You may have heard about the importance of high quality content for Search Engine Optimization. The major search engines’ focus on “quality,” especially Google, has triggered a positive trend (at least for website visitors): Content has to be much more than just contextually relevant; it has to be compelling enough to warrant multitudes of links from website visitors who deem it worthy. Essentially if it isn’t good enough to share with others, there’s little chance it will have a #1 ranking on Google.
Take a look at the content on your own website from this perspective, “If I’m my best potential customer, is there a good reason for me to share this content with my peers?” At the very least this question should show the potential of what your website could be. There’s a clear path to getting there, and part of it is outside of the context of this post, where social media and blogging can be leveraged to this end. For now, let’s focus on what can be done to make your existing website content link-worthy — not just to get you that #1 Google ranking, but to drive visitors to website goals and ultimately to get them into your sales pipeline.
The key concept here is relevance. Website visitors typically skip over anything they don’t deem to be relevant to them. This is compounded by hyper-impatience (for a more in-depth exploration of this, see my last post); website visitors are less likely to read through lengthy blocks of text than to scan for information and next steps. Your copy and content should be cognizant of this reality, especially because it might contradict best practices for some other forms of marketing copy, such as PR writing.
To assess your own website and make this idea more tangible, ask yourself and others:
- Are your key messages, most relevant keywords, and calls-to-action highly visible and easy to understand, even in a quick scan?
- Is your copy overly self-aggrandizing and self-serving? Shouldn’t it address the needs of the person reading the page over making unsubstantiated claims about your business?
- Is there unique content, including headlines, calls-to-action and resources specific for each buyer profile and/or target market? Is this content separated into different sections or pages, or is it all meshed together?
- Is there objective information, credentials, testimonials to corroborate claims made in the copy?
- Are there compelling resources or offers designed to move potential customers of each target market forward in the buying cycle? Is this true for all phases of the buying cycle for each audience?
If alarm bells are going off, you might want to consider investing in new content and copy for your website. Effective website content improves search results, conversion rates, thought-leadership, branding and so much more.
My next post will dive into the highly visble but often ethereal realm of design, and hopefully present a framework for clearly assessing its effectiveness on your current website. See you then…
Note: This is post four of a nine-post series entitled, “Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation?” To read more of Justin’s series, just follow the links below…
Tune into a podcast interview about this post with the author of the series.
For more information on website optimization, check out Nowspeed’s eight chapter eBook “Is Your Website Optimizated for Demand Generation and High ROI?”