Unless your client has no online presence whatsoever, they are keenly aware that success in business today requires more than price, quality and convenience; it requires a comprehensive internet marketing structure built on a foundation of dynamic website content.
If they utilize social media, no matter which format, sooner or later friends/followers will visit their website to see what all the fuss is about. If, when they arrive, these potential customers find uninteresting, outdated or, heaven forbid, inaccurate content, then their website content strategy, to the extent they even had one, has failed.
So what's the key? How do you construct a website content strategy that will attract consumers, engage them via a call to action, and convert them into customers for your clients? There are numerous things you can do and countless sources to turn to depending on whether you're a newbie or technologically savvy (each of which creates its own set of challenges). For our purposes, we're going to assume that your client already has an established website and that their marketing department uses social media to increase their online presence. Given those factors, here are some things to consider when you develop a website content strategy for your clients:
Who are they?
No, really, who are they? What is the business, what does it stand for, what is it known for? Identify its purpose and what they intend to accomplish via the site content. Ask third parties what they like and don't like about the site. Asking your client's best customers for their input will likely lead to some honest feedback (and may even increase their loyalty to your brand because you've made them feel valued).
Do the math.
Whether you use Google analytics, adobe, webtrends, an analytics measuring tool of your own design, or any one of the many other tools available, utilization will provide you information about the impact of your client's website on its users and enable you to respond to how those visitors interact with the site in order to increase engagement.
What do they want to say?
Once you've established the online persona you want for the company or organization and conducted your analysis of how many visits your pages receive, how many of them click through or away, and other data your analytics can provide you, you're ready to create content that is responsive to what you've learned. An effective website content strategy involves more than simply conveying information, its about telling a story, the story of your client's brand, in an informative, engaging way that holds the attention of the reader and calls them to action. Having said that...
It's not about them.
Yes, we know, it's their website and the primary purpose of it is to market their brand. However, your client's website should not be an online ad. You've got...well...online ads for that. To be truly effective, a website content strategy should employ writing that goes beyond merely singing the brand's praises. Whenever possible, it should be useful to visitors, beneficial beyond simply helping them make a purchasing decision. If your website is perceived to be a source of objective, helpful information, visitors are more likely to read what's been written and are also more likely to return because they know your client's site is...
Nothing spells doom for any Internet marketing campaign more than stale content. If a user returns to your client's site and finds content that hasn't changed from the prior visit, he or she is unlikely to come back soon, if at all. A key component of any successful website content strategy is regular updating to ensure that it contains fresh content.
Keep it simple.
Don't get us wrong. We're not saying you should dumb your content down. We do, however, recommend that whoever writes the content for your client's site do so in clear and concise language that does not require the reader to have more than just general knowledge of the subject matter. We mentioned earlier that content should tell a story. It should not be a white paper. For that reason alone, your most competent technical employee may not be the ideal person to write for your client's site. Someone who possesses a passion for talking about it, however, is another matter!
Where are they?
Your website content strategy won't be very effective if your client's visitors can't find them through search engines or, once they've clicked on your site, are unable to easily navigate to where you want them to go, get lost, then frustrated, and then disappear.