Do you know what the most important component of your website is? CONTENT.
In the age of DIY website creation, small business owners are able to quickly publish a business website with any number of platform products. While the convenience is unprecedented and the ease of use is unparalleled, a pretty website is not the same as a high quality website.
Your audience is visiting your website with specific intentions or goals in mind. During each visit the quality and value of the content that is presented can determine whether the visitor stays or leaves.
Website content will also shape whether the they return in the future and whether they become or remain a customer. Content quality will also determine the website’s success with discoverability on the web and in the search engines.
What is Quality Content?
In the digital world, content is a mixture of the written, graphical, video, and audio information that is presented on your site and delivered to the world. Specifically, content is the packaging on your website that presents your audience with information.
High quality website content has the potential to yield tremendous results for a very affordable investment. This content includes the copy on website pages, product and service descriptions, company information pages, videos, photos and blog posts. Although “quality” is a fairly subjective term, a few basic criteria will identify your content as “quality.”
- Focus your content on what makes your products, services, company and website unique and valuable
- Provide your users with the content they want, need and expect
- Gain credibility by using original and valid research and by citing your sources
- Proofread for typos, grammar mistakes and misspellings
- Avoid tricks designed solely to improve search engine rankings
The content you publish may vary by topic or type but the ultimate goal of that content is to promote brand awareness, brand loyalty, and visitor engagement. Producing high quality content for your small business website will produce strong results, both short term and long term. Here are our top seven reasons why.
1. Quality Content Provides Value for Visitors
Even if your business belongs to a relatively remote niche, fierce competition for visitors and readers still exists. However, high quality content will engage and retain those readers. You may be asking yourself, “How can good content keep visitors on my site?”
The most common answer is that people are more likely to read and share your content if it provides value to them. In other words, the secret is to discover what your visitors want– and then give it to them.
Small business website content can – and should – promote ideas, discussion and interest in your industry, blog, or business. More importantly your content should answer questions readers may have and offer them information that they find useful. Delivering relevant content to your target demographic creates visitor value that will:
- Grow website conversions and sales
- Drive traffic to your site
- Improve sharing of your website content
- Increase the level of engagement of your visitors
2. High-Value Content Generates More Sales
Building trust is a vital part of sales generation for any business or blog. An important method of creating that trust is by establishing yourself as an industry thought leader and authority through the content you produce. In terms of sales generation, good content can be especially useful if you know how drill down on your target demographics and guide them to the purchase.
An estimated 77% of consumers read online content prior to making a purchase. Publishing product specific content such as FAQs, product reviews, and instructional videos or blog posts can help reassure potential customers and lead to sales. A few tips for crafting sales generating content are:
- Add screenshots to reviews
- Include videos when possible
- Write in a conversational tone
- Create blog posts with 800 – 1,000 words or more
The vast majority of the time a sales prospect’s first website visit will not be enough to compel the sale. High quality and convincing content can serve as the motivation for the prospect to revisit your site in the future and lead to increased sales over time.
3. Quality Content Has A Longer Life Span Value
Evergreen content is quality content that survives the test of time and remains useful for your site for many months—or even years—into the future. Evergreen content can be packaged in a variety of formats including “how to” articles, top ten lists, instructional videos, and case studies.
For instance, if you work in a technology niche and you write an article about the latest laptop to hit the market, that article may have a shelf life of only a few weeks or months before it’s too dated to be relevant. However, an article about how a buyer could evaluate which laptop would best meet a given buyer’s needs could be relevant for years.
There are several elements that allow evergreen content to maintain a long shelf life. Content that is most likely to maintain value on the web over time does the following:
- Is clearly written so that it provides real value to readers or viewers
- Covers broader issues within an industry or marketspace
- Does not “date stamp” the content with event or date specific information
- Is updated over time
- Complies with SEO best practices
Quality, well written content, such as product or event reviews are still useful and important for readership even though they tend to have a shorter shelf life. Maintaining balance on your website or blog between new items and evergreen content is a key to growing long term website traffic.
