One of the most neglected, often overlooked, yet critical aspects of a professional website is its content.
Even though most business owners will procure website design and website development services, so that the final product looks and functions as it should, website content is the one area where far too many skimp on professional, high quality text, video content and images.
A solid, well planned content marketing strategy should assume a sizeable portion of your overall internet marketing strategy, because it should ultimately form the foundation of all your marketing activities online. Discover what is required to develop a rock solid content marketing strategy when you read this article.
Companies that offer cheap, quick to build websites rarely offer professional website content development services. This means that although an inexpensive website may initially look reasonable, it will not necessarily provide the sort of content that is search engine optimised or which encourages your prospects to take the next step in the buying process.
Professionally developed website content is a marketing investment
Content marketing is an investment in your business because it provides a relatively cost effective way to establish your credibility, showcase your knowledge and advertise your products or services. Compared to traditional advertising, content marketing not only requires a lower financial outlay, but it also provides greater exposure over a far longer period of time. Discover how you can determine ROI (return on investment) from your content marketing in this article.
Unless you are a good writer and have a fair understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), as well as online marketing, there are a few key reasons why for many businesses, it is necessary to procure the services of a professional website copywriter, online marketer and SEO specialist. At The Formula in Cape Town, we provide a comprehensive digital marketing service which includes all of these aspects, as well as professional web design and web development services, all backed by many years of internet marketing experience.
The 5 key features of effective website content
1. Good grammar, spelling and punctuation
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s: even the most prolific, successful and well respected authors require assistance to edit their writing to ensure that their grammar and spelling is correct and so that the general flow of their story reads well. A professional copywriter will compile website copy that is both relevant and interesting to read, as well as free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Whether you hire a copywriter to compile your website copy from scratch, or whether you require copy-editing services to ensure that your content reads well and looks professional, getting the basics right when it comes to the text on your website, is absolutely essential.
2. Persuasive content that incites action
When prospects land on your website, they are already looking for your products or services and are essentially looking for the reason why they should engage with you.
Your content, which should be written using an easy to read, active language style, should provide them with the answers to all of their burning questions and provide a simple means for them to take the next step in the buying process.
Highlight the benefits: Firstly, it is important to differentiate between what the benefits are versus the features of your product or service. For example: a feature of a vitamin supplement may be that it contains 21 key vitamins and minerals, while a benefit would be the fact that it gives you more energy to function at your best throughout the day.
While it is important to list the features of products and services, it is equally important to explain how those features benefit the prospect.
Explain how you differ: visitors will want to know why they should choose your company over one of your competitors. Your key point of difference and the factor which makes your company better than your competitor/s, should be made crystal clear.
Persuade prospects to take the next step: while featuring your products or services and spelling out your benefits is imperative, it is essential to provide the visitor with easy access to the next logical step in the buying process. ‘Buy now’, ‘Find out more’, ‘Sign up’, ‘Get started’ – these are all examples of a Call to Action (CTA) that will help your visitors take the action that you want them to.
Start a conversation: provide your visitors with the ability to talk to you and actively engage with your content. Whether you provide the facility for comments, or the ability to share content, provide them with a reason to not only engage in a conversation with you, but to also return to that conversation (and ultimately your website!).
3. Solid Search Engine Optimisation
We have written a few articles, which you can view HERE, concerning the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short) when it comes to boosting the success of your website.
The bottom line is that optimising your website content, so that it remains easier for search engines to find, is imperative. SEO has however, evolved way beyond keyword stuffing, or using a particular keyword or key phrase as many times as possible within a paragraph or website page.
Relevant, useful content: leading search engines such as Google, reward those websites which offer users the best possible online experience and this includes providing good quality information that visitors are looking for, which is useful and relevant to their needs and wants.
Fresh content: The ‘build it and forget it’ trap that so many businesses fall into, in which they launch their website and then never update content on it again, is something which is heavily penalised by search engines. Whether you are updating products and services, posting blog articles, actively managing social media pages or sharing customised video content – all of this is considered to be ‘fresh content’. Consider hiring a content marketing professional, such as The Formula if you are unable to produce enough content yourself. Find out more HERE.
Meta-data: the meta-title and meta-description are the first pieces of content that your prospects will see when searching for your products and services online, which means that these need to contain copy that is persuasive enough to initiate a click through to your website.
With stringent character limits, which provide you with only a few words to get your message across, it is often a good idea to engage the services of an online copywriter to help you compile the most appropriate message.
Keywords and key phrases: because prospects will use certain words and phrases to search for your products and services and because standard search engines use these to reference relevant websites, it remains important to include the most popular search words and phrases in your website content. Overdoing the use of these however, is counterproductive and copy should always read easily and naturally.
4. Variety to ignite more interest
The most highly indexed websites are those that provide the visitor with varied content in different forms. As far as search engines are concerned, this means that you are committed to providing your visitors with useful, relevant information. In addition, by providing content in a variety of forms, you are able to appeal to a wider range of interests and inclinations. While some people are happy to read, others prefer a video or slide-deck to obtain information. Be sure to provide the most appropriate forms of content that cater to the needs and expectations of your particular audience.
Blog posts or news articles: top 10, or top 5 lists, industry research and statistics, your response to key industry news items and matters, ‘how to’ articles, trend predictions, survey results (from surveys conducted with your own audience), innovations, new products and internal company news – these are all potential topics that you can consider when compiling articles for your blog or news page. Be sure to write articles that are over 500 words, but under 2000.
Active social media feeds: maintain active social media pages, which feed into your website so that visitors can see recently posted, relevant content and can be encouraged to engage with you on these external platforms.
Videos and images: introductory videos to your products and services, short video clips in and around your premises, short informational videos which explain aspects of your services and Pinterest images to provide a gallery for your products and services – there are a variety of options to provide your website visitors with interesting content. Mobile short video products are a popular choice for creating customised content today. Discover how HERE.
5. Quality rather than Quantity
While it is important to provide regularly updated content and a good variety of that content, it is imperative to ensure that each piece is of optimal quality and highly relevant to your target audience.
Website content: rather opt for shorter paragraphs and sentences, which contain punchy copy which is easy to understand and enjoyable to read, than reams of content which takes too long to get to the point.
Blog posts: instead of writing 5 short blog posts per week, rather opt for one or two long form articles which provide more detailed content that the reader can really use and benefit from.
Social Media: provide a variety of posts that are both beneficial and enjoyable for the client to read.
Videos: whether humorous or serious, videos should always be emotive and informative in order to be memorable.
Images: be sure to use only high quality images and illustrations, and as many customised or original images as possible. Try to steer clear of over-used stock photography as this tends to simply make your website look impersonal.
Give your customers an experience they’ll remember
Ensuring that your website contains outstanding website content, is just one element of a professional, memorable and successful website.
The other critical components that need to be considered when it comes to creating a new website include website design, website development and search engine optimisation.
We understand that creating a new website may seem incredibly daunting, which is why we’ve covered all the components that you need to be aware of in our informative series of blog posts. Look out for this series entitled ‘Why a Professional Website Matters’ or click on the links above to find out more.
At The Formula in Cape Town, our talented, experienced team of marketers and professional web designers and developers can assist you with every aspect of your online marketing. We’re here to help you grow your business through a solid online marketing plan and our comprehensive range of professional digital marketing services.
Let’s get talking about how we can help you reach your business goals!
Call Garth or Shiraz on 021 556 5661 or email us: email@example.com to set up your FREE online marketing consultation with us.