Practically everyone has a website now. But what (hopefully) sets your site apart from the rest? Great site content. Ensuring that your website is filled with well-written, insightful content is essential to creating a successful business or brand. Though layout and design styles continue to change, the one thing that has, and will continue to be a constant in terms of influence is site content. But how do you create good content? And what makes it so important? Let’s find out.
Search Engine Optimization
We’ll start with one of the most important reasons to invest in quality site content: SEO. Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of enhancing a website to organically, or without paying for increased exposure, rank higher on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search engines such as Google want to show users the best results it can find for the specific keywords that are entered by providing content that is trustworthy, unique, and popular. For example, let’s say you own a pizza restaurant, but your neighbor Bob also owns a pizza restaurant. Bob has taken the time to create a website with photos, reviews, links to newspaper articles, social media posts, and thoughtful descriptions of the different types of pies he offers, leading him to be designated as the best authentic pizza in Memphis. On the other hand, you did the bare minimum, only adding a few photos and generic descriptions to your site content. The taste should be what sells it, right? Unfortunately, Google can’t taste your pizza. But it can evaluate your site content and compare it to Bob’s. By optimizing your site content, you can help show Google that you’re better than Bob, and that you should be featured on the top of its first page of search results.
Let’s continue with the pizza analogy. Chances are you’re not sitting around at your restaurant greeting people and discussing how great your pies are 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But your website can. A website allows you to greet your customers online at any time. Good site content makes sure that you’re putting your best foot forward for your site’s visitors, regardless of whether it’s 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. Here’s a prime example: Let’s say Mary is craving pizza, but it’s late and nowhere is open so she decides to research the best pizza place to eat at the next day for lunch. You want to make sure that when Mary visits your website, your site content — photos, headlines, descriptions, testimonials, and more — places your restaurant at the top of Mary’s list, especially over Bob’s. Even though you’re not open to talk to Mary one-on-one about how delicious your pies are, you can still make sure that your site content can do all the convincing for you.
Adding “expert” after your title doesn’t necessarily make you one. If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, you’re going to have to earn it. Creating site content that educates people on your work can lead people to consider you as an expert. It can also lend to your credibility, encouraging people to view you as reliable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. When people consider you an expert, they’re more likely to ask for your opinion on topics that can be shared outside of your own site. Not only does that help increase your visibility, but it can also help improve your SEO rank on Google.
Making the Money
Quality websites featuring knowledgeable, useful content can help result in increased conversions — meaning more money for you! But remember, users read your content too, not just search engines. It’s important to make sure that your site content isn’t directed solely towards increasing your conversions, but is also useful, answers relevant questions, and provides a distinct perspective that may be missing from other sites. Another important aspect to consider when pondering how your site content can impact your conversion rates: well thought-out descriptions. When convincing someone to make a purchase, you want to make sure they’re equipped with the knowledge necessary to be confident in their decision. If they’re buying a t-shirt, is it soft? What material is it made out of? Is it pre-shrunk? What are the corresponding measurements to each size?
When someone is contemplating a purchase, whether it’s a toaster, hairdresser, brand of shampoo, or piece of furniture, they tend to do their research. That includes when they’re shopping in-store as well. According to a report by The ROBO Economy, 82% of smartphone users consulted their phones on purchases they intended to make in-store. So what does that mean for those who are still feeling a bit of the old school vibe of solely brick and mortar? Unless you want to get left behind, you’ve got to step up your game. Shoppers have spoken, and site content matters.
Although the majority of our discussion has focused on written site content, a superior website is about so much more than just what’s written on its pages. Quality content can come in the form of videos, landing pages, graphic designs, downloadable checklists, e-books, podcasts, or photographs. You have to ensure that you’re displaying your content in a variety of ways and that it caters to the different needs your customers have.
Let’s say you’re ready to take the next step but need a bit of help. How can you ensure that your site content compares? Do your own research. Think about the questions and keywords that users would search for when trying to find your site, and then incorporate those into your marketing strategy. Become an expert in your field, not just by thought, but by action. Feature blogs on your site that clearly articulate your expertise and are well-written and edited. If necessary, consult with a marketing firm or SEO expert on ways to ensure that your site is putting your best foot forward.