A static website won’t attract the new traffic you need for success.
For many businesses, building a new website is a key part in their growth strategy. They recognize the importance of an online image to represent their business in a world where clients, contacts, and business leads increasingly turn to the Internet as the first step in their vetting process before signing a new contract.
However, creating a new website is only the first step. While a simple marketing site might present information about your company’s services in a clean, professional way, you need a more thorough strategy to actually engage your visitors.
This is where content come into play. Any business that wants to grow marketing leads through their website must be ready to commit resources toward an ongoing content strategy if they want to grow their market share. Here’s why.
1. Google needs to know the lights are on. (And so do your customers.)
First off, fresh content is a simple way to let Google know your website is still relevant, and is one of Google’s ranking factors. This makes perfect sense: Google doesn’t want to direct visitors toward a company that’s gone out of business. If your website has a consistent record of publishing regular content, that’s a sign you’re still in business.
Of course, clients care about this, too. Have you ever visited a website and gotten the feeling it hasn’t been updated in a while? Or maybe you notice an announcement for a conference that’s a couple years out of date, but still featured heavily on the home page. Would you trust this business? Probably not. Instead, you’d wonder if any of the information on the website was still accurate, and more likely you’d find somewhere else to take your business.
By contrast, when you see a well-maintained website, it inspires trust. You know they care enough about their business to keep their public information up to date. It’s even better when you can see signs of upcoming involvement, such as an announcement for a conference they plan to attend, a piece of downloadable content with this year’s date, or a newsletter that promises a regular mailing schedule.
2. New content gives you new reasons to connect with contacts.
Your sales department is always looking for legitimate reasons to contact leads. On the one hand, they don’t want to pester them with bland follow-up messages, but on they also want to stay front-of-mind. The trick is finding a reason to reach out that the lead will accept as reasonable, and not just another pestering message.
This is where fresh content can come to the rescue. Instead of sending a canned follow up email, you can write to let them know of a recent article you published on your blog that might be relevant to them. Or perhaps it’s a piece of downloadable content that could be a useful reference for them, or even an infographic that helps them compare their options.
Of course, this content is also great for sharing across social media or in an email newsletter, if you have one. And if you publish regularly, it gives you more opportunity to touch on a wide range of topics.
3. Fresh content demonstrates your business is paying attention to industry developments.
Industries change—often rapidly. Everyone is on the lookout for improvements, and there aren’t often opportunities for businesses to talk about their own awareness of these changes. However, new content gives businesses exactly this opportunity. With a steady stream of writing coming from your business, you’re never without a platform from which to discuss your approach.
Whether that means an article about the latest online security breach, a response to a recent comment by a public figure, or a review of a recently-launched product, your content can tackle any conversation point and be at the forefront of the zeitgeist.
4. You have a lot to talk about. (Really.)
All that said, we still frequently talk with businesses who are at a loss for what they might say on their company blog. They may be able to name one or two ideas for an article, but they quickly dry up. When we suggest they should post once or twice a week, they’re completely stumped. How can they possibly have that much to say?
Well, let’s start by breaking down your business. Let’s say you have two primary audiences (or personas), and four products or services. You want posts that will walk each persona through each step of the buyer’s journey, from the moment they first hear of your business to the time they decide to make a purchase—and even after! We typically break the buyer’s journey into four steps: attract (how they hear of you), convert (when they become believers), close (when they become clients), and delight (when they need to feel good about their decision).
Writing just one post for each of those stages will result in (2x4x4) 32 posts. At the rate of one post a week, it will take you eight months to cover that much content.
Now add in some of those timely “current events” posts we discussed, or a press release about a new service you’re launching, a new selling feature, or a series of FAQs from your clients. Trust us when we say that you are not about to run out of content topics. In fact, once you see your content plain laid out, you may want to increase your posting schedule to get through it.
Your website needs to be an active part of your content strategy.
In short, if you view your website as a static placeholder that only exists because everyone else has one, you’re downplaying one of your best assets. Instead, turn your website into a platform from which you spread the news about everything your business has to offer.
Audiences connect with fresh content, and when they do, they turn from leads to sales to advocates for your business. So, if you want to spread your word-of-mouth reach, it’s time to start talking.