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As a critical part of your business, your website can leave an impression on potential clients, encourage your audience to return for informative content, and drive sales conversions. With such limitless potential, however, honing in on the right pages and the right content can be a challenge. You can create effective website content by starting with the following seven questions.
Image via Flickr by ePublicist
As the first page that many potential clients will see, your home page should welcome visitors in the same way a lobby would for a brick-and-mortar business. First-time visitors take in every detail, from design to content. They won’t need long to decide whether they should explore your page further or leave.
Keep in mind that your visitors have an increasingly short attention span, so you’ll need to capture their interest quickly. Speak directly to visitors in the second person instead of launching into an introduction to your company. Anticipate that visitors are likely to scan your home page instead of hanging onto every word, so leave ample white space between brief sections of content.
The home page is the ideal place to show off your business and highlight what you do well, so consider adding testimonials, snippets of rave reviews, and client logos. Keep your home page copy brief, but be sure to incorporate essential keywords naturally.
No matter how spectacular your website is, your audience won’t be able to find your site easily if you don’t take a few basic steps to optimize it for searching. Although search engine optimization, SEO, best practices change constantly, one longstanding requirement is the need to include keywords.
As Google’s analysis continues to become more complex, however, basic keywords will help you only to a certain extent with your search ranking. Include keyword synonyms and related terms to show that the content on your site has depth and that you know what you’re talking about.
Once new visitors have landed on your site, you’ll want to keep their attention until they’re ready to follow one of your calls to action. Encourage them to explore your website content by strategically placing internal links on each page and making your website easy to navigate.
In theory, your website is all about your business. In reality, however, both the content and tone of your site should focus on potential and current clients.
The best place to make this client-focused language shine is on the about page. If you’re tempted to launch into a lengthy description of yourself and the history of your company on the about page, stop yourself. Provide your audience with a brief introduction to who you are and what your company is all about, but focus most of the copy on how you can solve the problems that your audience has.
Since most of your website visitors arrive at your site to learn more about how you can help them, think of more ways to keep the conversation going beyond the about page. Add social media icons and encourage visitors to join you on your social media platforms to project more personality while keeping the focus on meeting your audience’s needs.
Once you have content for basic components like the home page, about page, and any e-commerce pages, start thinking about other content sections, like your company blog. Before you launch into a series of blog posts, however, know your intended audience.
In addition to doing a thorough analysis of your various customer segments, many content marketers find it helpful to develop buyer personas. Creating generalized personas for various types of clients can help you better understand their desires and make sure you’re addressing their needs.
Unless you’ve found a way to offer a product or service that no other company can, your business most likely isn’t alone in its market. In other words, you need to define the ways you differ from your competitors. Publishing white papers, creating e-books, and developing infographics are all effective ways to highlight your authority in your field.
You should also consider sharing case studies as meeting customer needs examples. More advanced than testimonials or reviews, case studies delve into your clients’ complex problems and show how you’ve used your experience to devise effective solutions.
Chances are you’re not creating your company website only for fun. Instead, you want the site to encourage visitors to take specific actions, which might include purchasing a product or a service, sharing a post, signing up for an email newsletter, or downloading your latest e-book.
No matter how well you’ve designed your website, visitors won’t always know what to do unless you prompt them directly. You’ll need toinclude calls to action (CTAs) in strategic locations on your website. The most common places to incorporate CTAs are at the end of blog posts, above the fold on your home page, and on site pop ups.
Not all of your potential clients will arrive at your website through your home page. In fact, many should arrive through landing pages, pages that you’ve designed specifically to prompt visitors to do some type of action.
Similar to full-page CTAs, landing pages typically encourage visitors to give their contact details to download a digital asset or subscribe to a newsletter. These pages might also guide visitors to buy a product or sign up for a service.
Since landing pages have such specific purposes, they should be short and to the point, focused on the offer presented, and action-oriented. To keep your landing pages as effective as possible, publish a different one for each group of products and services, digital asset, and subscription form.
An effective website is no accident. Instead, it’s a conscious effort to attract your target audience and encourage readers to take specific actions. Make your website a measurable success by asking yourself the seven questions outlined above as you develop your website content.