brand journalismcontent marketing

Cool websites are cool, but without content they are worthless

website marketing content
A cool design on your website without content won’t drive customers through your door.

Website marketing content is more important than you might think. Too often we encounter small business owners who think an attractive website is all they need to market their business online.

We’re always in favor of good looking websites – as long as they are functional – but if your site doesn’t have a publishing platform (typically a blog) of some kind, you are missing an amazing opportunity to connect with your customers and potential customers.

I have a friend who is very good at sharing links to the businesses his friends own. If you have a small business, this is the kind of friend you want to have – someone who understands how hard it is for small business owners to get traction on social media and is willing to help out.

Frequently the links he shares take viewers to static home pages, which is okay for that business owner, but not great. The need for website marketing content is more important than ever.

The other day my friend shared a link on Facebook to the website of a really cool and interesting local craftsman.  As I typically do, I clicked the link.

The link took me to a static home page that had some great photography of some of the stuff he builds. The page had a single paragraph that talked a little about his business, but the paragraph was full of jargon that would mean something to some of his potential customers, but meant nothing to me. Worse, the things that make this guy’s business really interesting weren’t on the page. With out great website marketing content their is no way for you to dominate your business segment.

I looked around at his menu a little bit, all standard stuff. A contact button. An about button. A button describing his services and another one that lets customers choose the materials he uses when he crafts products for them.

There was not much in the way of content on any of these pages – just a single photograph and a single paragraph.

The site really looked good. It had some really cool images and it was simple enough to use. But it offered me no information.

In the menu was a button called “media gallery” with a drop-down menu. Two of the items in the drop-down menu take the viewer to images of the business owner’s creations, but just images. One of the items in the drop-down menu promised company videos. Unfortunately, there was just one video and it wasn’t a company video. It was a video from another group that featured someone using one of this business owner’s creations. But it wasn’t a company video talking in any way about the products the company manufactures.

There was a link in the menu to a “news room,” but this wasn’t a blog. It was a list of links to news articles, videos and other pieces of content on other websites about the company.

At least a few of the links were broken. Whatever content about the company the business owners wanted you to find was no longer available at the link. One link takes viewers to a really fantastic video that appears to have been created by the company as a marketing video, but again it was housed on someone else’s website.

As a digital marketer, this website marketing content couldn’t have been more frustrating to me.

It took me 15 minutes of searching through the website to find the one authentic piece of really good content – a video about the company – that should have been on that static home page.

But this company lends itself to telling stories all the time. Just sitting there browsing through the website, I was able to come up with a dozen ideas for articles or videos that should have been told on the site, articles and videos that would be far more compelling when my friend shares them on Facebook.

If I wasn’t interested in how companies use their websites, I would have never taken the time to find the video. I’d have given up without ever discovering what it is that makes this company unique and interesting.

I like websites that are visually pleasing, but if small business owners are only paying attention to the “cool factor” of their website and missing the content and functionality factors, they’re missing the two most important elements to what makes a website a good tool for digital marketing.

It’s worth noting, too, that content marketing isn’t about the number of hits you get on your website when you post up a new blog and share it on Facebook or LinkedIn.

If you’re looking at your content as a one-time shot, you’re looking at your content the wrong way.

Content is a long term strategy. A blog post I wrote in May of 2013 became the number one post that drove searches to my website in April of 2014 – and continues today to be the post that brings the most visitors to my site. Four years later, that one post is still driving a significant number of sales for me.

The content you create today is forever. That’s why it’s important to have content written by people who understand SEO and digital marketing. Every piece of content you create should be producing sales for you in two, three, four years and even longer.

If your website looks good but isn’t helping drive customers through the door and you’d like to talk to us about digital marketing and your website marketing content, please email us or give us a call. Through brand journalism, we’re able to increase business for our clients.