News stories, blog posts, dedicated product pages… Any SEO agency will tell you that you need compelling content on your site to boost your rankings.
But if you think your website already says everything you need it to then you might be a bit unsure about where you can add content, and how it will add value. Here’s a rundown of some of the main options so you can see which will work best for you:
Landing pages have been around since the very first days of search engine optimisation (SEO). At their most basic, they simply consist of a description of a particular product or service, using the relevant keywords in prominent places.
With significant research done by conversion rate optimisers (CROs), including test creation, design, and understanding buying psychology, we know that there is significant return on investment in allocating resources in developing fresh landing pages.
Many website owners allocate a significant chunk of their budget to online advertising which help drive traffic, but with little or no consideration as to where traffic is directed. Therefore, it is imperative that website owners allocate resources in developing the most effective landing pages, which get visitors to take desired actions once they’ve found your site. Also, it helps keep your website content fresh if you regularly update product listings and prices.
Websites that make their revenue purely from advertising don’t really have landing pages in the traditional sense. This is particularly true for news and entertainment websites, where static content doesn’t play a huge part in winning them traffic.
An increasing number of sites are growing their blogs rather than their static landing pages, and there are several good reasons for this.
Firstly, old blog posts (usually) don’t just vanish – your archive remains in place, growing with time, until your site contains potentially tens of thousands of search-visible pages.
Secondly, regularly updating your website shows Google (and your human visitors too) that your site is fresh and active – helping your search rankings and your appeal to readers.
Thirdly, blog posts are a little chattier than static content, giving you more freedom to relax the rules of grammar and tone of voice, which can help showcase a brand’s personality and build loyalty.
In addition to the above three reasons, with Google’s introduction of the authorship markup tag, blog authors are rewarded with their Google plus profile image being displayed alongside the search listing on SERPs, helping improve CTRs.
If you’re in a ‘professional’ discipline, and a relaxed, chatty blog wouldn’t be a good fit for your business, news updates can be a good alternative.
These give you the opportunity to comment on events and industry developments, and demonstrate that you have your finger on the pulse of your sector.
Like blog posts, they can be archived so that your site grows over time and they can have key phrases inserted into them to help with rankings.
Importantly, they can be promoted in several different ways – as part of an email newsletter, via RSS, as a headlines list on your homepage, or via Twitter and other social networks.
Multimedia content is most often found in news and entertainment websites, but a welcome video or product demonstration is a fairly common feature of many ecommerce websites too.
Be careful about relying too heavily on multimedia – text is still the most search-visible format for your information to be in. Make sure each page has plain-text words for the search robots to index. A transcript can be a good way to do this, as well as being more accessible to visitors with hearing impairments.
Provided that you keep search visibility in mind, multimedia can add a new dimension to a website, giving a sense of interactivity and livening up an otherwise static page.
Just don’t force content upon your readers – unless it’s clearly the reason why they’re visiting the page, it may be wise to make sure that videos and audio clips do not auto-start.
Some people really dislike a noisy or fast-moving media clip that they did not expect to see, but it depends on your audience. Test pages to see what is most effective at keeping potential customers on the page.
Once your core website is up and running, don’t be afraid to try new things. Big brands often launch microsites which take nothing away from the main site, but offer information in a new or fresh way.
You can adopt a much more graphics-centric approach to microsites than you would for a main website or homepage, promote them to your social networking and email subscribers if their search visibility is not great, and generally use them as a testing ground for new ideas.
Remember, blog posts, tweets, and app-based gaming were all just somebody’s idea at some point; it’s not impossible that you might discover the Next Big Thing in internet content or gain viral support for a campaign.
Even if you don’t, customers can appreciate a brand that takes the time to be playful and try new ideas.
Image credit – NS Newsflash