Your website is the first place people go to learn more about you, your company, and what you represent. After a few minutes of browsing, they’ll decide whether or not that first impression is enough to keep them there. While the visual appeal of a website is certainly important to attracting new visitors, a website’s main purpose is to engage them and turn potential buyers into customers. You can’t do that without offering them something valuable to consume and that’s where website content comes into play.
Before the Internet, a company’s website was a brochure passed around in trade shows or stuffed into envelopes and mailed to unsuspecting prospects. When the Internet came into play in the 1980’s, this same brochure was handed to a website designer who then turned it into a beautiful online display. At the time, this made sense. Brochures were static and companies spent a lot of time and money designing them. The Internet was new and most just saw it as a way to be seen like another media outlet, a broadcast tool if you will.
Decades later, the Internet has developed into a collaborative enterprise. Instead of broadcasting to their users, companies are now able to communicate with them in a community-type setting and build long-lasting relationships. Unfortunately many businesses are stuck in the “megaphone stage” of marketing and are not using the Internet to its full potential. Rather than blasting viewers with sales-oriented messages, your website needs to compel them to stay. When you make your website the “hub” of what you do, you’re able to take advantage of all the Internet has to offer.
This may come as a shock to you, but your visitors are not particularly interested in your website’s design and in reality, most websites look perfectly fine. What your visitors care about is the information that’s presented and its ease of access. When people come to your website, they’re looking for something they can read and learn about, so while you think your website might need updating (and it might!), it’s not as important as making sure you have the information your customers are looking for.
Before you spend thousands of dollars and countless hours changing colors, logos, and navigation bars, I suggest you do these three things first:
- Add a blog. This will improve the collaborative functionality of your website and is easy to update on a regular basis.
- Create consumable content. People are looking for solutions to their problems online. Offer compelling material that provides answers in the form of blog posts, eBooks, and webinars.
- Become a part of the action. Research where online conversations are happening in your industry and lend your voice and connect with your audience on social media.
While it might feel a little odd at first, you should be spending seventy-five percent of your focus on what’s happening off your website concerning your brand, your industry, and your competitors. By creating online communities where people can connect with you and your products, they will ultimately be drawn back to your website. Essentially, it’s not what you say about you, it’s what others say about you (Inbound Marketing).
Through a combination of blog subscribers, social media followers, links to your website, and traffic-producing keywords, your marketing hub will grow and grow.