Visitor’s journey, development, creating bridges, filling gaps – all this marketing lingo sounds like you’re paving roads, doesn’t it? But for whom? And why? In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how quality content can play a crucial part in getting visitors to become buyers. Let’s start path building!
1. Creating Purposeful Content
We are all guilty of it. Sad, but true. We’re all guilty of creating content for the sake of content. You post blogs just so you can go to your shareholders and say, “Look, we put out four blog posts last month, and 35 people shared those posts. Isn’t that fantastic?”
The question I have to put to you, though, is this: What good did that do? Did you really publish those blog posts just so a few people could share them? If you can give a definitive and immediate “yes,” then well done! -But if you’re hesitating because you don’t have an answer, you have some work to do.
Ask the right question
Before any type of content development, you should always start with a basic question: What do I hope to achieve with this piece of content? It’s the same question whether you’re writing a blog post, newsletter or press release. Nothing should go out into the void without knowing why. You need a plan.
2. Developing Relevant Content
I’ve said it and others have said it. Just because you write a post doesn’t mean it’s going to reach someone who cares. You can’t throw noodles at the wall to see if they stick. When developing content, you have to think of your visitor. What are they coming for? What will they be searching for? What need does this article, or image, or newsletter fill for them?
Remember who matters
It’s hard to wrap your mind around it, but you didn’t build your website for you or your company. You didn’t write those pages and articles. No. You did all that work for the visitor. So they can come to your site and see something that entices them to stay, shop, and buy.
What you think is relevant to your visitors may very well be a passing thought – if a thought at all. This is where proper customer management and buyer personas come in very handy. You have to know who your market is before you can understand what means something to them.
3. Building Pathways that Matter
Through content, internal links and calls-to-action, you are building pathways for your visitors. Again, these pathways aren’t for you. Their job is to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to buy from you whatever it is you’re selling. However, you can easily end up creating the content equivalent of roundabouts, which – even though they may be handy in traffic – aren’t so good on a website.
See what your analytics tells you
When you look at your analytics, pay attention to your visitors’ traffic patterns. For example, did they go from your home page to your about page, back to the home page, and then back to the about page? Do you have a high bounce rate, but no blog posts to account for it (blog posts have a significantly higher bounce rate than static pages, as a general rule)? Are your entry and exit pages the same, with other pages in between?
Once you learn what to look for, you’ll learn the obvious signs of a frustrated visitor, unable to find what they’re looking for. Eventually, if you don’t provide that information, they leave. Instead, use what your analytics tells you to build better pathways, with more clear cut information.
4. Find and Fill in Gaps Quickly
If your normal, every day content is to be compared to a pathway or road, it’s seems logical, then, that optimization would also have it’s fair share of potholes.
Call to actions are a very good example here. We’ve had numerous clients that come to us wondering why their pages aren’t converting. A surprisingly high amount of them have no call to actions. Where you might see “contact us” or “see how we deal with xyz,” there’s… nothing.
Another example is connecting the dots. Why would you have a social campaign and active, attended social accounts and not display them on your website somewhere? Why would one create a blog, spend the time publishing posts, and then not advertise it on the main site?
These are questions that boggle the mind.
Perform a content audit
Every six or seven months – especially if you’re prolific -, it’s a good idea to perform a content audit. See where you may have thin areas: areas that can be improved. Check for “dots” that are unconnected. Dot your “i’s”, cross your “t’s.”
Are there broken links that lead nowhere? Did you recently migrate, but have yet to check the results of your migration? Are you missing call to actions, or can they be strengthened? What about optimization – your search snippets?
Knowing where the paths lead can go a long towards helping you create stronger – and shorter – paths for future visitors. Help them along their journey by making sure your content is both relevant and purposeful. Build clear paths, with obvious actions for them to complete.