We’ve all got the message that content is key, that without relevant content your site is doomed and your SERPs will irrevocably fail, that good content is the one sure way to build reputable and organic links…But how can you tell for sure if your content is actually working for you?
If the answer is no-one then you need to take a good, hard look at the content you have and ask yourself if it is really relevant to the business you’re in. The exception to this, of course, is any new site where you still haven’t had time to build up a following.
What happens when your users land on your site? How long do they spend on each page? Is there one page in particular that sends them fleeing? Or one page in particular that seems to grab their attention for longest? Use website analytical apps to find out how your users use your site and you’ll get a whole lot of insight into whether and which of your content is working for you or not.
One of the greatest mistakes is to copy content from another site and assume that no-one will ever notice. The same goes for curating, aggregating or repurposing someone else’s content for your own ends. This is truly WEAK content and the sooner you get rid of it the better. It is fine to read through your rival high-ranking sites and get an idea of the message they are trying to put across and how they go about doing it. But you must be original and create unique content that is highly relevant and specific to you. If you don’t feel confident in writing it for yourself then invest in someone to do this for you.
Is it years since you changed a single word or do you update and refresh your pages on a regular basis? The search engines can tell when content has been changed and will rank your site higher for keeping it topical and fresh. Try to regularly add new and timely content that is relevant to the business you are in. Blogs are one good way to achieve this.
Remember you are writing for your clients so that they know who you are and what you do. Never lose sight of them by getting too technical or by concentrating too much on blowing your own trumpet. What makes you special for them? What can you offer that your competition can’t? Why should these potential customers come to you rather than go elsewhere?
You need to answer these questions using straight-forward, easily understood and concise language – and if you can throw in a little humor and be entertaining as well as informative then so much the better.
Content writing is not a race that is quick and easy to run – it is a long-haul type of victory that requires a slower, more steady approach and may even need great persistence and determination until you get it right.
You may not get your content right on the first attempt. Analyze how it is received and tweak it over and over again until you get the types of response you are looking for, and then analyze again to find out why it worked for you.
The recipe is to do the research, write the content, put it out there, analyze how it is received, make adjustments, write the content, put it out there, analyze, make adjustments… ad infinitum.
Check out all the sources available to you on as many high ranking websites and social media platforms as you can read in the time you have. The more you know about how your real competition showcases their business the better you will be able to organize and build your own information pages. Think about looking at a minimum of 20 sites before getting started on developing or making changes to your own.
And consult these sites over time. You need to see how often they update content and where and how they do this. Who is linking to them and which pages seem to provoke the best response? Most of all, what are they doing that you don’t or that you could do better?
While you are researching, make notes and plan.
Be willing to take the risk to try out new things. If you have seen that it works elsewhere there is no reason why it won’t work for you. Don’t be afraid to put your own new ideas into practice either – just because your competitors are not doing it doesn’t mean it won’t work.
Once your content goes live you need to keep a close eye on how it is received. Set up benchmarks of what you hope to achieve and see how closely you are reaching your targets. Don’t expect immediate results, sometimes it takes time to build the response you are looking for. But once you can see a clear trend, then it is the moment to make the next series of adjustments to keep you moving forward in the direction of your objectives.
There is a race that you never truly win! Even the most successful content will eventually seem stale and need tweaking to make it fresh and appealing again. If you are aware of this and prepared to keep working, your content will always be timely and effective.
The whole point of content marketing is to convert potential customers into real clients – whether this is through an actual purchase or by getting them to take the first step by signing up for emails, newsletters, social media platforms, etc. The aim of your content is to generate enough interest to get users to be willing to engage with you directly.
The best way to achieve this is by offering repeated opportunities to site users to make direct contact with you – perhaps through calls to action strategically located within the page, or by a pop-up for an email sign-up, or by placing social media icons in very visible high traffic areas.
Above all, never lose site of the fact that content can always be fixed – it is just a matter of following the steps outlined here and with a little patience and determined application we’re sure you’ll see positive results over time.