Great Websites have Great Content Plans

The best thing you can do for your business website is to spend time focusing on the page content. Search engines will love it.  Your sales team will love it. Potential customers will really love it.  However, one of the hardest things to come up with when you are busy and you already have a long to-do list is what to write about.  To help, you need a Website Content Plan.  We have some tips to get you started.

What website content do you need?

There are a few key pages (“Cornerstone” or “Pillar” pages) that you need for your site and anything else can be added later as your business needs it. These key pages will become a permanent part of your website. They should fully represent the scope of your business and represent the best web pages you can produce. Performance of the pages will be key to the performance of your website, so it will be important to regularly track analytics on theses pages and work to improve your numbers.

Home Page

Your homepage is usually the most visited page on your website. Because of this, it is key that your homepage contain you most important information. Your core service offerings should take center stage and take most of the real estate. For example, don’t add a big photo slider that takes up most of the page and then fill it with stock photos that tell nothing about what you have to offer. The focus of your homepage should be the focus of your business.

About Us Page

Website visitors do use the About Us page. I think the key thing when trying to write an About Us page is to sound natural. This is not where you should use your best sales pitch or your marketing buzz words. Instead, the About Us page is the opportunity to give website visitors a peak into the attitude and personality of your company. It does not have to be just text, be creative. Photos, videos all can help tell your story. Here are some tips for your About Us page:

The Science Behind Great About Us Pages 

How to Humanize Your Online Brand Through Your ‘About’ Page

Contact Us Page

For many websites, the Contact Us page is their first conversion page. This is the place where you want website visitors to complete a task and convert from a visitor to a lead. The path to complete that task needs to be as obvious and easy to find as possible. One common mistake is trying to get too much information on the first try. Many studies have highlighted the problems of website forms that are too long. Once you have someone basic contact info, then you can start a conversation and get the rest of the information you need. I myself have been scared off a website that requires a long form filled out before I can get what I want.

Products/Services

At a minimum, work towards have one page per product or service. Depending on the length of your sales cycle, you may need more. If customers can complete the sale on your site, one page may be plenty.  For businesses where a prospect requires several weeks in order to finalize a sale, your website will need content that addresses the prospect at all points in the sales cycle. No way one page will be enough.

Creating Evergreen Content 

If you are one of those businesses with a long sales cycle, part of your sales process will be to educate potential customers on solutions to pressing issues and teaching how your product/service solves problems. If you can take those same problem solving talking points, generalize them a little more for a potential client that you don’t know. You will then create a piece of content that will be useful for many and will help support your sales process.

The purpose of evergreen website content is to build resources on your website that have staying-power and as you add each piece, it becomes a permanent asset to your website.

Characteristics of Evergreen Content include:

  • Educational or reference Material
  • Never goes out of date
  • More Detailed, At Least 1500 words
  • Industry Related – General Public
  • Search engines are indexing it and returning it in search results

Why is Evergreen Content Important?

  • Earn links instead of build them – When you have content that is useful, you won’t have to worry about building links, the content will be worthy on its on.
  • Generate Traffic – Search engines and people love Evergreen content, so what will naturally follow is more traffic to your website.
  • Brand Identity – If your website is regularly recognized by search engines and shared by users for evergreen pieces on your industry, your online brand will be linked with industry keywords, which not only brings more traffic, but better targeted traffic.

Examples of Evergreen Content you can create:

Check your sales and marketing folders, you may have some of these items created already, you just need to get them online. Content can include any of the following:

  • Case Studies
  • How-to-Articles
  • Industry Trends or Data Reports
  • User or Product Tips
  • Checklists – for any part of the buying/implementing/maintenance of what you sell
  • Infographics
  • Videos – again look at the entire buying cycle and make sure each stage is represented.

Remember one of the keys to high-performing content is to get it shared by many, so resist the temptation to put all of it behind a firewall, meaning don’t make users have to sign-up for everything. Stuff is easier to share if they can just grab it off the site.

Starting Your 2018 Content Plan

#1 Review Last Year’s Numbers

Before you start writing in 2018, take a few minutes and review what you wrote last year. Dig into your Google Analytics and see which webpages and blog posts generated the most traffic. Keep the pages that performed well and use their format to help plan for next year. Especially look at any blogs posts that did extremely well at driving traffic and make plans to replicate that formula.

#2 Focus on Priority Themes

Organize your content by themes.  Themes can be markets you serve, product categories, services you provide – something that makes sense for your business. Are any theme less covered than others?  Does it make sense to give this theme more real estate on your website?  If so, add it to your to-do list.

#3 Write with a Business Strategy behind it

Review your 2018 business goals. Make a list of new product launches, new service offerings updates to your technology/service/product, events your are hosting/sponsoring/attending or marketing campaigns planned for this year. Think about what needs to be communicated to your website audience and what content needs to be added to your website. Take that list and fill in your Content Calendar.

#4 Improve what’s already out there

Every year its important to review what’s already posted on your website. Not just for the obvious things like broken links or out-of-date info. Now that your pages have been out there for awhile, you can see them with fresh eyes. Longer articles are performing better in 2018, so may some of your old stuff needs to be pumped up a little.  Maybe you have several short pages that could be combined to create one really great page? Here are some ideas on how to get a full list of pages to help organize your review.

Create a plan for your Website Content

Section 3 our our 2018 Website Strategic Plan has a quick checklist to help you organize your content for the year.  Download our 2018 Website Strategic Plan. It’s Free!