If you’ve been researching ways to improve your company’s online presence you’ll have inevitably come across the phrase “Content is King”. A phrase that’s still very true in every aspect of creating a website.
Content will help to increase your visitor’s satisfaction with your site – staying longer, interacting more and with a higher likelihood of returning – it will help to boost your search engine rankings, and it will help to brand your company as an authority in your field.
But what exactly is content?
How do we define it in terms of what an average company’s website will look like and how do we keep the content of a website as the main focal point?
A broad definition of content is that it’s any sort of information and graphics on your site. It’s everything from the text on your about us page to the images of your products.
It’s the how-to articles you post in your news areas and the media releases you put on your press page – even the stock photography used throughout your site.
Content covers all of the aspects of your site other than your design and coding.
What about blogging?
If your website is a blog or if your site contains a blog or news area – this is the fastest and lowest barrier to entry to creating more content for your site.
By posting even one article or blog post per month you will have increased the amount of relevant information on your site by 12 items.
Write about common questions you receive in your line of work, your opinion on a recent industry-related news piece or about your new product coming out.
Not a fan of the term ‘blog?’ Don’t use it.
Think of your pieces of content as articles or information pieces – we’ve named our blog area on our website the articles section as we think it’s more indicative of the type of knowledge you’ll receive here.
Do I have to write X often per month?
When faced with an infinite schedule of posting – we find that many of our customers freeze at the thought of a commitment of forever to your website.
Most company’s would rather not do it at all then commit to a schedule and not be able to meet it.
What we recommend is to think of it as a series of information articles. So for instance a nail salon would write a series of 14 articles that describe set portions of the experience, common faqs about their business and other topics of interest to their customers.
That would be the extent of their content. No need to publish a set number per week, they can add if they want to and edit if they feel the information needs updating. But this forms the core basis of their content on their website.
But how do you create content?
That’s really the tough of it – the content needs to be created by either someone in your company or a professional content creator who can do your company justice.
You’re the one who knows your industry best – but you also know the value of your time. A professional content creator might actually be a cheaper investment in the long run when compared to the cost of the time of you or an employee for the same effort.
Creating content is as simple as sitting down and writing about a topic for 500-1000 words.
In theory it sounds fantastic but in practice it can be daunting. So how do you set yourself up for success?
One way to help is to brainstorm as much as possible before you start writing. If you have an outline or topic plan ahead of time – you won’t have to stretch far to string the ideas together and create comprehensive pieces of content.
So with the nail salon example above, they’d brainstorm the 14 topics they want to talk about and from there they would break down each topic into 3-4 main talking points.
Once they had each talking point, filling in the rest of the article is much easier since they aren’t staring at a blank page when starting to write.
Where to find imagery.
The best content is a mixture of both words and images. People tend to learn better and retain more knowledge when information is accompanied by imagery.
It also helps to break up a page visually so your visitors aren’t daunted by arriving at a wall of text (no matter how helpful that text is to their current situation.)
So how do you get high quality images to suit your content? There are three main choices for imagery to go along with your text content:
- Stock imagery
- Create your own by hiring a photographer
- Create your own by hiring an illustrator
Stock imagery is the most budget friendly of the three options and works well for most industries. There are thousands of high quality photographers and designers who release their work to be used for a fee in other’s projects.
Hiring a Photographer or Illustrator to create your own.
Hiring a photographer or illustrator to create you a set of images to use throughout your materials is an option that is daunting to some. The high cost of hiring a professional can be off-putting to a new business.
But the benefits of using a professional for your imagery needs far outweigh the costs when you get to a point where your brand and company is gaining traction.
Having your own unique look and feel to your materials helps to solidify your branding. Since you own the rights to them – they will never be seen outside of your own materials (a risk with stock imagery anyone can buy) and you can choose the exact imagery created so it suits your materials perfectly.
If content is king – quality is queen.
Above all else – the need for high quality content is the most important part of the content creation process.
By creating low-quality content you may see a temporary boost in search engine rankings when they discover the content, but that will quickly drop off when they realize no one is getting any value from your website.
High quality content (proper grammer, spell checked, consistent concepts throughout) will be well worth the investment of time and money you spend on it.
It will position your company as an authority in your field and will get your customers to keep coming back to your website when they need information or when they think of a specific service or product.
What sort of topics can you write about for your website? Could your website’s content be due for an overhaul to bring more value for your customers?
Sit down today and brainstorm a few topics that would benefit your position. The more you work on it, the easier it gets and the more content creation becomes a normal part of your everyday business activities.