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When users are pleased with the design of your website, the content is the next thing that catches their attention – or not. No matter how good your design is, lousy content will have you enjoying the design by yourself, with no retained users because what’s a beautiful website without content? Your content can be the difference between a subscription or not; a purchase or not; a request or not; and a regular visitor or a “never-again”. This is where potentials become actuals –where you sell yourself to the customer. The question is: will you wait with baited breath or not?
Deciding on a content can simultaneously be the easiest and hardest things you do as a website administrator. Common challenges include too broad topics that end up not making any point, haphazardly-structured content, content with grammatical errors, speculative content etc. So, how do you make your website the coveted trove of quality content that you want it to be?
Key things to note…
Identify the goal of your content. To drive sales? Boost visitor traffic? Drive engagement via the comments section?
Choose the right topic: This could be the trickiest thing you do. You may have a long list of topics, but are they quality topics? Are they right? The right topics:
- Are specific
- Have a clear heading and sub-headings
- Are relevant to your brand
- Are not old and worn out
Develop your content strategy and stick to it. It will pay off in the future!
- Develop an outline
- Decide on a flow of the information. Consider how the information fit with each other e.g., on a post about maintaining hair, buying products should come before applying them
- Identify and adapt your writing style – teen-friendly writing? More professional style? For kids?
- Use original words. Do not plagiarize another website as you will only hurt your rankings and your website completely if reported
- Fact-check your information! This cannot be stated enough. The internet is riddled with fake news, so show that you are credible by using accurate information and data to drive home your point
- Use reliable references. Again, fake news. Distinguish yourself by referencing reliable and authoritative websites e.g., government agencies.
A surefire way to immediately devalue your brand is to have content riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Make sure to check it yourself with a tool like Grammarly or by hiring a professional.
Optimize your content for search marketing (yes, SEO, etc.) and to elicit questions (pre-sales, delivery, etc.) from clients
Search Marketing (SEO)
You’re all set with your well-designed website, fantastic content and smooth user interface and you’re wondering how to put yourself out there? How do you ensure that the world sees what you’re offering it? How do you ensure that your potential customers find your website, especially when they need it? What you need is a deliberate search marketing strategy.
Search marketing (SM) strategy is simply a way to make your website available to have real presence and impact. This should be a top priority for any website owner. There are over 1 billion websites in the world, and over 600 million of them are active! You see, it is easy for any one website to get lost in the sea of websites out there. With a sound search marketing strategy, you greatly improve your website’s visibility by increasing its chances of showing up in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), and being found by your potential customers.
Search marketing is an encompassing suite of activities aimed at improving website visibility.
Key strategies to consider in developing your SM strategy include…
This has been extensively covered in our Content Writing section.
In building your website or content, it is important to have a niche or a specific topic. This means that the content on your site or sections of your site deal with very specific topics. This way, you can develop a list of words anybody that wants to search that particular content would possibly use. Most internet users search specific content. To take advantage of this, identify the keywords that are specific to your website or content to ensure that when those keywords are used in a search, your website is indexed (comes up)! You can use free keyword search tools to find the relevant keywords for your website.
This is an organic way to build your website’s reputation. It takes deliberate, targeted effort, but has massive returns and lower cost than paid search marketing. The more targeted, focused and relevant your SEO strategy is, the higher your website ranks in searches, and the higher your conversion rate is likely to be, and the more you organically grow. This is especially important as searchers click on “natural”, organic results before considering adverts.
This is a key feature of SEO aimed at improving the number and quality of inbound links to a website. Simply put, it is your website being featured on another section of your website or on an entirely different website. Link building is a culmination of content, relevance etc., and can be acquired in many ways: editorial linking, resource linking, reciprocal linking, etc.
These are inorganic means of boosting visibility through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, cost per click (CPC) marketing, sponsored adverts. These strategies come at additional cost but improve your website’s SERP result by ensuring that it shows up in the top 5 results of any search engine.
Monitoring, tracking and analysing your website’s performance is key to achieving success with SM. Marketing requires time, effort and money, and to be efficient, you need to know what’s working and what you can improve. Track and analyse everything from your websites indexing result, to its links popularity, to visitor traffic, to user location, to impressions, clicks, conversions, etc. If you want success, you should be able to measure your progress, and you do that with data and analytics.
Social Media Management
Social media makes up an integral part of the worldwide web. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have millions of members – Facebook has over 1.4 billion active users. Unlike traditional media, social media is more easily accessible and have a wider reach. In fact, some social media platforms can be accessed without an internet connection. The President of the United States recognises the power social media has and is actively leveraging Twitter, so why shouldn’t you?
