Business websites are under-utilized. Simply having a company website – an online brochure to present company information – just doesn’t cut it anymore. Today, the web is social and interactive, not static like most B2B websites still tend to be. The modern website is a real sales tool, integrating search, social media, content, blogging, and more, to attract visitors generate leads.
This shift is due to changing buyer behavior. The sheer volume of information that is easily available online has put the consumer in control. Buyers can get the information they seek whenever and however they want, often without the involvement of a sales person. More importantly, they want to be educated, not sold to.
As a result, company websites that include new forms of inbound marketing content, such as video, blogging and social media, have become a considerable factor in their buying cycle. This is why effective company websites contain these essential inbound marketing elements to drive more traffic, leads, and sales.
Call it what you want – resources, education, captain’s log – your company blog is one of the most important assets to any inbound marketing strategy. Why?
- Blogging creates fresh content and more pages of content, which is great for SEO.
- Blogging helps establish you as an authority and thought leader in your industry.
- Blogging attracts traffic to your website.
- Blogging is a great way to engage your audience and customers.
- Blogging a great way to get valuable inbound links.
Blogging gets results. Research from Hubspot found that companies that blog get 55% more visitors to their websites. And B2B companies that write just one or two blog articles per month generate 70% more leads that those who do not blog.
If the time or talent to create content regularly is your main concern, there are inexpensive blog writing services, called Content Marketplaces, like Zerys and WriterAccess that will help you get started. And, of course, a professional inbound marketing agency will include content creation as part of an inbound marketing strategy.
When it comes to your website content, there are four basic questions to ask yourself:
- Will people know what I do within seconds?
- Will they understand what page they’re on and it’s about?
- Will they know what to do next?
- Why should they buy/subscribe/download from this site instead of another?
It should be readily apparent what your site is about, what visitors should do there and why they should take action.
Educate and Offer
Even though the purpose of a corporate website is to promote your products and services, remember that not everyone is ready to buy on their first visit. Offer more than just product content. Provide educational offers, like eBooks or whitepapers that can nurture prospects through their decision-making process.
As the old adage goes, “Content is King.” But while having a lot of content on your website is good, in these days when search engines are smarter and people are more selective, quality is truly king.
- Offer unique content that both search engines and people love.
- Write for humans, not search engines. People don’t read like robots.
- Provide value and educational content that helps others by addressing their problems and answering their questions.
- Do your research when paying for content that is provided by guest bloggers or third party-writing services.
- Keep content fresh. Having news that is two years old sitting on your home page will probably give your visitors a bad feeling.
- Know your audience. Providing content that speaks specifically to your buyers makes it more relevant for them, and in turn, higher quality.
- Include evidence when needed. If stating facts, numbers, awards, testimonials and the like, try to link it to the source, and give credit when credit is due.
- Know your subject well. You don’t want an auto mechanic writing about brain surgery. That said, a good writer with a background in journalism, can write effectively about just about any subject. Accurate content equals quality.
In the age when buyers simply “google” information about the products and services they want, old, static online brochure websites are under-performing. Savvy businesses are taking advantage of these essential inbound marketing tactics to generate leads and close new business.