Your business is doing great despite the challenges of worldwide turmoil and economic uncertainty. Customers appreciate the quality and pricing of your products and services. They recognize that your employees know their stuff and can help them solve real-world problems. So why do you need to spend time and money developing an effective website strategy?
Fair enough. Why would any thriving business need to divert attention and resources to building and maintaining an authoritative digital footprint?
At least part of the answer is that your prospective customers now overwhelmingly use their smartphones to locate what they’re seeking. If a quick search using keywords relevant to your niche doesn’t land your company on Page 1 of search engine results pages (SERPs), you’re effectively invisible to that shopper. That prospective customer might be parked one block away and yet have no idea you exist.
Elements of a Strong Website Content Strategy
OK, so no one wants to be invisible on the internet. On the front end, business owners and managers can see that they need to dedicate some hours, which means finances. Getting the most bang for the buck will require focusing on your unique selling proposition, the people most likely to need what you have to offer, and your specific service area.
Once you’ve answered the Five W’s accurately, you’re ready to get started. Keep the following five principles in mind as you curate your website’s content.
1. Strong content showcases your expertise in relevant topics.
Are you and your staff highly skilled in a specific area? Do customers come to you asking questions about the niche your company occupies? In short, why do most people darken the door of your storefront?
If there is any difference between what you are known for and what you would like to be known for, that dissonance reveals the need for a website content strategy.
As customers pepper you and the staff with questions and complaints, jot down reminders. Recording these encounters will pay dividends when you develop your website content strategy. Rather than answering a single question on the fly, publish a thorough response. Ensure your published articles are accurate, timely, and address real-world concerns. As you tweak your various forms of media, keep an eye on optimizing your content for search engines.
2. Useful content gently moves readers through your sales funnel.
We all recognize a gap between answering a customer’s question and making a sale.
However, overcoming misgivings is a crucial step. In addition to moving a prospect closer to a sale, confidently addressing issues relative to your niche establishes your company as authoritative. The trick now is to transfer that expertise and confidence into the digital realm and trust that increased sales will follow.
To build authority with readers, you must hit questions and answers at every stage. That means accurate, updated onsite content at the funnel’s top, middle, and bottom. This website content strategy will help build that authority with your potential customers and show them that you clearly understand their pain points…and can help solve them.
3. Your website should signal to search engines that you know your stuff.
What distinguishes popular websites from those that are merely so-so? If we were to boil the answer down to a single word, the term we’d pick would be authenticity.
As you develop your website content strategy, don’t succumb to the temptation to exaggerate or obfuscate who you are and what you have to offer. We live in an era of rapid communication where anyone armed with a smartphone can express disappointment to a worldwide audience even before driving away from your storefront.
However, when you publish (and maintain ) valuable online content, your existing customers learn to use you as a reference point in your specific niche. Perhaps more importantly for companies pursuing market growth, other entities begin sharing links to your website pages, media files on Instagram, videos on YouTube, and any other online resources your company owns and maintains.
Before long, your “digital footprint snowball” takes on more “SEO snow” as it rolls downhill.
As you consistently respond to real-world customer needs, other individuals and non-competing businesses begin linking to your resources. They’re willing to do so as, time and again, your published content has proven to be both professional in appearance and thoroughly reliable.
Providing links to your expertise makes them look good, too. Acquiring backlinks in this way is when search engines really begin to notice. Assuming you keep a close eye on your website analytics and other empirical data, you can continually adjust your website content strategy to target your most relevant keywords.
4. Popular content boosts your ranking on SERPs.
Strong website content backed up by real-world results is the not-so-secret sauce that distinguishes one company from another. When ranking for important keywords, ensure your website content strategy targets words and phrases that reflect reality.
Your site starts gaining search engine clout as a recognized authority. You begin to rank for keywords that are crucial to your industry. As that domain authority grows, your SEO ranking improves. Search engine bots and spiders dutifully gather more and more evidence that you are a credible resource.
After perhaps a few months, that potential customer parked one black away enters any of those critical keywords into a smartphone search box, and suddenly they see your business as relevant to what they need. (They also notice that your storefront is just around the corner, alongside your phone number and hours of operation.)
5. Strong content is responsive to search intent.
The whole point of building and maintaining reliable onsite content is to help your audience better articulate their pain points and, having done that, solve those issues.
That said, your onsite content needs to match the search intent of target keywords. When your content matches up with what users seek, you’ll build your site’s authority with prospective customers and search engines.
For example, publishing a 2,000-word article describing your product and its virtues might not be the best call if your relevant keywords support a primarily commercial intent.
However, you might publish a simple product page one day and a helpful 2,000-word blog the next. That blog post could take a more objective stance. It might highlight what shoppers should look for when purchasing products like yours and, almost as an aside, include a link to the product page you published the day before.
If you treat your potential customers well, they are likely to return the favor.
You needn’t mention or link to any of your competitors, but you could serve them well by informing them of what works in your niche…and what doesn’t. If your post takes a low- or no-pressure point of view, people are likely to recall that you helped them even if they didn’t end up buying from you.
Building non-paying-customer loyalty over time will likely pay off in the long run. And it contributes positively to your domain authority and SEO along the way.
As you consider boosting your ranking with search engines, make sure you know who you are and (perhaps more importantly) who you are not. A small engine repair shop will need to zero in on different long tail keywords than the massive muffler chain with three locations in the same service area.
Pick the wrong keywords, and your search ranking likely won’t budge.
If your company has yet to make a significant dent in developing an effective website content strategy, don’t despair. The past few years have left more than a few industries reeling. For example, not many businesses prepared themselves for a sudden and massive need for touchless service. However, regardless of the size of your company, everyone can start small and build.
If you’re anxious to boost your online profile but not really sure which direction to go, we’re here to help. Let the experts at Relevance point you in the right direction for your content strategy by scheduling a free consultation.