When it comes to creating great user experiences, driving traffic, and earning conversions, content matters. However, you get people there, content is what keeps them interested. Your business page content:
- Provides visitors with information about your products and services
- Establishes your thought leadership
- Builds trust
- Answers questions and solves problems
- Communicates your branding
- Allows you to share your values with the rest of the world
Your on page content includes your home page, contact information, product descriptions, landing pages, policy pages, company history, company and product news, and updates, about us, blog posts, and any other information you provide to visitors. Content is written words. It’s also videos, photographs, and infographics.
Now the challenge. Every business website has similar content. Everyone has product description pages as well as all the other content mentioned above. How do you make yours stand out? The answer is simple, but the execution isn’t. You have to maintain a relentless focus on quality. Your content must be relevant, current, and meet the highest of standards.
Start With a Content Review
You can create dozens of amazing blog posts, find and share well-targeted content, and write new web pages in an effort to make your site interesting to visitors. Unfortunately, all of these efforts will fall flat if your existing web content is lackluster. The best place to start is with a comprehensive, content audit. Here are some things to look for:
- Stale-dated content that is no longer relevant and needs to be updated
- Content that is inaccurate
- Pages with broken links
- Content that simply doesn’t match your branding
Most importantly, look for content that simply doesn’t meet your standards. Perhaps it isn’t detailed enough, or maybe there are more errors than there should be. It can help to think from the customer’s POV. Ask yourself, ‘If I were on this page, what questions would I have? What information would I need in order to take the next step?’
Keep in mind that Google is now prioritizing content that answers questions. Maintaining a focus on this will likely lead to improved SEO for both your old and new content.
Through this process, you’ll likely identify content that needs to be fixed. Chances are, you’ll also identify content that is missing entirely. Once you have this information, you can begin to set priorities and create an editorial plan.
Conducting a Competitive Analysis
You may have heard that you should worry about doing your own thing and that it’s a waste of time to concern yourself with the actions of your competitors. That’s absurd. If you want to differentiate yourself, you must first understand what your competitors are doing. In some cases, differentiating your business may not be the best decision. If one of your competitors is doing an amazing job at meeting the needs of their customers through content, then your best choice may be to take their idea and simply do a better job of executing it.
As you look at the content your competitors are creating, ask yourself:
- Which audience members are they failing to reach?
- What are the questions they aren’t answering?
- What are the questions they are answering?
- What topics are getting the most engagement?
Staying on Top of Current Issues
Relevance matters. Your content must touch on the issues that matter to your audience. Know the topics that are trending in your niche, and focus on writing content that meets their needs today.
You can keep your content up to date by:
- Monitoring social media for trending topics
- Participating in online forums and discussion groups that are relevant to your industry
- Subscribing to headline aggregators and news feeds
- Keeping an eye on local news and events
- Setting Google alerts for relevant topics
Once you know what your audience cares about, it becomes much easier to create content that meets their needs.
Build Credibility With Data
Content can lead to credibility, but only if it’s accurate and well-supported. Don’t simply expect your audience to believe what you say. Give them no choice. Back up your content with reliable data and links to trustworthy sources.
Do you have a product that will save businesses thousands of dollars each year? Then share a case study. Have you accomplished something that your competitors have not? Get some reputable third-party validation.
Any time you share a statistic or make a bold claim, you should back that up with data that proves it. There are several ways to source data. First, your own files and website analytics can be an amazing source of information. There are also publicly available databases. You can even use other websites as data sources, as long as they are reputable. For example, if you own a fitness studio, a report written by a Ph.D. in physiology is going to carry more weight than a blogger hawking weight loss shakes on Instagram.
Remember that linking data is just one option. You can also use data science to create tables, charts, and infographics. These are very useful when it comes to communicating complex information in a way that is relatable.
Focus on Both Quantity And Quality
To keep people returning to your site, you have to create quality content, and you have to produce a lot of that content. Sometimes, the writing and editing process can be overwhelming. Small businesses struggle to produce content at a rate that matches their competitors. Traffic lags as a result. In these cases, it may be necessary to hire professional assistance. By sourcing top editing services, you can improve your ability to get quality content out on a consistent basis.
Be Aware of The Customer Journey
You’ve probably created customer personas to help you understand who you are targeting with your content. That’s great but in addition to understanding who, you need to understand where. Specifically, you have to create content that is relevant to your audience based upon where they are in the customer journey. For example, a customer who is just learning about your company is going to have different needs than someone who has been a loyal customer for years.
Use customer journey mapping to better understand the process customers go through as they get to know your business, research your products, and eventually take the path to make a purchase. Use this to anticipate customer needs and to identify points of friction. Then create content that makes the journey easier.
There are no quick fixes or magic tricks when it comes to creating great website content. You have to audit your existing content, make any needed changes there, stay on top of the issues that impact your audience, build thought leadership through data, and produce amazing content on a consistent basis. Finally, you must ensure that you meet customers with the content they need, every step of the way.