As marketers, we are busy people. There never seems to be enough time to get through the endless list of jobs that need to be done or stand back and look at the bigger picture of how things could be improved. With that in mind, and assuming you can find an hour somewhere in your day, I’m going to give you a one hour challenge that will help you improve your website.
You really would like to do more with your website but you don’t have time. I know this about you because of two facts:
You understand the importance of content, the need to frequently publish new material, how it helps your optimisation and feeds your social media channels. The big problem is a lack of time to really invest the energy needed to make it all happen.
Now think about all the pointless meetings you have sat in where time could have been better spent doing something instead of just talking about it. Think about the hours you have spent travelling to meetings when you could have just done it over the phone or on Skype. If you want to, you can find a spare hour a week to think about ideas for your website. This is where we get to the idea of improving your website in one hour.
Allocate one uninterrupted hour to sit either by yourself or with a colleague and write down all the possible content ideas you could develop not only for your website but also for external distribution. Both types of content serve different purposes, but should be done in tandem.
Related article: How to come up with content ideas
More content on your own website means more traffic from search engines. The number of visits you get from search results is limited by the number of pages on your site and the number of words on those pages.
Google and Bing are only likely to show your website in search results if the content matches what people search for. Logically, adding more pages to your website with a wider array of words and phrases relating to any aspect of your business will mean you appear in more search results. This is where keyword research comes in.
Action: Spend 20 minutes of your hour brainstorming words and phrases that your potential customers might use in searches.
If you are a roofer, they may look for “roofers in Canterbury” but they may also search for “how much do roof tiles cost”, “roofer prices” or “how to fix a leaky roof”. Write down a list of questions that your customer and prospective customer will want answers to.
Related article: Using website data to discover content ideas
Having worked out what your customers might be looking for, the next step is to create content on your website that matches these phrases.
Action: Spend the next 20 minutes thinking about where in your website you can add new content to fill gaps. Write down some headline ideas, thinking about any existing pages of your website where content can be added in, padded out or expanded upon.
Maybe you don’t have a blog. Adding one would give you instant room to expand the whole site.
Related article: How to write a blog from ideas to promotion
More content on external websites means more links pointing to you. Just as you need to spend time thinking about expanding your own site, think about how you can supply content to others to increase brand awareness across new audiences.
Action: Spend the last 20 minutes of your hour thinking about two types of external content. The first is press releases – news that you can send out to related publications in the hope that several of them will publish it (ideally with a link back to you).
The second is a feature, such as a “top ten tips on…” piece. This is something for a website where you give them the feature for free in return for links back to your website within the text. Just think about the content ideas, not where they will be published.
At the end of your hour, you still have more work to do – a whole new set of actions, because someone has to create the content and promote it. However, armed with some great ideas you should be energised enough to make time for the next steps. Of course, we’re always here to help you.
I challenge you to give it a go and see what ideas you come up with. Feel free to tweet me if you’ve got any questions or just to let me know how you got on.
Steve (RIP) was Services Director for Vertical Leap. He started professional life as a magazine journalist, working on music magazines and women's titles before becoming a web editor in 1997, then joining MSN to work purely in online publishing. Since 1999 he has worked for and consulted to a broad range of businesses about their digital marketing.
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Categories: CRO, Design