This is the second in a series of 3 articles dedicated to providing you with helpful tips and advice on maximising your web presence and digital strategy and focuses on the CONTENT of your website.

HTML content all the way

In order to be successfully listed on search engines, the vast majority of your content should be in HTML text format. Images, Flash files, Java applets and other non-text content are often ignored or devalued by search engines. Therefore, the easiest way to ensure that the words and phrases you display to your visitors are also visible to search engines is to place it in the HTML text on the page.  

Please note that this also includes documents like fact sheets, brochures, case studies and testimonials that have historically been displayed in PDF format (which is not visible to search engines).

The benefit of good social media integration

Social media integration helps drive traffic to your website as users interact with your various sites, increasing the ‘earned media’ (the mentions and exposures of brand related content that the company didn’t pay for,  like authentic ‘word-of-mouth’ testimonials) of the brand.

By utilising, free social media and share plug-ins in prominent areas of your website you will ensure that visitors can link, share and like to their hearts’ content, all whilst boosting your ranking.

Great copy that is enjoyable and easy to read

Even if your site is beautifully designed and fully responsive, poorly written copy filled with typos and grammatical mistakes will make many potential customers depart in haste. The key factor is to be clear and concise with your messaging.  Likewise, pages filled with dry, detail heavy copy, will potentially cause your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) to increase.

Well written, edited and engaging copy will work hard for you, attracting visitors and raising your SEO ranking.  Great copy does not need to cost a small fortune and make the difference between a website that creates high customer response or one that disappears from view.

  • A consistent tone of voice
    Consistent tone of voice is also a critical point to convey.  Pages and sections written in totally different styles, context and length will potentially create confusion and a negative user experience.

  • Make sure you don’t have a ‘what?’ website
    If your customers land, look around and think ‘so what does this company actually do?’, they are most likely to move on very quickly.

    Make sure that you explain what you do in quickly, concisely with clear top level messaging and calls to action.

  • Be careful of clichés
    Marketing clichés, business jargon or use of colloquialisms can give your website a slightly disingenuous or inappropriate feel, increasing the likelihood of customers looking elsewhere for more professional companies to conduct business with.

  • Good content improves your bottom line
    Good content should always be an integral part of your website strategy, so don’t fall into the trap of quickly putting copy together – or reusing copy that is years old and out of date - after spending considerable time, effort and budget on the design, imagery and build.

    Engaging content will complement your design and work hard to generate interest, increase enquiries and ultimately improve your bottom line.

    A professional copywriter will not only strive to create excellent and engaging copy, but can also add key ingredients to improve your site’s Google ranking.

  • Google loves original content
    Original, informative and well-written content can improve your website search engine results.

    Although keywords and phrases are important for SEO, Google is starting to place more value on the actual content of the website in context of your products or service offering.  It continuously evaluates your site for informative, accurate and unique content, so make sure that your copy reflects that.

  • Copy that persuades visitors to become customers
    Your copy should not just inform visitors about your products and services, but also about the benefits and profit that they will gain by choosing your company.  These can include actual financial benefits like discounts and payment terms, reliability information, customer feedback results and experience.  This kind of relevant company information can be very persuasive when potential customers are making purchasing choices.

    A visible, clear to call action (contact you for more info, sign up to your newsletter, like your Facebook page or buy) will also help persuade potential new customers to either contact you or request more information.  Remember, a strong call to action can turn interested people into followers and customers.

  • Good copy creates links
    Like Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, visitors are more likely to share informative, educational, helpful or entertaining content, online.

    More sharing means more visitors, more visitors mean more enquiries, and more enquiries mean potentially more sales...

Regularly update your blog, news and social media content

  • Keep your readers coming back

    If you regularly update your blog, news and social media content, interested visitors and friends will see you as a reliable, regular source of information and therefore revisit your site - this is brand equity (also see MEMO 4.1) at work. And, if they come back to you again and again they are less likely to go to a competitor.

  • Improve your search engine ranking
    Fresh, original content is one of Google’s biggest deciding factors when it comes to website ranking.  Regularly updated, original and informative content triggers re-indexing higher up the ranking.

    Every blog post you publish adds a page to your website, making it a bigger and more authoritative entity.  This will benefit your SEO, especially if you target your blog posts to specific keywords and phrases that people will be searching for.

  • Fresh content to share on social media
    By blogging regularly you provide yourself with a steady stream of information to tell people about on your social media networks and in your email newsletter.

    All these channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) work together to increase the traffic to your website, which potentially provides you with more leads, more enquiries and more potential customers.

  • Demonstrate your expertise
    By sharing and demonstrating your knowledge, experience and expertise through a regular blog or social media channels you can become known as an expert in your field.

    More people are likely to buy your products or services if you have already illustrated to them that you know what you are talking about and have the experience to back it up.  Credibility is a very valuable commodity – illustrating credibility is very powerful.

    Engaging with potential customers through these channels is also a valuable method of persuasion when these customers are researching their purchasing choices.

In issue 3 (out on 28.10.14) we will look at how regularly reviewing your backlinks, keywords, Google Analytics and responsive design can help you to maximise your web presence.

Talk to us about any aspect of your digital strategy, from responsive web development to social media management and e-marketing campaigns. For more information please contact us on 01256 370910.

Author: Marina Jones