The Places to be Seen
The “suggestive” phase of content creation addresses the beginning of the buying cycle - the time when people are searching for a product or service to solve a problem, but probably haven’t visited or even heard of your website yet.
Content engineered to drive traffic to your website is therefore by definition created to be positioned in some or all the following places:
A search engine index - Google, Bing, Yahoo
Another website or blog
A physical promotional item - T-shirts, mugs, mouse mats, banners
A printed business card, letterhead or comp slip
A physical building, structure, trade stand or vehicle
In most cases this content is created separately from a website although it may be adapted and summarised from your website content. In the case of search engine indexes, content is created on your website and them “scraped” off for indexing.
The Rule of Seven
In choosing which of these strategies to deploy the main factors to consider are:
Time - how much bandwidth do you have (or are you willing to allocate) to manage each channel?
Skills - Can you create content which is compelling and effective or would you be better off outsourcing and using the time to make money to pay someone?
Money - what is your budget for outsourcing tasks and advertising
Competition - How competitive is the market for you product or service and therefore how hard is it to be found, and seen to offer an advantage - to communicate a compelling USP (unique selling proposition)?
The “rule of seven” - are you giving prospective buyers at least seven opportunities to encounter your brand before buying?
Most content strategies for generating website traffic are (consciously or unconsciously) determined using these factors, but in many cases, especially in smaller organisations, a single factor such as time, money or competition dominates the decision making process. In very large organisations most or all of these strategies are likely to be deployed.
Evaluating each strategy on the basis of all five factors and ensuring buyers have the opportunity to be exposed to your brand seven times will result in a more effective campaign to generate quality website traffic.
Set Goals, Measure Results, Make Adjustments
Set SMART goals and measure success. Most platforms have statistical dashboards to measure outbound traffic generated and there are a numbers of website applications to measure inbound web traffic such as Google Analytics (free), Fathom Analytics (paid) and Matomo (paid). Asking people where they heard about you is important - even better if you can do this formally using a form and analyse the results.
Revisiting your strategies regularly (at least quarterly) is also important. A strategy which has resulted in increased business may mean it’s time to outsource more to allow time to focus on innovation and delivering to customers. Conversely a failing strategy needs refocus, and quite possibly more and better resources allocated.
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