Web Marketing Content Tips for Blogs, Websites, Social Media and More
By: Thomas Young
Web Content Comes in all Shapes and Sizes
Great Website content drives Website results. Website visitors will review Web content in a variety of sources prior to making contact or buying on the Web. The Web visitor’s reaction to online content will influence their decision and how they interact with most Websites.
This article will focus on written content recommendations and guidelines for the preparation of content used in a variety of online resources to drive online sales and conversions.
Content Types and Guidelines
Web content must follow specific guidelines, based on the user’s expectations, how the content is displayed and the overall approach. The following guidelines should be used by Web copywriters when preparing content for Websites, email newsletters, social media and other online sources.
All Web content should be brief, to the point and avoid brochure copy, marketing-speak or filler content that does not directly address a benefit to the user. Website visitors and Web surfers scan content and only read larger volumes of content when interest has peaked. Smart, well-thought out landing pages draw the visitor into more thorough content. Bullet points, captions on photos, paragraph headers, thumbnails and other scannable content works best on landing pages to peak interest.
Here are key content types that are most commonly used by Website visitors along with guidelines for placing content in each area.
General Company Information
This content is generally found in the “about us” section and gives the user general information and background on the company, it’s mission, products and approach to services. Examples of content in this area includes the following sections:
- About Us
- Our Approach
- Our Process
- How we Are Different
- Why Choose Us?
- Our History
- Team Bios
- Testimonials and Case Studies
- Other descriptive content about the company, services and products.
The content should include brief paragraphs with up to six sentences and very descriptive paragraph headers so the content is scannable by the header. Photos and captions should be included where appropriate, in particular in the team bios. Website visitors like to see real people on the site.
Services and Product Content
This content is broken down by the various service and product offerings provided by the company. Services should be easy to follow and intuitive to the user. Brief content paragraphs and headers should be used in the services descriptive areas in a thumbnail approach.
Each service and product area should have a landing page with more detail on the services along with photos, graphics, case histories and more extensive content on each service offering. Large blocks of text and wordy paragraphs turn off users and lead to higher bounce rates and lower interest levels. The site should make it very easy for users to understand and review services and products.
Contact Us Page
The “contact us” page is critical to conversions and should have easily findable contact methods including the following:
- Inquiry Submission Form
- Office Location and Hours
- Map to Office
- Fax Number
The “contact us” page can easily be forgotten as a very important content page.
Articles, White Papers and eBooks
Articles should be approximately 600-800 words and use brief paragraphs with clear descriptive headers. Articles should be organized around key issues and service solutions in dentistry that compliment the Salcetti service offerings. After the site reaches 40-50 articles, they should be organized by topic with the two most recent articles at the top of the page. Articles should be written monthly and can include email newsletters.
White papers are similar to articles, but are of unlimited length. White papers should include a downloadable PDF and can go very deep into a topic. White papers can be viewed after the user provides contact information as an optional conversion point.
Large white papers should be classified as eBooks if they reach 3,000 words or more. They should be in PDF downloads on the Website, along with HTML if possible.
The company blog should be a running narrative around common business issues seen daily and weekly. Readers use blogs to stay updated on what is new and relevant. Avoid self-promotion, unless it has a connection to something that provides an insight for the blog reader.
Blogs have personalities, but should not be limited to one person on the team. The blog has a voice that should match the voice of company and the brand.
Blog postings should be no more than 600 words and can be posted daily to the Website’s blog. Blogs can vary in length and include various media such as podcasts, audio clips, videos, links to content and more. Blog postings can also be very short, as long as they are relevant and provide insightful information for the blog reader.
Users should be able to comment on blog posts and start a dialog. All posts should be filtered and approved. Spam prevention filters must be included on the blog.
Blog postings should have clear and catchy titles that include the author’s name. The blog should be organized around key sections and users should be able to scan blog postings by date and by subject area. All media included in the blog should have a caption.
The blog should be incorporated under the main Website URL to help usability and for SEO purposes.
Social Media Postings
Social media postings should be added only once or twice per week and are very brief. A social media post should be less than 100 words, many times less than 50 words. They will frequently include a link to an article or blog post or other relevant information. Use of photos with captions and other media or important to social media postings.
One post can be displayed simultaneously on all social media sites using a third party software. Google+ and LinkedIn have a higher business to business frequency and Facebook is heavier on consumers. Similar to a blog, social media postings also have a personality and should match the voice of the brand, the blog and other content on the Website. Promotions, contests and special events can be included in blog postings.
Email newsletters can include blog postings and articles or links to white papers, eBooks and other types of media. All email newsletters should be archived on the Website. The most important part of email newsletters is relevancy and interest to the target market to keep unsubscribe rates low and click through rates high.
Readers of email newsletters are not scanning a Website and will either read the email, delete it or leave quickly. If they like what they read they will click through and send on to others. Include links to Website navigation in the email to provide options for the reader.
Website content is the oxygen that gives life to the Internet. It is critical to meeting users needs and getting found in the search engines. Follow the above guidelines to make sure your Web marketing efforts are successful and drive online results for the company. Here are few final guidelines:
- Photos with captions are read by the majority of users.
- Brief and direct content gets read.
- Blocks of text are ignored and make a bad first impression.
- Easy to read and scannable Websites have lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates.
- Website marketing teams must dedicate a writer to implement content strategies.
- Do more with less by cutting 50% of the words from your first draft.
- Google rewards Websites with new and relevant content.
Links and Additional Resources
See the following links for more on Website content strategies