— August 21, 2018
Content has always been a very important component of inbound marketing, and now more so with Google’s algorithm that reward fresh, relevant content. Without good content, it is hard to drive visitors to your website or convert them into leads.
Decide on your messaging strategy:
Here are four questions to ask yourself about your website’s content:
- Do visitors immediately understand what the website is about?
- Will visitors know which page they are on and why?
- Can visitors easily navigate to the next page?
- Is there some value proposition to cause visitors to interact with your site rather than someone else’s?
An affirmative answer to all four questions will translate into more traffic, more leads, and a lower bounce rate.
Here are a few tips for making sure your message gets out:
- Use headlines and subheads to outline your most important ideas on each page. Avoid clichés, doublespeak and jargon.
- Offer a powerful value proposition. That means either giving away something of value of offering it at an incredibly attractive price. Anything from downloads to free offers can be used.
- Include clear calls-to-action, which direct visitors on what to do next to benefit from the value proposition. Put links into the body content that direct readers to registration dialogs, data intake forms, exclusive offers, etc.
- Perform A/B testing on your copy and headlines to see which alternative yields better results. There are online tools from Google and others that help determine which variation drives more conversions.
- Go beyond simple product content. Offer eBooks, videos, white papers and other types of educational content. This attracts visitors who may not know yet that they want to buy from you – they are on the outer tip of the marketing funnel. Suck them into the funnel with free, valuable content.
- When delivering a sales pitch, use a writing style that matches colloquial one-on-one conversation. Pronouns like “you” and “we” are preferred over “one” or “they”. Never talk down to your audience.
- Your content should help visitors solve their problems. Don’t go around bragging about how you are the best – instead make a point of explaining how your content helps viewers.
Share quality content:
When we speak about quality content, we are actually talking about quality, unique content. If you copy, you die. Search engines pick it up right away and penalize you, sometimes by de-indexing you altogether. If you have nothing original to say, don’t say it. Next, write to the highest language standards you can. Humans appreciate good grammar, sentence construction, proper spelling and logical thought. Your original content should educate or entertain its readership – boring content is, well, boring. People are busy and need to extract value from your content, or they will spend their time elsewhere.
There are times when it helps to provide evidence to prove a point. If, in the course of presenting your material, you quote facts, statistics, events, etc., give them some backing with a credit, either inline or as a footnote. A backlink to your source would be appropriate.
Finally, try to avoid jargon and clichés, such as “cutting edge” or “mission critical”. These phrases have been so overused that they have lost their meanings. They turn off readers and make your content seem suspect. Prose that contains phrases like “groundbreaking” seldom is. Often, spammy websites substitute clever headlines and captions for clear content. You can’t trick your readers into enjoying your content with snappy headlines alone. Give them clear, concise material and leave the gimmicks to others.