Content writing tips
There are hundreds of things that small businesses can do online to market their business, products or services, or for building their brand image. It’s needless to talk about the importance of a website that gets visitors, is easy to find on the web for relevant keywords, and attracts prospects with valuable information and resources. Of course, you already know what I just said, but very often we ignore all these aspects once the website is up and running. It won’t keep working and generating results endlessly unless we keep adding more value to it on a continuous basis.
Analyze your website and see where it’s lacking. Ask these questions: Does your website have a “hook” that makes the visitors move on to the next step? Are you able to give the important information and key links in the first view (above the fold) of your website? Can visitors connect with your site immediately by reading some of their key pain points for which they need a solution? Is the site well-designed and has as easy-to-follow structure? Do you offer various ways to get connected with prospects? These are just some of the angles to assess. You can even ask an external neutral person to look at your website and give feedback. It’s really important.
So what are the website related activities that you must invest your time and money in? Here’s a rundown of some of the vital tasks that small businesses must do:
- Keyword optimization: Some keywords have a lot of competition, so you must increase the density of those keywords by adding more and more articles, webpages, presentations, PDFs that are related to those important keywords. You can use Google Keyword Research tool to find the right words and phrases. You must come out as an expert in your field. Do remember to use your locality and city name frequently throughout your website, as people generally add that while searching for a specific service.
- Timely analytics: Make a habit of looking at your website visitor data every Friday evening or just any other time that suits your schedule. Learn how people land on your site, and the path they follow, and notice where they leave. These simple numbers and keywords will give you vital insights to make your website better. You will see that minor modifications can give you dramatic results.
- Building a well-connected website: Ensure that people can find what they are looking for with clear-cut navigation, simple sub-menus, related information links at the right places, easy contact details and maps, and important internal and external links wherever required.
- Possibilities to add more features: Your website design should be easy to expand and update frequently. Using a CMS based website or a simple WordPress website is great for small businesses that have limited budgets and do not want to pay endlessly to a web developer for site updates. CMS and blogging tools also allow various widgets and plugins to make your website tech-savvy and easy to use.
- Blog: There’s no better way to keep adding more content to your site than through a blog. There are so many allied topics related to your work that you otherwise cannot put on your site, but you have the freedom to do so on your blog. You get a great platform to write informative keyword-rich content to attract more visitors and make them keep coming back. Engage in relevant conversations on your blog by answering to comments and writing thought provoking articles. Make sure you have an RSS feed of your blog too.
- Web forms: Have a simple form to collect online leads and ask only for information that is relevant for you – lesser the fields to fill, the better. If you have a lengthy form, people might just give it a miss or fill fake data which won’t be useful for you anyways. It’s best to get only the useful details and remember you can always collect the rest later. Offer incentives like coupons, discounts, free downloads, access to member resources, free trial, etc., to people who fill your web form.
- Lead management system: Do your website leads come to a mailbox and get lost after you take action? Small businesses usually end-up forgetting about old leads or save them in Excel files that are difficult to update. Use Gmail or Outlook Contact Manager to keep your list of leads safe and easy to use.
- Multi-media content: Simple text-based websites have lived their life to give way to fresh ideas and rich media websites that offer content in a dynamic way based on visitor preferences. If there are things that can be said better through pictures, diagrams, presentations, podcasts, videos, conversational articles, surveys, then they must be said that way only. Uncomplicate your content by using multi-media.
- Mobile version: The number of people using handheld devices for web browsing is increasing and this trend will grow even more, so it makes sense to have a small-screen version of your website that loads faster on mobile devices, has simple navigation, and easy-to-read content. Do analytics of mobile visitors as well.
- Visitor engagement: Use conversational tone, write simple language, let users decide what they want from your site, give them options, ask for permission, tell them about their privacy, offer them various ways to get connected with you, give them a platform to speak out/recommend/give feedback, provide help and support, have live chat – you can do a lot more to build a relationship with your visitors.
- Social media links: Which social media accounts should your business have is up to your preference and business needs, but having at least one such suitable outlet is a necessity. Whether you use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, make sure people can get connected with you easily through these channels. At the same time they should also be able to see what would they get by getting connected to you: is it timely information about the latest happenings, discount coupons, new releases, sales, etc.?
And lastly, the one single feature that will differentiate your website from the rest is:
Implement all these on your website and see the difference yourself. You cannot just build the website and forget about it for a long time. In order to make the best out of your website, you have to treat it like a business unit – find the right people to design and manage it, shower it with commitment, keep a track of what is happening on your website as well as other similar sites, and take genuine interest in its development.
