Targeted Site Copy
Another major piece that most businesses simply overlook is the effective use of their site copy. The difficulty most business owners have in describing themselves and their product is that they’re simply to comfortable, knowledgeable and, in other words, too close to what they’re trying to sell. Thus, their site content tends to reflect this tone. Depending on your market it may be appropriate to have technical lingo on your site but this is the insight industry research is going to provide; who your customers are and how to communicate with them most effectively.
Without truly understanding your customers you can easily spend $1000 month on paid marketing, bringing people to your site, but if you’re not “speaking their language,” they’re not going to convert. In most cases it can be helpful to higher a professional copywriter to help you to speak to your audience in the appropriate way. Regardless of who does your site content, you’ll want to make sure that it’s rich with the relevant keywords you uncovered during the research phase.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is widely misunderstood. Most people, when talking about SEO are simply referring to keywords and making sure you’re using the appropriate number of h1, h2 tags. But, by definition, SEO refers to anything that optimizes your site in search and, in reality, Keywords and H1 tags are only a small part of what makes your site look good in the eyes of Google.
Turns out there are over 200 factors that Google uses to rank a website (here’s a link if your interested in seeing all 200) but for us mere mortals, here’s a list of some of the most important ones to pay attention to when addressing SEO:
- Site Speed
- Mobile optimization
- Responsive site design
- Quality site content (determined by how long people are staying on your site)
- Relevant keywords (as well as keyword placement and use)
- Inbound and Outbound site links
- Security (SSL Certificate)
We’re not going to take the time to dive into each one of these items and there’s enough out there on the topics already, but if you find yourself unsure of where to start when trying to improve your site SEO this list is a good place to start.
Most site owners have tried, and been burned by, some sort of paid ads. Meaning that they spent a bunch of money and nothing happened. This is because in most cases they skipped directly to this step, usually because it’s easy, before addressing the earlier points. So when a user clicks on their site and they find an unusable, slow to load, confusing site, they leave. More so, without the knowledge gained through industry research, your ads become generic and don’t effectively target your unique audience and their pain points. Assuming you have done all of the above, then and only then, paid ads can be a great source of immediate traffic for your otherwise invisible site.
When building ValiusWP we used paid ad’s, in the beginning, to test the idea of our business. One of the Lean Startup principles is to “Fail Faster,” which is essentially a way of quickly testing whether the market really want’s and values what you’re selling. In the beginning of ValiusWP, by using paid ads, we were able to acquire customers and more importantly customer feedback, to realize that our business wasn’t just something that sounded good on paper, but was something people were excited about.
Besides testing our idea, paid ad’s helped to draw traffic to our blog before it really was able to get going by itself. Content marketing, in the long term, is generally the more effective form of marketing but, where paid ads are immediate, content marketing takes time. Why we feel content marketing is the better long term approach to marketing is that not only does it provide immediate value to your customers in exchange for nothing it also helps to build your reputation as an authority in your given industry.
Though last, content marketing is far from least in the regards to marketing effectiveness. In fact, some argue that if you were to do one form of marketing it should be in the form of content. Content marketing is the creation of original content that generally relates to your brand or mission. Its the voice of your business and should be informative and creative not just demonstrating your knowledge in a particular field but giving personality and a voice to your otherwise life-less online business.
In the past 5-10 years content marketing has primarily referred to written content but with social media, and the rise of video, content is being created in all shapes and sizes. Though written content is definitely easier to produce, though good content is by no means “easy to produce,” we believe we’re going to see a dramatic increase in video content in 2017. If you’re looking for creative ways of sticking-out this year, video might just be your ticket to increased traffic.
With content marketing there is generally two ways to go about it. The first is to just write the content yourself. You are, in fact, the most knowledgeable person about your business but, on the other hand, it doesn’t mean your a good writer. So the second option is to hire a content creator. This is someone who helps to create content for you as either a ghost writer, where you take credit for the work, or a contributing author to your site. Either way you pay them, but depending on how you want to position yourself, both options have pros and cons.
At ValiusWP we decided to go both routes of writing our own content but also by working with professionals in the industry to write original content for us as well. The importance thing isn’t usually who writes the content but that it’s relevant to your audience and follows some sort of content marketing plan. You want to make sure your content is in line with your industry research and that you’re addressing the pain points of your audience, not just talking about what you want to talk about or your recent trip to Vegas. Keep is short, relevant and entertaining and you really can’t go wrong.