No doubt you established your website so that visitors can learn about your brand and the products or services that you want to sell. But in this hyper-competitive world, at the very least your website must demonstrate that:
- It is an authoritative resource on your product or service
- Your business is trustworthy and credible
Too many businesses look at their website as a checkmark on a list of sales and marketing materials they must create. But your website is not a one and done. It is a living entity that has an ongoing purpose and should receive regular updates.
Content is King
For your site to show up higher in organic searches you must have a continual output of content on your site.
Why? Let’s compare two hypothetical companies and this should quickly become obvious.
Two companies both create their new Software as a Service (SaaS) platform at about the same time and each establishes a website. Company A makes sure their site has information about their product and how you can contact them for a demo. Company B creates a similar site. Both of these sites get crawled by search engines.
Company A puts a lot of its resources on its backend product, figuring that once prospects see their new SaaS platform, they will want to do business with them immediately.
Company B decides to allocate some resources to improve the information they offer. Company B adds pricing and competitive information. They reach out to directory providers to ensure their new SaaS platform is included in directories.
Company B decides to share information with the industry, in turn causing multiple news organizations to report on their information. They also have an active social media presence keeping customers updated on major product updates and exhibitions.
Search engine web crawlers are continually examining the sites of Company A and Company B. For Company A, the search engines have no new information to present. Key company/product information tends to get buried deep in search results in favor of more recent or updated content.
However, for Company B the search engines are constantly finding new information. The web crawlers are identifying visitors that have visited their page through social posts, email links, new shared articles (blog posts), or updated content. To the search engines this information looks fresh and updated.
Company B now exhibits credible authority causing search engines to actively direct visitors to them during the search process.
Is your company’s website more like Company A or Company B? Most likely, it’s a mix of both. Most companies fit somewhere on the spectrum between the two.
What About SEO?
Demonstrating to the search engines that your site has its content optimized for keywords and key phrases also plays a vital role, but that is for another discussion.
All things being equal, if we leave SEO out of the equation, a site with fresher content consistently demonstrating you’re an authority on your given product or service drives far more traffic and improved rankings.
Keep Content Fresh and Updated
What steps are you taking to consistently drive traffic back to your site?
- Are you making sure your email campaigns have links that drive back to a landing page?
- What about posting a steady stream of information on social media, with a specific reason for it to link back to your site?
- Are you making outbound links to key partners and key information that might benefit your visitors?
- Are you putting out monthly product updates or a newsletter?
Do you have any kind of overarching plan regarding the content you put out?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.Content Marketing Institute
Feeding the Beast
I call it feeding the beast — providing a steady diet of content that shows site visitors and search engines that your site and your brand is a trusted authority. This should be a key part of your marketing efforts.
When you are first starting out your website is like a young cub. As it is continually fed a consistent and well-balanced diet of content, your site grows larger and larger into a powerful beast. Your brand’s equity and authority grows with your site, in turn causing your brand’s value to increase and your organic search engine rankings to improve.
Let me leave you with one last thought. If you are in an industry with a finite group of competitors, don’t think for one second that your competitors aren’t looking for every advantage they can to stand out from the crowd. In other words, if your competitors are employing a content strategy and you aren’t, then don’t be surprised to see their search engine rankings rise while yours drops.
Taking most companies limited resources into account, a concerted content marketing strategy helps provide some method to the madness. This allows you to plan and schedule content that directly contributes to your various marketing campaigns, while making the most of your existing resources.
Creating a constant stream of content and actively supporting various campaigns can be extremely time consuming and resource intensive. There is a very elegant marketing solution to this — a content calendar. Next time I’ll discuss in-depth how to create a content calendar for your site with examples.