If you are researching search engine optimization, you’ll see constant repetition of the importance of content. Good, quality, valuable content. This is an irrefutable fact. If you want to be ranked in the search engines and, more importantly, convert visitors to customers or subscribers or leads, your content absolutely must emphasize quantity and quality. Not only do you want customers to be able to find you in the search engines, you want them to be convinced of your quality service, competitive advantage, and value proposition. With web customers, your site is the most important mechanism for demonstrating these advantages.
But oftentimes when you have a web site, you set it and forget it. Once the site is built, it’s easy to get complacent and forget about it. However, dynamic content is an important part of your web site. Dynamic, changeable content is how you generate that large quantity of quality content. There are a number of ways to build out dynamic content on your site – take a look at these recommendations and see how you can adapt any of these methods for your own small business.
Blogs. You can always add a blog to your web site that adds value to your brand and for your customers. If you own a retail store, blog about current fashion trends, new styles being carried in the store, or a new brand you’re carrying. You can talk about new developments in your industry, news related to your business locally or globally. It can be funny or silly, serious or informative. There are a number of approaches to a blog, but the important thing to remember is that above all it should impart value to your site and your customers. How you measure that value is what varies from business to business.
Social Media. Add social media feeds to your site (Twitter stream, Facebook posts, Instagram photos). While this isn’t as content focused as blogging, it does enable your brand advocates, fans, and customers to interact with you on another playing field. It creates cross-channel promotion and allows you to use your site to grow your social media presence.
News/Press Releases. Post links and articles that mention your company or your brand in the news. If you have a PR consultant, they probably are already creating press releases, so add a section to the website to detail news and PR. Whether it’s talking about new hires, developments, events, or something entirely different, this is a good way to keep your site current without a huge amount of research or development.
Informative Content (i.e. Video Tutorials, White Papers, eBooks). These are primarily instructional methods of content marketing and they all have their pros and cons, but any of these can provide a great way to add value to your site. If you run an HVAC company, consider a video on how to change an air filter. If you work in financial management, consider a white paper on current economic trends or types of investments. You’d be surprised how easy it is to adapt to your particular media.
Calendars or Event Listings. If you host events, consider adding a calendar with detailed information about each event. If you own a restaurant and have live music, wine tasting events, or are showing the big football game (very common around here on gameday at the University of Tennessee), add information about it on your site. Keep your customers informed and interested in what’s going on at your location.
Forum or Message Board. Allow your customers to interact directly with you via a forum or message board or even user-submitted reviews of products. You can create topics to get users to respond and interact with you based on relevant information, questions, comments, reviews, etc. If you have a consistent group of users, this is a great way to encourage interaction and make a vehicle like social media even more effective.
Regardless of the path you take, there is nearly always a way to create dynamic content on your site for nearly every industry. The key is that it should always be valuable and quality content – something that provides a real benefit to your customers. Sometimes it’s okay to give away some of that special sauce if it means your customers are able to develop a lasting relationship with you. So, with that in mind, how are you going to add value to your site?