How Great Website Content Affects Your Business
While having a high-quality website is important, your customers and search engines care more about its content, than colours, styles and widgets. Like a shop display, a website is supposed to frame the content and show it in the best light possible. It is your content's job to grab the attention and turn visitors into leads.
There are techniques to make that content more effective, accessible and convincing, but the point is, that without valuable content your website will not attract any traffic.
Valuable Content Keeps Your Website Visitors Away from Your Competitors
There are two types of visitors that come to your website - those who know your competitor’s products, and those who don’t.
They are already shopping and want to know about you and your offer. If all your website contains is a list of products or services, and some generic statements about your "affordable prices, high-quality work and quick turnaround", then you are set for failure.
Promises like that are not ground-breaking, they are expected. Visitors to your website are looking for something more. They are looking for a proof. They want to know you are up-to-date in your field. They want to be sure that you are an expert and that no-one else will do it better.
The only way to convince your visitors about that is to provide rich, valuable, up-to-date content created with a passion for your industry. You have to one-up your competition. You have to prove you are different and better.
If your visitors already saw your competitor's website, they should be in awe seeing how much more content you provide. They should find answers on your website they couldn't find elsewhere. After all, this is why they ended up on your pages. If you are the first stop on their browsing journey, then everything that comes next should fade in comparison.
The web is a perfect place to compete - a level playing field for everyone. No matter how small your business is, your website can outperform your largest competitors and end up in your visitor's bookmarks.
How to Evaluate Competition to Create a Better Website Content
Before you start creating content for your website, do some research and planning. Content creation is a marathon, not a sprint. You are more likely to succeed if you turn it into a habit.
For a moment, imagine you are the customer. Visit your competitors' websites and for each one try to answer these questions:
- What message are they trying to convey? Are they competing on price, service level or features?
- How difficult is it to find crucial information about their product or service, including photos, prices and availability?
- How convincing are they? Do they provide case studies, testimonials, high-quality product photos or videos?
- How fresh is their content? Do they show expired promotions, old prices, discontinued products, outdated contact details?
- Do they have a news/blog section with interesting posts in their area of expertise? How regularly do they update it? Does it provide valuable information to a customer?
- Are the content and its presentation engaging, suitable and accessible to their audience?
- How good are the photos and videos they display on their pages? Do they show the products and services in the best light?
- Is it easy to find their contact information, opening hours, driving directions (if applicable) and social profiles?
Once you research the content of your competitors, consider how you could create better, more engaging and valuable content on your own website. There are always areas for improvement and you should capitalise on them.
Understanding the Types of Website Content and Update Frequency
Once you have a good idea what your competition is doing right and wrong, and you know what your potential customers are searching for, it’s time to plan your content strategy. To make things simple, we can divide your content into two groups:
- Evergreen content - this type of content has a long lifespan and does not change often. Core aspects of your product or service, contact details, opening hours, photos of your business, guides and documentations fall into this category. It is sufficient to review this every 6 months to ensure it is accurate and can't be improved.
- Time sensitive content - this type of content changes frequently (or should change frequently) and may depend on external factors. Your pricing & delivery information, stock details, product or service photos, promotions, news/blog section and schedules are good examples of this type of content. These should be reviewed frequently (i.e. every week), depending on your business.
Many businesses neglect their website content and fall behind on their update schedules. An outdated website with inaccurate information signals to the visitors that your business is not relevant in the industry or simply dead. Search engines give more weight to fresh content and scan your pages daily to spot content changes and verify update frequency.
This is why it is important to produce and update the content of your website on a regular basis. Things like blog articles and news updates make a big difference to how your business is perceived and how much traffic it gets.
Picking the Right Platform for Your Content
Updating your social profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest) - while helpful to drive traffic - is not enough to build a strong online presence for your business. Most people will arrive on your website through search engines like Google or Bing. It will be their first point of contact with your business. Even if you are very active on social networks, your website is the most important platform for your business.
Every update on your social profile is a mere blip on the radar. Only a small fraction of your logged-in followers will see the update on networks like Facebook or Twitter. These platforms are even more focused on fresh content than search engines. In consequence, your groundbreaking update will be covered by other updates on people's timelines in a matter of minutes. Your website's content, on the other hand, will keep working for you whenever a new visitor arrives, because it always gets the centre stage.
Social networks change, and your website is the only constant and unrestricted platform giving you full freedom to showcase your offer to the world. Updates you publish on your Facebook profile have a very short lifespan.
Content on your website works for your business for as long as you keep it there. Make sure you invest at least the same amount of effort on your website content, as you do on other platforms.