Types of content for website improvement – what to put on your site
A simple way to think about the different types of content to put on your website is to break it into two categories: core content and fresh content. You can think about core content as the main, critical information – for a business, this would include information about your products and services, your team, your values, etc. Fresh content serves a few different purposes, which I’ll discuss in detail below – but, in short, think about fresh content as bits of valuable knowledge you’re sharing with website visitors. Hopefully this post will shed some light on the different types of content for website improvement.
Core Website Content
The types of core content you should include on your website vary from business to business, and are different for non-profit websites or sites for individuals (authors, speakers, etc.). 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 – and this can be a very fine line.
Here’s a straightforward approach that can help you narrow 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 who will be coming 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 that we’ll revisit when we consider ideas for fresh content.
Step 4: Distill Necessary Elements into Architecture
Think of your architecture as a flow chart, and start with the home page.
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 your 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:
- Helps your website rank higher in search engine results
- Gives visitors the confidence that you are a successful and active business
- Showing visitors you are knowledgeable encourages them to trust you
- Gives visitors a way to get detailed information from your website without having to bog them down in the core content pages
- Gives you great content to share on social media!
- Blogging is one of the best types of content for website growth.
Here is a straightforward way to stay 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 add a blog to your website.
Step 2: Create an Editorial Calendar
Staying on top of your fresh website content is a matter of writing about the things you already know, and keeping organized. Make a calendar at least 3 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. When considering topics, make sure you think about things your target market will be searching online. For example, if your target market might be searching for “Boat Rentals on Lake Austin,” then you might write a post titled “How to Find Boat Rentals on Lake Austin.”
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 that they don’t have to write themselves – so each post you write has the potential to help them out! All you need to do is 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 your piece 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 content, make sure you clearly communicate what makes your company different from the competition. Most visitors will be looking at your competitors websites as well as yours, and you need to make sure they understand why you’re a better choice. Don’t be bashful here – be bold.
High quality photos can take a good website and turn it into a great website. Bad pictures take a good website and turn it into an awful website. So, you need to make sure you have high quality pictures and that you include them on your website!
Also, consider adding videos to your website. Videos and pictures are two great types of content for website enhancement.
Make sure you provide instructions on how visitors can contact you after normal business hours. People browse the internet in the mornings and during the day, but they also search for products and services in the evenings and at night. We always recommend providing clear instructions for how someone can contact you when you aren’t immediately available – you don’t want them to wait until the next day, because something might come up that prevents them from contacting you. For example, you might include a note on your contact page that says, “If it’s after normal business hours, no problem! Go ahead and send an email with a few details to [yourdomain] and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” The goal here is to prompt the visitor to take action immediately, rather than adding you to their ‘to-do’ or “to-contact’ list.