This is the second post in a three-part series that's focused on website redesign must-haves that will help you increase your website traffic, convert more leads, and drive up sales.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king,” but what does it mean? Content is the text, imagery, and video that users discover when they visit your website. And, ultimately, it’s what connects your business and brand with prospects. It has the power to build trust, convert browsers into buyers, and create advocates for your brand.
Content is essential because it informs visitors about your business, how your product or service can help them, what steps they can take next (downloading a helpful PDF or brochure, subscribing to your newsletter or blog, etc.), how to contact your team, and ways to make a purchase.
Ideally, you want your visitors to find the answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, and a way to connect with you — all through your website.
To make sure the right message is delivered in just the right way at just the right time to just the right people, do these things on your homepage and other website pages.
Bear in mind: content is more than just the written word. Media and utilities are excellent forms of content that can turn a text-heavy site into something that pleases the preferences of multiple audiences. Try using different forms of content — it will help create a content-rich experience. Examples include infographics, video, checklists, and podcasts plus utility tools like calculators, decision guides, and more.
Be smart in the way you use industry jargon and corporate gobbledygook. What is gobbledygook you ask? Great question.
While industry jargon and acronyms can be excellent for business-to-business (B2B), search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click ads (PPC), you should never assume that all of your visitors know what they mean. If you use jargon or acronyms before to explain them or at least link them to an explanation.
These are jargon terms and phrases that have been overused and abused rendering them meaningless (you’ll find them mostly in the high-tech and B2B industries). These words are meant to add more emphasis to a particular subject, but instead, they make your eyes roll.
For years, advertising has tricked us into thinking that catchy and creative headlines and phrases work well at capturing our attention. They might have for a while but not so much anymore. As consumers, we are tired of advertising trickery, marketing cliques, and surreptitious methods of persuasion. We don’t want to be lied to, gimmicked, or fooled. We just want the truth!
Wouldn’t it be easier to get to the point in our content instead of trying to persuade others? If you focus your content on being clear, not clever, you will find that more people will place their trust in you. Be careful not to make things more complicated than they need to be. Use simple words that are easy to understand. Your goal is to be understood. Just be clear with what you want people to do on your site. You will gain more fans and followers in the long-run.
Here are some reasons why you really need a blog:
Blogging isn’t as difficult as you think. There are plenty of blogging tools you can use to get started.
Once you publish a new post, get the word out! Here are a few ways you can get your content out into the world.
No matter what you’re selling, potential buyers like to see confirmation that you’ve made other customers happy. Testimonials, customer reviews, and case studies are powerful sources of content for moving prospects even closer to the final buying stages.
Here are a few things you can do to earn the trust of your leads.
And when it comes to incorporating these powerful testimonials into your site, there are a couple of important things to consider.
Increasing your website’s visibility online can improve your traffic — and that can mean more leads in your marketing funnel. But how do you boost your ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing? It starts by making connections with other credible websites, using a smart mix of keywords, and backing it up with the right behind-the-scenes tactics.
Off-page search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor for increasing your ranking results. Off-page SEO is about building inbound links, essentially getting other quality websites to link back to you. Search engines call this authority or “link juice.” The more inbound links you have, the more important your site must be, thus the higher you’ll rank.
Here are some tips for building off-site SEO links.
Beware of questionable “black/gray hat” SEO companies that offer stand-alone link building services or claim they can get you on the first page of Google. There are no shortcuts to building quality links, and search engines are much smarter than they used to be at detecting this. Never risk a major penalty for short-term gains.
While off-page SEO is hugely important, we can’t forget about on-page SEO. This consists of placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual pages. These on-page elements include headlines, subheadlines, body content, image tags, and links. Often on-page SEO is referred to as keyword density. Commonly businesses will do too little on-page optimization or too much (keyword stuffing). While it’s important to include your keyword as many times as necessary within a page, you don’t want to go overboard with it either.
Here are some tips for on-page SEO.
The general incentive behind an XML sitemap is to help search engine crawlers (or “spiders”) sift through your pages more efficiently. An XML sitemap is simply an .xml file containing a listing of all your pages and when they were updated. It’s a lot like a subway map. It shows the structure of your website and where your pages reside.
Creating a sitemap is easy. You can find sitemap generators online that will create the .xml file for you. Once you get the .xml file, simply upload it to the root directory of your website (e.g., www. website.com/sitemap.xml). If your website is updated regularly, make it a good practice to update your xml file at least once a month, so search engines have the freshest data. Adding an XML sitemap is a component that is commonly overlooked, while it may not be the deciding factor in improving your SEO, it will certainly help.
And broken links. They suck. And they deter traffic.
We’ve all experienced a time when we clicked on a website link that ended up being broken. Typically you’ll see a “404 message” or “Page Not Found.” A lot of times this is caused when a page is moved to a new URL, and the old link hasn’t been directed to the new page. Think about the lost opportunity when your customers or potential buyers want information that they can’t locate. If you choose to move a page on your website, make certain that you use a permanent 301 Redirect, a method used to change an old URL to a new one.
In addition to keeping visitors happy when navigating your website, permanent 301 redirects are also important for SEO. When a user can’t find a new page, nor can a search engine, and you’ll lose any SEO status the old page once had. To keep the SEO juice following to new pages, set up a 301 redirect for pages that have been moved, so search engines know where to find it.
If you want more website redesign must-haves that will increase your website traffic, download our eBook, 26 Website Redesign Must-Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads, and Sales.