The catch with web-site content is that is must be fresh and original to be most effective. If it’s not, the content can do more harm than good. As you’ve already seen, content is the one element that can keep customers coming back to your site time and again. When customers return often, your site ranking improves, because the traffic registers the site with search crawlers as a valid and in-demand site.
When your content stinks, though, your site is headed in the opposite direction. If you have content on your site that’s not professional, the search engine crawler will register this, and your ranking may drop lower and lower and you could possibly be delisted altogether. How do you know if your content stinks or not? It’s mostly a game of finding the right combination of content types and consistent updates.
But before you can even get to determining the right type of content, you need to create a content strategy. Your content strategy is the plan by which you’ll infuse your site with the right types of content at the right times. It starts with determining how to reach your target audience. By now your target audience should be engraved on your forehead, but how you reach that audience is something entirely different.
Next, determine what users will benefit from visiting your site. Visitors click through a link looking for something. If you don’t provide some benefit, the users will click away nearly as fast as they found you. When determining what value you have to offer, don’t think in terms of your desire to bring users to your site, think in terms of what those users are seeking.
What do they want? Along with determining users’ reasons for coming to your site, you should also be considering why they might want to return to your site. Do you have regular sales? Is there some form of dynamic content, like a blog or news page, that would draw them back? What other types of media might you include on your site, and what value would that be to your visitors (for example, using videos or podcasting to present training materials)?
What do you do that’s different from your competition? You should already have a good idea of what your competition does, and how it seems to work for them. But what can you do differently? What sets you apart from all of the other web sites out there that come up when a user searches for widgets?