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Building your brand: The essential role strong web content plays in the success of a business.

Content is something we consume every day from many sources, making yours stand out is key to the success of your profile and brand awareness. As part of our on-going our advice series, Jonathan Saunders, Senior Account Executive, explains how utilising great content can help your business find the edge.

According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2018 90% of all adults in the UK were classed as ‘recent internet users’ with the number of people using internet search engines to find and buy services rising to 95% of 16 to 24-year-olds and 96% of 25 to 34-year-olds.

We’ve already covered the way word-of-mouth, media and face-to-face meetings can help to propel your business, but we haven’t told you how important a great website with strong content is for securing sales and engaging your key audience.

Good design can grab the attention of, and draw in, your clients, while content captures their hearts and minds and builds a strong personality for your organisation.

Content

Google regularly updates its algorithms to ensure that its users find the best content for their search in as few clicks as possible.

The updates, the newest of which came in March 2019, mean that websites still need to ensure that they play by Google’s rules if they want to be found.

To combat the changes in algorithm content creators can do a number of things.

These include adding a byline to all created content. This is because Google assumes that the information provided within a post is more credible and the writer is a trustworthy source. According to OK Dork an article with a byline also has a 42% greater chance of being shared across social media.

Beware if you manage sites with a plethora of content but with very few bylines, you could be missing out!

Advice on the optimal length of written content fluctuates depending on who has written it, which is not particularly helpful. The content must engage the reader, don't write for the sake of reaching a number. If you reckon this particular blog post or article only needs 600 words then that's what you write, if you can capture your reader for 1,000 plus words then you are doing a sterling job.

Backlinko.com states that the average Google first page result contains around 1,890 words. So, get typing. But don't forget crossheads and sub-sections to break it up where necessary!

Video

The internet has seen the rise of video over the last 15 years with now over one third of a user’s online activity consisting of watching video.

Sites like YouTube are now powerhouses on the internet and social media platforms such as Facebook have made video an integral part of their user experience.

Even Facebook’s own Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa has predicted that the site will be completely video content by 2022.

The trick with video content is to not let it overwhelm everything else you’re doing. Especially on your website.

Some things to take into account when creating video content. Ensure video isn’t affecting you’re the load speed of your site. A video that takes over three seconds to load tends to turn off users, with Google stating 53% of users will abandon a page after that.

Video length is also an often debated subject and it depends entirely on the purpose of the content and the platform it’s on. Longform videos usually serve a great purpose in telling a story and are the go-to style for sites like YouTube whereas shorter videos (less than a minute) are perfect for sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Photography

Photography is an integral part of any website. So much so that images actually send signals to search engines to help your site rank higher.

Content with at least one images has been shown to considerably perform better than content without; with 98% of all ranked pages containing imagery.

The issue with photography falls into the same category as video and the written word. Make sure that the photography you use is unique to you. So many businesses use stock photography on their websites, and it shows.

Personally, I believe stock photography gives off too much of a robotic image and it does little to generate emotion. Instead, use images of your team, your office, building or anything that will give potential customers an authentic glimpse into your company.

Even if you want high quality professional imagery, use the assets you have around you.

Social Media

Great content shouldn’t just be limited to your website. You need to extend that to all social media channels you may have. Engaging content on social media will ensure that traffic to your website will continue to flow.

In 2015, social media accounted for driving 31% of all website traffic. That has grown to 43% in 2018 meaning the use of social media is becoming an invaluable tool in referring users to your site. 

Use social media as a figurative hook on the fishing line. Use content to entice people to want to visit your site and then pull them in with the engaging content on your blog.

Strategy

Plan, plan and plan again. Having a great strategy composed on how you’re going to tackle the next 6-12 months allows you to effectively combine multiple types of content across numerous platforms to ensure that your message is being heard in all of the appropriate places.

I’ve talked about SEO and raising your presence online, but a website could be optimised to the maximum and if the content doesn’t grab the attention of your reader, people will leave and never look back. 

Allow me to use the analogy of a new book. If the first paragraphs are unengaging and riddled with spelling and grammar errors, you’re likely to close that book and never open it again.

This is not what you want, especially on Google where the next dozen links under yours are competitors who that visitor may choose to work with instead.

You want visitors to ultimately fulfil your call to action/the reason you brought them there. Whether that is to buy a product or service, make an enquiry or recommend you to someone who needs you. To reach this ultimate goal you want them to read your content, move around your site and to buy-in to your business.

So, in conclusion, whether it’s one-off projects, such as the creation of a new landing page, a website overhaul, rewriting all the pages to ensure the content is engaging and fully optimised. You need to consider what your website and social channels are saying about you on an on-going basis. Whether you want to bring in a professional copywriter to take care of the blogging, news stories and advice articles, and managing your social platforms; or you have someone employed within your firm to do so, then it's produce, measure, adjust repeat!

Publicity Seekers is a team of trained writers who understand all aspects of the media from social to newspapers; TV to radio; podcasts to YouTube; trade journals to business pages. The company has been successfully building client reputations for the past 13 years.

For more information about Publicity Seekers go to www.publicityseekers.co.uk, email jsaunders@publicityseekers.co.uk or call 0845 226 91 26.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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