Think about the hot-button keywords for online businesses. Many will say “need traffic”. Others say “more leads”, “improve rankings” or “need new website.” I say conversions, i.e. the result that is recorded after the visitor performs an event and actions preceding that. This is what smart marketers work on.
Recently, I spoke to the owner of an online health-care business. He needed to ‘improve’ his website with a new look. After a brief discussion, he shifted his thinking. He didn’t need a prettier site, but rather – to focus on tracking, measuring and tuning the traffic, conversion and funnel experience that the visitor had with his website.
Your website – a performance machine.
To build a better performing website – you must build trust, authority – both in the users and search engines’ eyes. And, it helps if you create compelling, actionable pages that convert.
However, this article is not about detailed conversion strategies, per se. It’s about building website content with which users engage. And, it is about creating an experience for the visitor that compels action, referrals and admiration (fans) for your business.
I have used these strategies to more than triple traffic in a short period of time using content marketing and SEO friendly copy. The bounce rate moved from approx. 90% to about 22% in the same period, as well as doubling the lead count, and increasing time on site to an average of 9 minutes.
Quality content – how to create it.
What is the word that you hear most often at SEO conferences? Answer: Links. It makes sense, since that’s at the heart of search engine’s ranking algorithm, and in specific, Google. It is the power of “votes” for your website (pages, actually) from others across the Internet. You get the benefit (depending on the link attribution) of ‘link juice’, overall visibility and, if done right – more web traffic.
To develop quality content, several criterions exist. One important aspect is about matching your content to your audience.
You can do this by collecting information for topics from:
- Keyword research (Google Keyword Tool, Wordtracker.com, Keyworddiscovery.com)
- Competitive research (Search engines, spyfu.com, semrush.com)
- Links research (OpensiteExplorer.org)
- Popularity research (Google trends, digg.com, amazon.com, shopping.com, search.twitter.com)
Once you have data from this research, you’ll be able to build the articles and a content calendar for your website. You’ll have a never ending stream of ideas from which to build. You can even outsource this research if you don’t have time. Check http://www.elance.com/ to start. (Footnote: I recommend using a blog – WordPress – to facilitate the organization and output of this new, steady content. Soon, I’m launching a new search-engine friendly WordPress system with built in content marketing solutions. Feel free to check http://www.simplewebsitepress.com/ for more information).
Visitors and links attraction.
Now that you have your content factory constructed, users should find you as you deploy and get a few links. However, you must expand your strategy to capture a broader net. These next steps will help your content get wings, and will provide much needed links for the authority building.
While some would say, start with a PPC campaign, find out what works first – and then apply wider strategies later, I say you can expand using social media with very little effort and cost too. Reaching out to other bloggers in your space will be important, don’t forget that. Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Convert your text into video format. Upload to Youtube. Use Tubemogul for wider syndication. Use keywords in Titles, URLs early in descriptions, add full text there also.
Step 2: Build an audio version. Audacity.com is free to record if you do it yourself. Or, use transcription services (also elance.com). I hear good things about castingwords.com. Distribute to podcasting / voice directories. Try itunes.com.
Step 3: Create a list of places to “tweet” and distribute the (links) multiple formats of content into the social media sphere – start with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin. (Footnote: don’t spam, join the social communities, and become a listener first). Include rich media into press releases. Try a social media release with prweb.com.
These tactics work, and Google loves multi-media and video. It’s easier to get listed in organic (universal search) results with video.
Develop a process for yourself, and keep doing it consistently. I spend most of my time in research and RSS feeds, and content is built in 10-20 minutes on average.
Provide something of immediate value, offer downloads and give products (when you can) away for free. Don’t forget to build out a great relationship via your follow-up email marketing (did you get their name & email?). Learn their behaviors from that list over time. Send information they care about, and drive them back to your money site.
Let us know how you are creating an experience to compel visitor actions, referrals and admiration (fans) for your business. Feel free to comment!
Jon Rognerud is the SEO columnist, blogger at Entrepreneur Magazine, author of the “Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization” (Entrepreneur Press/McGraw-Hill) and writes on his own blog at http://www.jonrognerud.com. Visit now to get more cool information on internet marketing, SEO, PPC, Social Media, content, traffic, lead strategies – and learning more about the human challenges of being an Entrepreneur. You are not alone.