The sheer traffic garnered on these social media platforms makes them the golden goose for marketing campaigns. Even better, the ease of segmentation of users on social media, and knowledge of user patterns allows you to target your marketing efforts towards people with certain characteristics. The potentials of social media to boost your website are unlimited, and the impacts, wide. Even Fortune 500 companies spend millions to leverage social media to promote their brands.
In using social media, be sure to have your website optimized for design, content, user experience, search marketing and ads. You want to convert and retain visitors on your website, and you have one shot, each time.
The first step is to build an audience. As you do so and promote your website, social media can help you to…
Increase awareness or your website and brand: social media is a wonderful avenue to connect and engage with other users. In connecting and engaging, aim to build your follower base and bring snippets of your website content to social media. This will establish your relevance and authority and lead to improved awareness of your website, increased website traffic, improved conversion rate, retention of visitors, and referrals to your site.
Increase loyalty and authority: Building a steady following on social media, and establishing yourself in your niche through your content shared on social media, you easily establish yourself as a credible person in your field, ultimately improving your brand.
Drive traffic to your website: Your social media pages can be extensions of your websites. Extensions, not clones. If you cloned your website onto your social media pages, why would anyone want to visit your website? Give enough teasers and snippets to make your potential audience want more, and they will visit your website. Do this well, and they will return, and with referrals.
Sharing links to your website on your social media pages improves the potentials for those links. Facebook is a very effective tool in improving SEO. It has the widest membership than any other social media, and also, higher rates of use and average time spent. In addition, your social media profiles could also end up in SERPs!
- About 80% of social media users use their mobile phones. Be sure that your website is optimized for mobile phones.
- Use hashtags to increase chances of appearing in searches
- Search yourself and your major keywords and hashtags and see what comes up. You like? Cool! You don’t like? Time to change something!
- See what other websites in your niche are doing. You could learn a thing of what to do or what not to do. Know what the competition is doing and stay ahead of them
- Do it organically and don’t give up! Don’t be tempted to buy ghost followers because it looks good for your brand/account. In the long term, it won’t look so good, and will become transparent when you have so many followers and so minimal engagement.
- Track, track, track! Track your engagement levels to understand what works well, then do some more of that!
Ads are an audio, visual or audio-visual way of promoting a website, product or service. For your website, you will want to deploy visual or audio-visual ads, as images and videos rule the internet of today. The images and videos you deploy should be eye-catching, engaging, and prompt the reader/viewer to want more of that.
You’ll also want to continuously review and research your audiences to optimize your strategy to improve results. You’ll also want to review the performance of your strategies to identify improvement areas.
To use this strategy, keep this in mind…
Carefully manage your ad subscription service. There are a lot of ad services, e.g., Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, etc. Using any ad service or achieving set goals using ad marketing requires skill and careful management.
When promoting a keyword, link the ad result to the specific section of your website that is relevant to that keyword. Do not link to your homepage except the keyword is affiliated with your homepage. This strategy is particularly for searchers that want to make a purchase.
When promoting a product or service, searchers are more likely to click on paid ads
Internet users prefer to click on natural, organic links. By getting paid advertising, your website is featured in SERPs, leaving an impression on the mind of the searcher.
You can estimate the returns on your ad investment (ROI) to know when to put more of your marketing budget in line with your overall business strategy
Ads are paid-for. You need to create a marketing budget, and know what you want to achieve. That way, you can easily identify the approach you’ll take, the scale and for how long you’ll deploy it so you can maximise your cost investment.
These strategies can only do so much – boost visibility and drive traffic to your website. Taking advantage of these leverage is entirely up to you in the design, content, and user interface of your website. The traffic may also not lead to repeat customers unless you prove the value of your website to them.
So many people have tinkered with Ads and got their hands burnt due to a poor understanding of their needs and how to deploy this strategy. Extensively educate yourself or hire an expert to assist you with this. If you choose to do it yourself, it may take a few trials before you begin to hit gold (you could have a post on how to pull this off seamlessly).
Use your website’s data to your advantage by making decisions based on informative information. Your website’s analytics will tell you exactly how many people view your site and each of its pages. This will then tell you what exactly works about your website and what doesn’t.
You’ll want to review your analytics regularly to see when the peak periods are in your industry and use this for future website optimization. As well, this information will regularly tell you what areas of your site need improvement.
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