How often do we visit a website or business page on Facebook only to find nothing has been updated in years? To discourage business owners from putting content out that is generic and quickly forgotten Google punishes sites that remain static. In reality it would actually more accurate to say they reward sites that are updated with new content regularly.
Generating content requires discipline
Like everything in business, generating content will require discipline; Not the kind that forces you to get out of bed in the morning to hit the gym but the kind that makes you understand you need to establish a strategy that must be followed or it will be overlooked.
In the same way as you might have regular staff meetings to review service expectations or sales goals and your bookkeeper has instituted business processes to allow for regular reporting and government remittance you will need to sit down and decide on what you will commit your resources to. The good news is that, once you have made the decision and the work has been assigned, collecting interesting new content for your site visitors will be routine. Here are a few simple ideas to consider:
The benefit of a FAQ page
I believe every site should have an FAQ page. The goal of every website is two-fold. Firstly, it should market the company and its products/services. In general terms, it is expected that a good website will generate sales leads for the organization. Secondly, the website should answer as many questions as strategically necessary to motivate visitors to reach out to the organization. Essentially this means reducing routine questions that take up unnecessary employee time and effort. Every time your staff spends answering mundane e-mails and routine phone calls that can be answered by an informative site is a loss to the productivity of your staff. Countless hours are lost daily by employees chatting with consumers who are browsing (and perhaps a little bored).
We explain to our clients the importance of a FAQ page and the need to keep it current and relevant. Those that follow our advise will set-up a “FAQ e-mail” such as firstname.lastname@example.org and when they respond to an e-mail inquiry from a prospective client they “cc” themselves at that e-mail address so the question and answer can be transferred to the website at some future time. When they answer the phone and someone asks a question they cannot find on the FAQ page they will respond to the client and once the conversation is over will again e-mail the question and answer to the faq e-mail and transfer it later. Depending on the volume of questions the transfer of content to the website can be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis according to a set schedule.
A Portfolio/Past Projects page is essential to any business
The most popular page on any website is the portfolio page. What have you done and who are your clients. Once again, the creation of regular content must become a routine among your staff and there are a number of ways in which to do this.
Local retailers such as massage therapy, coffee house, clothing business and so on will not find the use of a portfolio page very effective as their customers are general consumers. That being said, it’s important to think like a consumer and understand that anyone not having frequented your establishment would be well served to view pictures of your clients. Instagram is perfect for anyone in this situation. A good web designer can set-up an Instagram account for you and link that account to a “Photo Gallery” so that every time you take a photo and post it on your account it will propagate onto your photo gallery. There are numerous case studies that illustrate the power of Instagram at driving customers to retail locations. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
If you are in a business to business (B2B) industry then you should consider a standard portfolio (past projects) page. These should include photos (before and after) along with a description of the project, the challenges that were overcome, and the outcome. Just as with consumers, business owners will respond best to projects that reflect them; that is, represent the size and scope of their company and their requirements. Making a routine of taking the required photos and detailing the work that was undertaken is necessary in keeping your company ahead of the competition.
The Best Content is always generated by customers.
It’s quite simple really. The most compelling content you can generate will be that which is generated by your customers. This is done by taking note of their questions and posting answers online or by taking photos of them or the projects and detailing the scope of the work your company has developed an expertise in. And just like bookkeeping where regular reporting is scheduled a strategy for creating new content requires a strategy and a commitment to follow through.