4. High Quality Content Gets Shared More Often
From the earliest days of online music sharing sites to the most recent additions of new social networking websites, sharing is a major factor driving the growth of the Internet. High quality website content is valuable because it’s precisely the type of content that’s worth sharing.
The simple fact is that the content people find informative, engaging, funny, controversial, educational, or insightful is the type of content that they share.
With the continued growth of social media sites and the rapid rise in mobile browsing social sharing is a significant contributor to making your brand visible online. This is true for small businesses all the way up to large enterprise organizations.
The types of content that are readily shared are growing and evolving. Shareable content includes:
- Text-based content to platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat
- Video and audio content shared to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, Vines and other social platforms
- Graphical content postings with images or infographics shared to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Google+
Your business can round out its marketing mix with the growing number of new and popular social platforms to help ensure success. The key is having quality content that other people want to read or view, engage with, and share with other people.
5. The SEO Value of Quality Content Is Greater
For your content to be effective, people need to find it. You may be a clever or quick writer, but ultimately the greatest content in the world isn’t going to help your business unless it can be discovered. Well written, quality content makes use of appropriate keyword usage, inbound links, and other elements of search engine optimization to make your site more visible on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
As SEO continues to evolve, content marketing and social media marketing have become much more important facets of any well designed SEO effort. See our post “SEO Changes – SEO Isn’t What It Used to Be” for some insights on how quality content and social sharing are increasingly factoring into search engine optimization and digital marketing in general.
The sharing of high quality website content on various social media platforms helps with:
- Content discovery
- Website and business visibility
- Visitor traffic to the business website
- Building additional, quality links your business website
6. High Quality Website Content Enhances Usability
Website Usability is a broad term that is applied to many different aspects of a website’s performance and success. Usability can range from the navigation of your site, to the ease of use for visitors, to the accessibility of your content and to the interconnection between relevant pieces of content.
When useful, relevant content is easy to locate, it results in a better user experience and more satisfied visitors. How many times have you visited a website and left in frustration after clicking and clicking and still not finding the information you wanted? A well thought out website with informative, high quality content and well-designed internal linking can avoid that.
Internal linking to your different pieces of content can make your website more usable and make your valuable content easier to discover. Adding timely and relevant internal links between pages and content within your site can enhance the value and usability of both the content and the website.
Internal linking refers to the practice of using clickable links to connect relevant pieces of content within a website.
Example: your website has a page for a specific product and you also have a well written blog post that mentions some aspect of that product. By including links from the product page to the blog article and from the blog article to the product page the website visitor will more easily find relevant content.
If you have a company blog or FAQ page or a video section with quality content be sure to include links to relevant posts, videos or FAQ entries from within your products, services or company information pages.
Content sharing can also factor into the perceived usability of a website. High quality website content gets shared more often. When visitors can easily find quality content that they want to share it enhances their user experience on a website.
Including social media share buttons on every piece of content enhances your website usability. Ease of sharing (usability) will encourage users to share your quality content with growing social media audiences.
7. Value of Online Product Differentiation
If your business is part of a highly competitive industry, you’re probably no stranger to the concept of product differentiation. Thankfully, valuable content can help your small business stand out from the masses and offer real differentiation in your web presence.
Simply adding unique posts, like humorous blogs, infographics, or informative videos can help visitors separate your brand from competitors. This type of quality content can also stimulate ongoing return traffic from website visitors.
Using multiple content mediums ensures that potential customers of all demographics have a better chance of receiving the message. Any successful website content strategy will deliver a single piece of content in multiple formats to improve the chances of reaching the target audience. It is worth checking to see if your competition is doing that.
High quality website content that builds trust and authority with visitors and adds value will have staying power. Quality content shouldn’t trick people into clicking because of misleading headlines or questionable SEO techniques.
Truly effective content – content that is useful to visitors, utilizes keywords appropriately, promotes visitor engagement and drives sales – will provide a strong continuing boost for your company and will be crucial in your online business success. Think Long Term, Think Quality.
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