In the day-to-day hustle to keep your website humming along smoothly and stocked with SEO-friendly content, it can be easy to forget what the ultimate purpose of your content really is. Sure, web content is a great way to build your keyword base and improve your page rankings, but it only does that by also providing information that’s valuable to your readers, written in a way that they can easily consume. Ultimately, by focusing on how your web content benefits your customers and prospects, you’ll find that you’re also creating content that benefits your company, your brand, and your SEO.
So, what draws a reader to web content and keeps them coming back? Readers want answers to their questions, presented in a way that’s easy to find, digest, and understand. That means good information on a range of topics, written well and staged so that it is easy to read. Content should be long enough to be authoritative, but not so long that it leads readers to abandon the page in favor of a more concise resource. The appropriate length for web content varies depending on the topic that you’re addressing. Some subjects can easily be covered completely in 500-600 words, while others will require longer articles—or even multi-part content projects—in order to fully explore a theme.
While content updates should happen regularly, providing new content that’s up-to-date and topical in order to keep readers coming back, each individual piece of content should also be tailored to meet the needs of that topic rather than to match some pre-determined word count “sweet spot.” Readers crave variety not just in the length of your articles, but also in the way that they are laid out and presented. This variety may come in the form of incorporating images into your content, providing bulleted lists, or other methods of breaking up the visual monotony of words on a page. Whatever approach you take, never lose sight of the purpose of content: providing value to the reader.
Web content can answer frequently asked questions, provide readers with information that benefits their daily lives, or even turn them on to new ideas that they may not otherwise have encountered. In this way, content can benefit your readers even while it benefits your company. If there are questions that you or your sales team find you have to field frequently, you should make sure that they’re answered—and answered thoroughly—on your website. This will not only make your customers happy, but can also reduce your business processes.
What are some examples of good content at work? Take a car dealership. If a customer is shopping for a new car, they will benefit from having detailed information about the latest models available on the dealer’s website so they can do their research online before coming down to the lot to meet with a member of the sales team. This makes the car-buying process easier on the customer, provides them with information that they can use, and increases the likelihood that the sales team will close the deal when the customer arrives at the lot. What’s more, a customer who finds the information they’re looking for online is more likely to visit the dealership whose website has been helpful than they are to go to a competitor. The same goes for just about any business or industry. If you’re a medical professional or facility, you will benefit your customers and yourself by providing them with easy-to-find, easy-to-read, detailed pages about your services and topics that are relevant to prospective patients. Retailers benefit from providing customers with up-to-date content concerning the latest products. The list goes on and on.
In the end, the goal is to turn casual readers into returning readers, and returning readers into customers. The way to do that is to create content that your readers come to rely on, and the way to do that is to create original, topical, high-quality content that’s easy to read and easy to use. That means also making it easy for readers to share content with their friends by including social media links at the top or bottom of each page.
If you’re ready to start building your readership—and your business—contact the digital marketing team at iFocus Marketing in Kansas City to learn more about what high-quality content can do for your online presence.