Marketing With Purpose: How To Improve Your Company's Content
In these days of heightening search engine scrutiny, a la Google's Penguin and Panda updates, it's no longer enough just to regularly post content on your company Web site. Mere words will not get your site ranked where it can be found by potential customers. You need to engage your reader. Here are a few tips for how to do just that:
1. Make it useful. The best content answers a reader's need. If you sell plumbing fixtures, perhaps that's how to unclog a sink. If you are a travel company, offer tips on packing or sailing through the airport with a minimum of hassle. It's fine to include commercial information. (That's why you started the Web site in the first place.) But, a Web site that's all commercial is much less likely to be found on Google and other search engines, and if found will likely bore the reader. Says Des Traynor on the Intercom Blog, "Everything you write should be crafted with the intention of selling, educating, or increasing customer loyalty."
2. Words are not enough. Today's Web reader expects more than a page full of text. If you're not adding quality images, graphics and videos to your Web posts, you're losing a portion of your audience seconds after they arrive on your site. You work too hard to be noticed amid the glut of competing Web sites. Don't send potential customers away.
3. Pay attention to length. The ideal Web post is long enough to make yourself understood and short enough to be read. How long is this? Successful Blogging.com advises that the best blog posts are around 500 to 1,000 words...if they stay relevant and on topic. Of course, there's a lot to be said for shorter, more information-dense content that gets right to the point--a real benefit for web readers with notoriously short attention spans.
4. Link to social media sites. If you think that Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are just for teens, you're missing a BIG marketing opportunity. Facebook alone has nearly one billion active users. (One billion!) If you're not using this marketing avenue, you can bet one of your competitors is. Start small by adding "share" buttons to your Web posts so that readers can let their "friends" know how useful they found your site.
The bottom line: make regular, interesting, varied, useful posts and search engines--and customers--will find you. No successful blog or Web site was created overnight. Keep posting and they will come.