Every business needs a website. This is becoming increasingly true in a consumer market where 81% of shoppers consult with the internet before making a purchasing decision. This isn’t only true for individual consumers, either. A presence on the internet is critical for successful business to business sales.
So what, exactly, does your website need? Of course, the content needs of your business will depend heavily upon the size, the industry and even the budget of your business. In short, the amount of content may vary. But there are four types of content every business needs, regardless of size.
Here’s one type of web content you may never have thought of before: customer reviews. While it’s true that many small business (and large corporations as well) depend on word of mouth advertising, it’s also true that a growing proportion of that word of mouth promotion may be from your business website’s content.
Look at it this way: your prospective customers may not believe you when you say you deliver results, or that your product is the most effective on the market. But when “John Morris from Durham, North Carolina” offers his opinion, your target consumer will be more likely to convert. Reviews from past and current customers help to build the trust prospective buyers have in your brand.
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from your current clientele. Most are happy to oblige, and what’s more is that current and positive consumer reviews can help to increase your SEO and your click-through rate.
I’ve long held that every business needs a blog in addition to the basic “About” and “Contact” information. Current content serves three purposes. First, it boosts your website’s ranking in search engines. The success of your website is no longer dependent on keywords and search terms. Instead, Google is making a move toward quality content.
The second purpose is to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. “Thought leadership,” as the overused buzzword would have it, is established through this type of content. Current, relevant and original content will show your customers that you’re staying abreast of industry trends, and that you’re implementing those trends in your own company’s operations.
Finally, the content of your business website will allow you to create and establish your brand. This is where you’ll show the personality of your company. You’re not just another rented office in a strip mall. There’s a person behind the company, and your website content is an effective way to introduce yourself.
Your current content will likely take the form of a business blog, which is by nature fluid. However, it’s in the best interest of your company to include some evergreen content as well.
Evergreen content is content that’s always true. The information in this content will remain relevant for a very long time. For example, your brokerage firm’s blog may cover the most recent developments in tech stocks. But your evergreen content might include the basics of pre-market trading.
Show your consumers that you “know your stuff.” Ensure that your evergreen content is error-free and include authoritative sources, as it will remain on your site for a long time – maybe years.
Finally, social media is becoming more and more critical to the success of your business’s web presence. And while it’s rare for a social media campaign to deliver huge results, it remains the single-most effective vehicle to develop your business brand.
Again, you are a person. And social media is social. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms should not be used as a marketing tool, but instead should be used to engage with your customers. Include visual content – lots of it! And be sure to interact with your prospective customers quickly.
Your social media content doesn’t have to relate directly to your business. Just the opposite, in fact. Facebook users don’t scroll through their feed to be hard-sold by a company they followed. Instead, they want to hear from you. Share details of events at your location or in your community. Tell them what you think of that celebrity wedding. Or just chat about the weather. Of course, steer clear of politics and religion.
Be sure that your customers have a way to connect with you when they visit your website. Include links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or other accounts. Then, once they connect, start to engage!