In this digital, uber-connected world we live in, it's essential to the growth of your business to have the right first impression when people come to your website. More often than not, I see small business owners make many mistakes in how they communicate with customers and potential customers through their website.
Content is often overlooked until it's not; when businesses hit a wall, or are looking to expand, it's near-impossible to achieve success without the right content. In some ways, content can either make or break your brand.
Content and User Experience
It's really quite easy to neglect a main component of your website when you are first starting out: your audience. Many people are too close to their own brand to truly understand the needs of their audience and end up either having too much content, too little content, or not the right choice of content on their website, which affects the entire user experience.
According to UX Magazine, "bad content can never deliver a great user experience. However, if the content has structure and all the necessary information that a user needs, it will help create a good user experience." Seems simple, doesn't it?
They go on to explain the main tenants for content that provide a solid user experience, including:
Readability through clarity;
Excellent information architecture;
Keeping users in the spotlight, and
In other words, make sure that your content provides the user with information that they need in a way that they can understand it, organize it in a way that makes sense to them, and include calls to action along the way to encourage conversions.
Content and SEO
I would say that the most common reason why clients come to me to perform content audits is for SEO purposes. Everyone wants to rank higher on a Google search and everyone thinks that content will get them there. Which is partially true. SEO is complicated and requires the digital extension of your brand to think about several different components in order to out-rank your competition. One of those components is content.
While many marketing experts like to say that "content is king," Search Engine Land puts it this way, "perhaps the most important SEO factor after creating good content is good keyword research." Google bots have become pretty sophisticated over the years. Where they used to simply crawl sites looking for keywords, they can now take relevancy and quality into account as well, and it weighs heavily on your ranking.
Content and Communicating For Your Brand
SEO Moz, a leading software company and SEO education community, knows that good website content goes beyond a blog: “content isn’t ‘stuff we write to rank higher’ or ‘infographics’ or ‘longform articles.’ Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience.”
This includes product descriptions, the company story, images and videos—all of it tells a story to your audience and it’s important to make sure you are telling the right story.
The same way that people develop impressions of one another based on the words that come out of our mouths, so too do potential customers build an impression of brands. If the words you are using are not creating a connection—which you might be able to actually analyze based on your bounce rate—then your content is not serving you and your business.
Need An Audit?
If you're curious whether or not you could be doing a better job of communicating to clients and potential clients through your website, shoot me an email and we can talk about it. When it comes to content audits and reworking website content, I have experience working with businesses both small and large--all of whom have experienced an uptick in business after our work together was done.