After an in-depth and enjoyable meeting with a client yesterday, it occurred to me how we both gained from discussing the intricacies of website content...
My client and I spent a couple of hours discussing the the best way to redevelop his website and it became clear to both of us that the bridge between the kind of content we need to produce and how we introduce people to, or share that content is key to the success of his website.
As we wrestled with subjects such as finding appropriate stock images, responsive design, optimising content, prioritising content etc. what kept rising to the top were the questions: "How do I get content out there and why am I doing it? Surely it's just like writing a message in a bottle?"
Very valid questions when you consider that in the past, his business had relied heavily on newspaper advertising. With advertising in 'traditional' media it was OK to advertise virtually the same thing every week, in fact repeating the same advert week after week was encouraged. It was seen as a sign of success, that the same advert would bring in new clients on a weekly basis. It was easy - many people read the newspaper and every so often it would catch someone's eye and they would get in touch.
1. in a state of peaceful happiness.
2. The material dealt with in a speech, literary work, etc. as distinct from its form or style
The Battle For Attention
Bring this up to 2015 and we're into a very different situation. We're all battling for attention, with Tweets, Facebook updates and Linked-in posts rushing past our eyes and competing for our attention.
My client remarked that he really couldn't see how he could compete with or gain business simply from writing articles and posting on social media when there is so much other content out there. This was a turning point in the conversation. What I'd failed to explain in the past was that social media is much more than the two seconds we spend looking at something before we decide whether to read on or not. It's not just a turbo-charged version of a newspaper, where your advert gets passed over and then lost - it's a free opportunity to express yourself, advertise your business and engage with millions of people but to leverage it to our advantage we must begin with some basic principles:
- Create interesting and unique content that doesn't always have to be directly about your business.
- Comment on articles by your peers, your competitors and complementary businesses but don't limit yourself to to just these - let your personality and interests shine through.
- Recycle your content using different descriptions, at different times of the day and on different platforms.
Be Interested, Be interesting
It's not easy to create good content but by being interested in what other people are saying and engaging with those people, we can begin to formulate ideas that lead to creation. Once we get into this way of thinking - the ideas start to flow, we start to be recognised as an authority, we start to be seen as a real person and not just a business entity and what's interesting is, that our search engine presence will begin to grow. Search engines aren't just looking at links to your website, they're looking at mentions of your company name, your name (if it is associated with your website) and the freshness / popularity of your content.
I'm Chris Fickling, I'm a website developer but more importantly I have a great deal of experience in working with many businesses to improve their visibility, both on and off-line. I can provide a free, no obligation assessment of your website and an outline plan of how you can improve its performance and visibility. Just get in touch - I look forward to hearing from you.