This entry is the first in a series of posts on establishing an effective web presence.
The Importance of Content
I hear a lot of business owners talking about how important it is for people to be able to find their website, what we refer to as Search Engine Optimization or SEO. And while this is very important, I think there are a couple of other topics that people forget to talk about to create an effective website, namely content and conversion, so I’m going to start with these.
As business people, we put our websites out there to get visitors to do something that we would like them to do. This is called a call to action, and it is a very important consideration on how we build our websites. We can drive thousands of people to our website , but if no one takes action toward an outcome that we both desire then what real value is that? Our visitors feel like they’ve wasted their time, and for the business owners have just lost a potential customer.
Too frequently in regard to website content, we forget about what is important to our customers. Instead we write the content that we (the businesses) think they want. We use our terms and frequently forget about the buying cycle of our products and services.
A successful website focuses on engagement and conversation instead of static one-way communication. And it therefore needs to be written with the visitor in mind. This shift seems to be occurring at faster and faster rates than ever before.
Visitors often seek your products and services out when they do a search, and are more often doing so on the Internet. Interrupting a potential buyer while he/she is in the middle of something just isn’t effective. Many visitors are now proactive with researching products and services. I’m sure there is truth that if you say something long enough people will listen. But will it have the intended consequence? Will it finally get someone to call us for our products and services, or will it make sure that they will never call?
The web gives us the opportunity to get permission from visitors to converse with them, so it has tremendous potential. These conversations can lead to relationships and ultimately conversion (that is, taking the actions the business wants).
It is not just enough to drive people to your website. It needs to be the right people. And it needs to add value for those visitors so they stay on the site, engage, and keep coming back. Once we are privileged by having a visitor on our site, we need to make sure that they get what they are looking for and that the business can capitalize on the opportunity to build a relationship and a customer.
This is where content and search optimization are critically intertwined, and why businesses need to make sure that they think about the importance of content. After all, your customer is only one click away from leaving your website, maybe forever.