not Google indexing bots;
- content should be in-depth – no more than a thousand words tops, no less than a hundred at bare minimum;
- links to relevant websites that reinforce the page/article topic; and
- be situated on a mobile-responsive site.
Any given website can be built to spec to look like the proverbial million dollars – what we refer to in-house as ‘the wow factor’ – but at day’s end the bells and whistles are just that. Unless your potential audience is seen to be engaging with the site, all of that window dressing will ultimately count for naught.
Soundly produced, relevant material will go a long way to convincing your potential customer of your knowledge and expertise, and thus generate sales and leads. It adds value to your brand by answering questions your clientele might have, and making the intangible tangible.
Any given business revolves around a central tenet – solving the problems of their client base. To that end, any content produced for your website needs to anticipate and solve their problems. This requires have a content strategy in place to do so.
A workable and effective content strategy should mirror the themes of your business – and, by extensions, your website. If content is seen to be king, then a content strategy is the king-maker.
A content strategy requires awareness of your business goals, who your audience is, how well your current content works with these factors in mind, and what new content needs to be developed to tap into said factors.
It’s worth saying that you can’t just throw material out into the ether without a clear goal in mind when producing blog posts or articles. A given piece should speak to your business goals and ethics, whilst remaining on-brand; ideally, it should hit the sweet spot between business goals (selling more product/services, generating more leads) and customer goals (answering/anticipating their needs).
Of course, once you’ve developed the material, how to promote it? Social media, direct marketing via email, you name it. And once it’s out there in the world, you can track its effectiveness by monitoring your Google Analytics data over the following days and weeks.
A content strategy is about attracting the right customer(s) to your business, whilst providing the added value that consumers are looking for. Hook ’em with informative, relevant material and you’ll develop a loyal client base who are willing to come back again and again.
Content is king. Stick to that and your audience will 1) find you and 2) stay with you.
Kings may be judges of the earth, but wise men are the judges of kings. (Solomon Ibn Gabirol)