Nº1 in the series ‘Managing your Business in a Crisis’
I have chosen the mantra ‘Content is King’ for my first post on ‘Managing your Business in a Crisis’ for the simple reason that the current ‘crisis’ means we much more time to create content for our sites. I hear time and time again from my customers that they don’t have time to write articles and produce content for their sites because they are just too busy running their businesses day to day. Fair enough, when the ducks are flying etc … but now, let’s face it, the ducks are well and truly grounded.
Why is content so important?
SEO can be complicated – there are so many ways up the ranking mountain that knowing where to start is tough. However, keeping in mind one simple rule can take a good deal of the stress out of the task. What google (and indeed all search engines) are looking to return for our searches is what they consider to be THE MOST RELEVANT website for any particular search. In fact Google’s business reputation relies on this. Search and it’s related, monetised spin-off Adwords, sinks or swims on user’s faith in the quality of results they are served.
It stands to reason therefore, that the more content you put on your site which is relevant to your keywords, the better your chance of achieving and maintaining your SEO ambitions. Furthermore, one of the other highly important ranking criteria is refreshed content. Not only are google looking for relevant content, they are also looking for new content. This is because they want to serve up sites that are ‘alive’ on the basis that these are the business that are most likely to satisfy a browser’s needs.
Now is the time to get writing
Whilst things are quiet there’s no better time for creating some content for your site – here’s some 10 tips:
- When writing your aim is to portray yourself as an expert or authoritative voice in your business sector
- When creating copy for your site it’s a good idea to imagine the person you are addressing and write as if you were chatting directly to them. Not only will this naturally make the content more relevant, it will make it more enjoyable to read.
- A vital piece in the ‘decision to buy’ jigsaw is, ‘do I trust this business with my money?’ (see post ‘Why People Buy‘). The more information you give people the more they will trust you and the more likely they are to buy.
- Homepage content – the homepage of your website should do a number of things to introduce browsers to your business but most importantly it should:
- Reassure visitors that they have come to the right place
- Entice them to click a deep link. Clicking a ‘deep’ or ‘internal’ link encourages people to linger. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to buy or at least contact you
- Keep your articles short and to the point – people really like lists such as ‘The Top ten things that you didn’t know about ….
- FAQ pages are amongst the most frequently visited pages on a website. Think about creating one based around what you get asked the most
- Galleries – using a gallery of your product images on your site and via instagram is a great way of getting people to engage. If you don’t have a physical product then images of completed jobs, your staff, your offices are all important in building up trust.
- News – News is a powerful tool but be careful. Whether you like it or not people are only interested in news that’s relevant to them. No one cares if Sandra in Accounts has just had a baby but they may care if you have a new product that will transform their lives
- Be aware of the decision making group (DMG) – it’s worth bearing in mind that there is often more than one person making the buying decision. This is especially important in a B2B transaction where the DMG can involve all departments of a company from sales to finance up to board level. But even with B2C it’s often an entire family that’s in on the decision. When creating content for your site bear this in mind – what the CFO needs to know is quite different from the sales director and potentially different again for the CMO and the COO. Make sure you have content that’s relevant to all.
- Finally don’t forget that video content is much more engaging than the written word. Watching a video is brain-passive whereas reading is brain-active. By including an explanatory video on your site you are much more likely to keep your visitors – such as on my site.