Article submitted by: Swati Swayamprava
As an Internet marketer, what is the first step you need to take to get your business offerings noticed? Many of you will definitely emphasize on providing useful, value added content because nothing draws audience (and future clients) better than content. And with this content are built certain connections or relationships, which may last long enough to lead to a financial transaction or short enough to make a good impact (to say the least). The time-span of the relationship also depends on your actions. To go by industrial statistics, 70-80% of the cases who consistently provided good content have had their efforts paid off, quite richly.
Building those great relationships is not rocket science either! It is surprising, how simply certain taken-for-granted human rules can be nurtured to bear the fruit of successful sales or even referrals for your business, recommendations for your products or retweets to your events. Here are some insights into those human attributes:
1. Connections Through Reciprocation
Conversation – an ingrained human trait. A good marketer believes in taking advantage of this and offers worth, which in future forms something as colossal as a large profit margin. Experts call it, “the fine art of reciprocation”. Start and encourage dialogues, participate in ongoing conversations, offer and accept advice through all online and offline channels.
In today’s marketing parlance, content that rewards its readers with profits even before they know that a sale is in the picture, is called value addition. The content provider who makes a mark gets a due return. So if your reader knows a lot about how the use of blue tooth technology can help him, from the content he has read on your blog, he will make sure to buy that blue-tooth enabled handset you are offering.
2. Connections Through Comparison
Evaluation against a competitor is not the only comparison that is made in the marketing arena. Sometimes the buyer compares himself with the successful role model that the seller flaunts in order to grab attention! It is fairly common that the buyer compares himself with that winner and wonders if he has a similar streak.
It is here that a marketer must pitch in, and set right that comparison. During marketing to a large organization, the seller must have a larger and more successful firm as the example whereas selling to a startup does not require that elaborate a case study. For the latter, some morale boosting supplemented with a good pitch will suffice to make the required impact.
3. Connections Through Attention
Most humans crave for it and some successful ones are able to actually get it. A thriving marketer consistently needs to be in the latter category for making sales happen. After all, successful brands are those who have grabbed the much required eyeballs at the right time and managed to stay in the limelight for years together. Paying attention to customer needs and offering valuable content is essential.
4. Connections Through Recurrence
After getting the vital publicity, the usual tendency to bask in the glory of the achievement could be fatal. During building a relationship that blossoms from valuable content, a marketer must ensure that he nurtures it through steady, constant follow-up with literature that continues to add value and make sense. Be it a webinar, a podcast, a free email newsletter, blog feeds – the prospect should get used to your subject matter and start looking forward to the difference your content makes in his life even before he has paid you anything.
This builds trust and reliability that is definitely not going away anywhere.
5. Connections Through Expression
Extremely essential as well as delicate is the science of expression, especially when it comes to promotional literature. The tremendous importance of maintaining the thin line, between problem sharing and cribbing; transparency and over-sharing; describing and boasting; scrutinizing and criticizing in your content cannot be over emphasized. A tad gone wrong and all those carefully cultivated relationships go down the drain, instantaneously. Your content must give out the right message in the right way.
By reminiscing over these aspects of human relationships and building your content upon any one (your forte) or even all of them, could make a significant difference in your business. All said and done, haven’t these age old societal connections met with successes time and again?
Are you struggling with getting the right inputs from your clients? A good brief from the client is half the job done, but if your client is unable to put his thoughts together, here are some questions that you can ask to get the information that will help you write content that cannot get rejected. These questions are for sub-webpages that are related to a specific service, but many of these questions are useful for any other kind of marketing content writing requirements. So, here are the top 10 questions to ask while collecting information for service/product related webpages:
1. Service name
2. Overview of the service
3. Details of sub-offerings that would go under this service
4. What are the possible requirements of the customers looking for this service? What are the business challenges faced by the visitors for which they are looking for a solution?
5. How are your services different from others in this domain? Why should a visitor select your service?
6. How would the customer benefit through your offerings?
7. Do you follow any standards/framework/methodologies to deliver your service?
8. Do you have any industry alliances/accolades/certifications/recognitions for this service?
9. What are the infrastructure related advantages that you have for this offering – company size, locations, geographies, facilities, tools and technology, etc.?
10. What is the level of expertise that you have in this service domain? What are the strengths of your company’s team in this domain – range of skills, experience, training, background, numbers, etc.?
Feel free to add more questions to this list.