Content Creation and your Website – Why it Matters
Over the course of the past 12 years that I have been working in web development and online marketing I have noticed an unfortunate trend throughout the digital world. I like to call it the Field of Dreams Syndrome: “if you build it, they will come.” More often than not, a company hires a web developer to build a new site, then it goes stagnant. But today’s users demand instant gratification, fresh content and a fantastic user experience. These factors helped popularize major content management systems like WordPress, Shopify and HubSpot’s COS. By keeping your site fresh, and well maintained with strong content, you can attract your target audiences and keep them coming back for more..
Why fresh content? Because Google says so.
Consider the brands whose site you visit on regularly: Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter. While they’re inherently different, they have at least one thing in common: continuous updates. Their sites serve as ever-evolving marketing platforms that drive their businesses. If those guys are the major players, what about small and medium sized businesses? Consider what do you do when you’re looking for a product or a service: You open your phone, tablet or computer and search Google for the product you’re seeking. You explore the top listed sites (which we call SERPs), read reviews and educate yourself. Here’s the kicker: search engines have evolving algorithms (Google just made a major update to theirs), but one of the major contributing variables to the algorithm is how often your website is updated. If you want to drive your business online, creating a fantastic user experience for your site visitors so you can obtain high quality leads, you have to update your website constantly.
Be content strong.
Being content strong is key to SEO, your user experience, and generating high quality leads online. It makes you relevant. Content isn’t just your blog, though that it is important. Content is anything and everything that lives on your website that a user may experience. To develop strong content, you need a great strategy and a roadmap to get that content published. Here at Sustain, we follow HubSpot’s content planning and content strategy guide as our base for not only ourselves, but all of our clients. Having a strong content marketing program set businesses up for predictable, scalable, and cost-effective traffic and lead-flow that doesn’t rely on securing budget each month. It’s like an annuity, unlike a PPC campaign or any other paid amplification programs that require you to put money in month after month to garner results. Your content program builds those results over time and will generate leads or conversions forever.
Keeping a well maintained website.
This is overwhelmingly the most overlooked part of any marketing strategy. More often than not, after a business hires a developer to build their website, they are not maintaining it. I am talking about just the little things like updating plugins, updating to most current version of your CMS, maintaining your server, monitoring load speed and errors and keeping a close watch on your Google Search Console account. The lack of these initiatives can be detrimental to your website’s performance and ultimately your broader marketing initiatives. For example, when Google sees errors on your site (crawl errors, server errors, 404s, etc.) it takes notice. When those errors go unfixed the site is penalized and it hurts your rankings. In turn your traffic begins to drop, which also lowers the value of your website.
Your website is the face of your company, with profound impact on your revenue. Once again, you might be thinking, “this is not in our wheelhouse” or “we cannot afford to go this route.” It’s a lot more affordable than you think. A proper marketing budget for a growing company should be about 12% of your operating budget, but that number varies with your goals. How much you spend has a direct correlation to the revenue you generate. Website maintenance is a key marketing factor that requires a meaningful budget.
If you have any questions regarding any of these topics, you can ask them in the comments below or reach out to myself or any of my colleagues through our website. We would love to have a conversation with you around your marketing process.