Great content matters intensely for your website and your business blog.
Despite talk stating that no one reads, everyone scans and no one has time for more than a tweet or a photo snack on Instagram or Facebook, people do. Including you.
If you're searching for information online, you'll consider your options and select ones carefully crafted, with quality website or blog content relevant to your search inquiry that educates you. Yes, you'll scan and possibly even snack to protect yourself so you can quickly dismiss what's irrelevant and bad content.
When you're creating great content for your customers, you're intensely considering their pain points and requirements. You're sensitive to providing them with value and relevance. You're aware that every interaction with your website and blog content builds your credibility, establishes your expertise and sets the stage for a business relationship. In other words, you take doing your persona homework very seriously!
The Great Business Content Challenge
Sadly, creating content trips up many businesses. (I touched on this topic in How Do I Create Content? written in 2009.)
They fear the whole process of creating, organizing and managing great or remarkable content for their site. Perhaps they still see their website as a static brochure rather than as a living 24/7 online sales and marketing business asset. Or, they may have the best of intentions and simply freeze when it's time to put fingers to keyboard. Or, they assume that their customers aren't consuming content online.
Now, creating online content is work. You need to keep it fresh. You need to put some thought into it. If you're publishing a blog, you need to strategize and plan so you have content ready to publish regularly and consistently.
However, it's also the most powerful means a business has for connecting with customers. It's more permanent than a magazine advertisement. It works 24/7 on your behalf. It supports your offline activities. It increases your efficiency by enabling you to capture commonly asked questions and share answers and resources that prospects can access when they aren't ready or willing to speak with you.
Why is Great Content Important to Your Website and Business Blog & How Does it Help You Get Found Online?
Online content enables you tell your business story in ways relevant to prospective customers.
Start the process with your own digital properties: your website and blog. Consider that home base. From there, you can connect to the different social network satellites which you don't own, but which are similar to real world social hangouts (i.e., water coolers, picnics, bars, the grocery store, etc.).
Having home base in order with great on-page content and buttoned-up page titles and meta descriptions (see SEO Tips: Having Fun with Title Tags and Meta Descriptions) means that search engine results will like you.
Taking that content and sharing it on your important social networks means that others who aren't necessarily as ready to buy, but may have potential down the road, can experience your business.
And, if you decide to pay to promote your thoughtful content (see How To Get Started with Paid Search to Get Found Online: 15 Tips), your results will be that much more effective.
Great content tends to be synonymous with high quality, highly relevant content that visitors crave and yearn to encounter in search results. It tells your story with authority and credibility. It tends to be thorough and not stingy in length. It's exactly what Google strives to present in search results. Furthermore, How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions states,
"The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has."
What Kind of Online Content Are We Talking About?
At the heart of learning how to create great content for your website and blog are words. Words, though, become stronger with images and videos. Images catch the eye and draw it in to consume words. Images help to make a point. Include them on your web pages and content offers. Publish no blog article without an image. Don't forget to include <alt> text to help describe your image.
Thanks to marvelous digital resources such as YouTube, you can publish your video and then embed it into your webpage or blog article. With Slideshare, you can do the same for your presentations. Don't forget to use descriptive titles with meaningful words (think keywords) and to be informative in the descriptions your create - just as you would for your individual web pages.
Those marvelous images mean that you can easily pin your blog article to an educational Pinterest board or upload the image and a link to the article on Facebook.
Ultimately, all the work you've done to create great content on your website and blog provides you with marvelous opportunities to share links and snippets on social networks over time.
With all your content, remember that quality matters so your content remains great and timelessly relevant to your personas.
How to Create Great Content?
Starting with your website, make sure your content is yours and yours alone. Even if you are discussing generic product information, make sure it's your content written in your own words and not readily found on someone else's site. Apply the same thinking to your images.
People want to buy from people. So offer them content written by people with specific people in mind. It's more believable; it's simpler and it alleviates frustration. Consider using photos where your people are the stars. It's friendlier, too. Share information about the people in your company and how they help solve problems. Write in terms that your customer personas can relate to, addressing problems they face. Use your content to communicate how alive your company is and how much it cares about delighting customers.
Your business blog is your chance to show the slightly more casual and personable side of your brand. It's where your story comes alive on an ongoing and frequent basis via marvelous relevant content. This is where content can include the perspectives of employees and suppliers, explain procedures designed to protect customers, celebrate new product arrivals, describe local community events you're involved in, customer success stories,...
Your goal is to share stories that engage readers, and provide them with relevant meaning whether it's inspiration or direct responses to their questions. Here are examples:
- Jacqueline Tabbah from International Stoneworks answers questions that customers ask her. (See Why Restoration Instead of Replacement?)
- Some of the most visited articles that Mr.Steam publishes are about customer questions. (See 15 Tips to Consider Before Installing a Home Steam Shower.)
- Look at how fresh and vibrant Avente Tile's recap of a recent tile trade show is in Tile Trends 2015: Variety is the Spice of Tile
- Tile Outlets of America regularly introduces newly tile products on its blog (see Two Wood Look Porcelain Tile Styles To Transform Floors and Walls).
Once you've committed to creating great content for your online presence, you'll feel an intense need to create a content calendar to help you keep things fresh. Not only for your owned properties (web and blog), but also for your social outposts which will have their own rhythm for updates...
Final Thoughts About Great Content For Your Website and Blog
The overriding principles for great content include intense commitment to unique, fresh and consistent content that tells a story relevant to your readers. It doesn't shout or sell non-stop. It educates instead. It recognizes the importance of the questions you regularly are asked and it delights in being shared.
Great content is hugely powerful and critical for your website and blog. It helps build your business brand and allows you to stand out. It explains why you exist, what you believe strongly in, how you create value. It enables you to connect with potential customers.
If you have to create content as a matter of course, why not create great content so you brand and business stand out? Your website and blog will thank you. So will your customers.