What brings visitors to your website? You might think it’s your social media postings, or your email blasts, or that great elevator speech you use at all the conferences. Those may be the catalysts that trigger them to act, but what they come to your website in search of is this: Content.
Unfortunately, not everyone wants the same type of content. While some are happy to read text in your blog, in client testimonials or in product descriptions, your website must have a variety of content types to create a rich experience for all website visitors.
After text, the simplest type of content to create and use is imagery. Photos and graphics, including infographics, break up text-heavy pages and can often convey information or a feeling that is difficult to express in words.
The World Bank uses charts and other graphics to provide visual interpretations of the extensive bank of data and statistics available, while also using images in its stories that show the people behind the numbers.
Many of your website visitors may be visual learners, and in a world where YouTube is viewed by many as the perfect place to learn how to do anything from replacing a kitchen faucet to choosing an accountant, videos can be a strong asset to your website.
Consider creating videos that demonstrate your product or service, provide a tour of your company, or introduce key individuals.
A basic example would look like this site for Hubbard-Hall, an industrial chemical supplier specializing in surface finishing and water treatment, which features a selection of product demonstration videos in their overall online resources pages.
Or go all out on consumer-oriented video content as Sonoma, California’s Jordan Winery has done with its complete “Video Theater” website page. Options range from vineyard experiences, winemaking instructions and recipes to tasting notes and home entertainment tips.
Like video, audio reaches a segment of your potential audience that may not be inclined to spend a lot of time reading text. An advantage of audio, such as downloadable podcasts, is its accessibility at times when the visitor is away from the computer. If you provide engaging, informative podcasts, your prospects and customers can become comfortable with your company by listening during their morning commute, workout, or even while preparing dinner.
Inbound marketing and sales software provider HubSpot releases The Growth Spot podcast weekly, billed as “a business podcast for leaders consumed with driving growth.” The podcast isn’t about HubSpot; it is about successful companies and what drove their growth. (Full disclosure: JONES is a certified HubSpot partner.)
Just like blogs, podcasts need to balance customer-focused content with company-focused content.o
Online utility tools
We’ve said often that one of the most important characteristics of valuable content is that it needs to be useful. Online tools fill that requirement. Calculators, dictionaries, search tools, maps and more provide reasons for visitors to come back to your website time and again.
Banks are a great example of using online tools that serve customers. First National Bank has a selection of calculators for budgeting, auto loans, home finance and more. Each of these is useful for potential customers and can serve as a reason for visitors to keep coming back for more information.
Your website doesn’t have to be all work. Have a little fun, too. Food and beverage companies have used games for years as marketing tactics, with website components as the latest extension. After all, who hasn’t, at some point, cluttered a cupboard or car console with a collection of Coke bottle caps, tear off game pieces from fast-food drink cups, or some other example of a “collect and win” promotion.
Subway has a website just for kids (www.subwaykids.com) that includes games and puzzles. The site’s homepage also links to a segment for “grown ups” with information about the food.
Varied content is just one of 25 “must-haves” your website needs to draw in traffic, generate leads and drive sales. Find the other 24 in our ebook.
What other types of website content are you seeing or using? What attracts you to successful websites? Share in the comments below.