Web Content Creation Course - Part 5 of 5
Time to wrap things up!
I really hope you've gotten a lot out of this course. Feel free to hit head over to the contact page and let me know your thoughts (a little more on that once we're through here). Before we embark on this final chapter I want to briefly recap where we've been:
- STRENGTH - First we brought the focus to a single element of your expertise.
- STORY - Next we talked about how the different elements of your content would tell the story of this expertise.
- STRUCTURE - Then we addressed organizing those elements to keep things simple and laser-focused.
- SYSTEM - After that, we talked about ways to simply and organically grow your reference content to increase its usefulness to your visitors.
And now that we have all of that in place, we're going to wrap up by looking at just a few of the content-related things you can use as a SPRINGBOARD to reach new heights:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Although today's search engines favor great content over any kind of quick trick, it's worth discussing a few major points:
- Meta tags - Although meta 'keyword' tags are by and large a thing of the past, it still makes sense to include a short, natural language description of the page in a meta 'description' tag as well as a meta 'title' tag. It's important for these to be specific to the pages - using the same title or description for all pages is not only a problem when it comes to accessibility for your visitors, it will actually hurt your search ranking.
- Submit the site to major search engines - This takes just a few minutes, and you'll benefit by getting feedback from the search engine as you grow your content and boost traffic to the site.
- Submit an xml sitemap - A simple website probably doesn't need an HTML sitemap to help users navigate it, but submitting an xml sitemap to search engines will help your pages get indexed more quickly.
- Links to your site - one great way to boost your search engine rankings is to have other reputable sites linking to yours. For this reason it's worthwhile to guest post on blogs and offer free advice on other sites as well as set up reciprocal arrangements with professional contacts where, when it makes sense, you link to pages on each others' sites. This can be particularly effective when the link text is one of the keywords you're trying to boost rankings (ie. a link that reads 'fish training' rather than 'trainyourtricolor.com')
This isn't a deep dive into what is after all a very rich topic, but I want to differentiate between building this content system and offering some valuable and specific piece of information in order to get a customer lead. Ideally, the information you provide on your website is going to be a bit broader, and out of it you should be able to draw some lead magnets, which should allow you to appeal to different pain points within your focus and to both address subgroups of customers very precisely and quickly test conversion rates. Like I said, this isn't about anything that happens next, but for the sake of the big picture I think it makes sense to elaborate a little. For some great ideas on where to go next with this, check out this episode of the Startups For the Rest of Us podcast - '14 Ideas for High Impact Lead Magnets'.
Custom Search Engine
As the volume of your content grows, you may want to provide a custom search engine to assist visitors in finding what they're looking for. There are a number of avenues to accomplish this, from custom builds to embedded forms built by major search engines. Deciding on one is once again beyond the scope of what we're covering here, but in all cases, a custom search engine will allow you to 'suggest' search terms as your visitors type and will give you another window into how your content is being accessed. This in turn can inform what direction you take your new postings and/or what new lead magnets might convert better for you.
Well, that's all, folks! I hope you've gotten something out of this short course, and that it brings you success in developing your web presence. If you have any questions about the material, I'd be happy to help; and of course I'd love to work on developing your website now that you're set up to create some fantastic content!
Beyond that, I'd like to ask a favor: contact me and let me know what it is you're struggling with most in bringing your business online. I promise to reply personally with some insight from my perspective. I'm in the process of creating a much more robust system to teach web content strategy and marketing and hearing about what you've struggled with would be invaluable to me.
Until next time - all the best,
Published on 10 April 2016