by Cassie Crudo, operations manager of HubRunner
A simple way to think about your business’s website content is to break it into two categories: core content and fresh content.
Core content is the main, critical information about your business, including details about your products and services, your team and your values. Fresh content serves a few different purposes — but, in short, think about fresh content as bits of valuable knowledge you’re sharing with website visitors.
Core Website Content.
The goal with core content is to provide enough information to prompt your visitors to take action, but not too much information to bog them down.
Here are five steps to narrowing down your core website content:
Step 1: Identify Conversion Goal.
When a visitor takes a desired action on your website, it’s called a conversion. What sort of conversion do you want visitors to undertake? What’s the purpose of your website? Is it an online store, where you want visitors to purchase an item? Are you marketing your services, where you want potential customers to contact you for more information? Are you publicizing a non-profit, where you want to raise awareness and solicit donations?
Being crystal clear about your conversion goal will help you decide which content serves that goal and which is unnecessary.
Step 2: Compile All Possible Core Content.
Make a comprehensive list of everything – everything – you could possibly consider including on your website. Organize it by topic and be as detailed as possible.
Step 3: Remove Unnecessary Elements.
Write a description of the main types of visitors to your website. For each content item on your comprehensive list, ask yourself if the item is necessary for any one of those main visitor types to convert. If it’s not, move that content item into another list to revisit when considering ideas for fresh content.
Step 4: Distill Necessary Elements into Architecture.
Once you’ve narrowed down your necessary content elements, organize them into web pages – this is commonly referred to as your website architecture. Think about the architecture as a flow chart, starting with the home page. The main website menu should have no more than seven buttons, so develop a list of main pages that corresponds with your necessary content elements. If you need to break any or all of these main pages into sub-pages, that’s fine.
Just remember to keep things simple and try not to include too much content on any one page. The goal is to get conversions, not to tell visitors every single detail they might ever want to know.
Step 5: Refine Final Core Website Content.
Once you’ve built your site architecture, fill in the content for each page. It helps to go through three rounds of filtering out content and simplifying pages. Make sure to show the content to a friend or colleague and specifically ask them to help you remove unnecessary content.
Fresh Website Content
There are many reasons for regularly updating your website with fresh content:
- It helps your website rank higher in search engine results.
- It gives visitors the impression that you are a successful and active.
- It shows visitors you are knowledgeable encourages them to trust you.
- It provides visitors a way to get detailed information from your website without having to bog them down in the core content pages.
- It supplies you with great content to share on social media!
Here are five steps to staying on top of your website’s fresh content:
Step 1: Add a Blog to Your Website.
Instead of adding fresh content in the form of multiple sub-pages on your website, it’s a great idea to simply include a blog.
Step 2: Create an Editorial Calendar.
Keeping website content fresh is a matter of writing about the things you already know and staying organized. Make a calendar at least three months out, and develop a list of topics you want to cover. Assign those topics on a weekly basis, and you’re well on your way to creating a nice piece of fresh content each week. Think about what your target market searches for online when brainstorming topics.
Step 3: Schedule Weekly Writing Sessions.
Creating a piece of fresh content should take no longer than an hour. Pick a time and day each week when your brain is sharp, and stick to it – write your content during that one-hour block every single week. Your goal should be to:
- Write the piece in 30 minutes.
- Take a 5 minute break.
- Edit the piece in 15 minutes.
- Add it to your blog, add tags and keywords, and publish!
Step 4: Consider Additional Outlets.
Search for other blogs that might want to post your pieces. Other blogs are often hungry for new content they don’t have to write themselves – so each post you write has the potential to help them out! Ensure your post is relevant for their market, and email them to ask if they’re interested in posting your piece. Note that sometimes they’ll want to post the piece only if you promise not to post it on your own blog (but that doesn’t mean you can’t write a post announcing that your piece has been posted on their blog, along with a link).
Step 5: Share Your Content!
Once you post on your blog, make sure to notify your social media followers in case they want to read it! This is a great way to drive more traffic to your website.
When you’re writing your business’s website content, make sure you clearly communicate what makes your company different from the competition. Most visitors will look at competitors’ websites as well as yours, and you need to make sure they understand why you’re a better choice. Don’t be bashful with your content – be bold.
Cassie Crudo is the operations manager of HubRunner, an Austin-based web design company that specializes in affordable, high-quality websites and website redesign for small businesses and entrepreneurs.