Monthly Archives: January 2011

5 ways to tune up your content for 2011

 

It’s that time of year. The time where you start looking at your website and tilt your head wondering if it’s starting to sound a little stale to readers. If it’s been a few years since you’ve updated your content, your site could probably use a good scrub. A lot changes in a year – trends, tools, keywords, methodologies – and you want to make sure your Web site is giving users (and the search engines) the most up-to-date information about your company. The best way to do that is to give your website a quick content audit to determine what exactly it’s saying about you.

Below are five ways to tune up your content for 2011. You want to start the New Year off on the right foot, don’t you?

1. Highlight your strengths.

You’ve probably heard it a lot over the past year – marketing is storytelling. Each sentence on your site should be part of a larger effort to tell your brand’s story and lure readers in. To capture people’s attention, your content has to be telling a story that displays your product/company’s strength and tying it back into how it will solve a problem they’ve expressed. Does the content on your site do a good job highlighting your strengths or is it simply a list of features? Do you show customers how your product will help them achieve a larger goal or are you waiting for them to put it together themselves? If it’s the latter, you need to go in and tweak your message. What’s different about your product or service? What goes above and beyond in a way your competitors don’t? Revamp your copy to include these selling points and clearly outline the benefits you offer to customers.

2. Know your competition’s weaknesses.

Part of knowing where your product succeeds means also knowing where your competitor’s product fails. Maybe you deliver superior customer service, maybe it’s a price point issue, or maybe they’re nowhere to be found on social media whereas you’re dominating and ever-so-accessible. Whatever their specific weakness is, make sure you account for it when highlighting your strengths. Don’t do this in a way that speaks badly about your competition, but in a way that highlights something that you do really well. It’s about you, not them. You have to remember that potential customers are landing on your website to research their options in service providers. Make sure you’re showing them why you’re the best choice and what you offer that your competition can’t match.

3. Tighten your calls to action.

One of the most important things you can do for your website is to use your analytics to find your high-traffic/low-conversion pages. You know that a large number of potential customers are landing on these pages, but for some reason, they’re abandoning before they can convert. Why? Often it’s due to too many distractions on the page, or maybe your calls to action aren’t as compelling as they should be. If it’s a case of the latter, experiment with your calls to action to try and find ones that do better with your audience. Sometimes simply changing the call to action on a page can change the whole tone and make things sound fresher.

4. Reassess keywords.

Two years ago you used keyword research to help you determine how users were searching for your products and which terms you needed to rank for. You then developed content based on those terms. But have you checked back in to see if you’re still on the right path? Are you regularly looking for new opportunities, checking for any terms that may be falling off, or calculating the ROI for going after a specific term? If you haven’t, now is a good time to go through your site and reassess your keyword needs. Just because your customers typically referred to something one way doesn’t mean they’re still searching for it that same way. By tidying up your keywords you ensure you’re attracting the right people and optimizing your search traffic.

5. Freshen up your stats.

Another way to revitalize your content is to go through it and update the statistics you’re referencing to make them more relevant. It’s hard for customers to establish trust in your brand when you’re still talking about how effective your company was five years ago or about the latest in mobile trends from 2002. Make sure you’re constantly reading up on different sources to update your stats as your industry and market matures. If your site is talking about what happened decades ago it’s an unintentional sign that you haven’t done anything since.

The end of one year gives us a chance to tidy things up in preparation for the next. One of the best investments you can make for your website right now is to clean up your content to make sure it’s attracting the right people and properly differentiating your business from your competitors. Give yourself a content audit before the calendar hits 2011 to start things off on the right note.

 

http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/12/5-ways-tune-up-content-2011.html

5 reasons your website Isn’t attracting leads.

So, what are your big Internet marketing plans for the New Year? Will you beinvesting more in social media? Will you start blogging? Will you take a more proactive stance with self-promotion? Whatever your online marketing plans, the end goal is likely to attract more people to your website in the hopes that the influx of new eyes will translate into new customers, new leads and new opportunities for your business. However, you won’t be able to do any of that if your Web site is turning people off, instead of turning them on.

Below are some very common reasons SMB Web sites fail to attract customers and how to avoid falling prey to them.

1. There’s no conversion path in place.

One criticism of many SMB sites is that they don’t include a clear conversion path for their customers. If you want customers to take a certain action, you need to create a funnel intended to guide them to do that. Simply stringing together a number of content pages won’t necessarily put someone on the path to buy. Your conversion path may be as simple as a solitary landing page paired with a call to action, or as complex as an entire microsite. Either way, you are in charge of designing the flow of your website. Creating a clear conversion path not only helps customers feel more comfortable on your site, it also gives you clear data to track so that you can see where people are abandoning, where they’re engaging, etc. The more data you have to act on, the better you can design your site to attract new customers.

2. There’s no sign of life.

Customers are discriminating. You can bet that when they land on your website they’re going to kick the tires a little to see if they can trust you. They’re going to check your copyright date to see if it lists 2011 or 2006. They’re going to look for old statistics or other signs you haven’t taken the time to update your content. They’re going to check your company blog to see how often it’s updated, if you reply to commenters, if people are talking back, etc. They’re going to look for signs that you’ve created a dynamic website, instead of one lying around in stagnant water. Before your customers get there, take a look around yourself. Would you hang out with you?

3. It’s all about you.

Customers don’t head to your site to hear how awesome you are. They’re there because they have a problem they need you to fix or a question they need you to answer. Your website should be designed to help them quickly achieve whatever it is they came for. Too many references to “I” in lieu of “you,” too much sales talk instead of helpful information, and too much of you not addressing their fears/wants/desires will turn people away from your brand, not on to it. Your customers don’t care about you–they care about how you can help them.

4. People can’t find you.

If you’re finding that customers aren’t interacting with your website at all, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. Is it accessible? With more and more users searching via mobile devices and on the go – is your website mobile accessible? If it’s not, users trying to find you may hit a dead end. There’s nothing worse than trying to find your accountant’s website while on the road and finding out his site only renders in Flash and won’t load on your phone. Not that I’m talking from experience.
  2. Is it properly SEO’d? Have you made it easy for users and search engines to find your content? That means using the right keywords, linking properly, making your site super crawlable for spiders, and staying away from common SMB SEO mistakes.

Sometimes before you can see more traffic, you have to break through the obstacles preventing you from seeing any.

5. There’s no POD.

If you want to attract people, you have to give them more of you. You have to stand out from the crowd and show them something that they’ll want to align themselves with. Take a look at your own site – what are you showing potential customers? I don’t mean the graphics or the videos you choose to incorporate (don’t forget to SEO those, too!), I meanthe experience that you’re creating. Are you using your site to set yourself apart, or do you come off like everyone else? Are you talking to customers in their own language or filling your pages up with buzzwords and jargon? The more powerful a POD (point of differentiation) you can create, the better you’ll attract the right customers to your brand.

If you’re finding it difficult to attract leads via your website, it may be time to ask yourself some hard questions. Before you can fix the problem, you first have to identify it. What are some struggles you’ve had attracting new leads? How have you fixed the problems?

http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/01/5-reasons-your-web-site-isn’t-attracting-leads.html