A Business-Goals Based Website Content Strategy – Part 2 of 2

Website content strategyIf you missed part one – read it here.

Step Four is when we look at content. If we have done the first three steps correctly, this should seem overly simple and common sense.

We create a landing page for each of our very specific target markets.

A landing page is a single page for a single target market with a single call to action. We eliminate sidebars and distractions, we don’t talk about mission statements or back-story. Solid content that helps the visitor convert to subscriber or customer.

Who, What, When, Where, How
And of course Why – Why this? Why today? Why share this information?

What details are essential for decision making? This goes on that page. We can link within the text to more details for those who want to dig deeper. We could bury more details “below-the-fold” which is the content you have to scroll to in order to read. But that top of fold non-scrolling section should be compelling and personal. Talk directly to your target market about what they are getting – what benefits they will enjoy and of course make it easy to get to…

Step Five! Call to Action. We want to lead our visitor into buying or subscribing or registering so that we can build a relationship with them, deepen the conversation so to speak. If you have ever found a website that offers exactly what you were looking for but then could not figure out how to buy, you know the frustration this can cause. Even something as simple as Print Directions or View Parking options will help if you are a retail business.

Your call to action should be simple and clear – avoid cute or confusing. Don’t put the text “Start the Party” on your button, say “Buy Tickets”.

Often in your call to action you will want to add more incentive to take action and to take action now – try to avoid a Sale unless genuinely appropriate. Purchase now and get this instant download. First 100 ticket buyers get a free T-shirt. Register online to enable menu selection. Seating is filling up, view chart and reserve your spot.

Step Six. Determine the Communications need Before, During and After Conversion
Online marketing is a conversation. It should grow richer the better you get to know each other. After signing up, or buying, this person is not a suspect or a lead they are a subscriber or customer. Speak to them differently. In email communications use their name. Send them only offers and communications they will appreciate based on what you know of them. (ASIDE: As a woman, I will never actually be interested in those spam emails that offer me “enhancements” or “dates” with you women.) Don’t make your emails fall into the realm of spam. Show you know name, gender, interests, history of your subscriber or customer.
“Dear name,
Thank you for purchasing x. We want to offer you this free bonus and also let you know about y that will help you use x even better.
My name.”

Before conversion (buying or subscribing), I may want to be sharing great content on my blog or social media to get a conversation started. Step 2 might be to offer a free download at social media sites that links back to the download on my own website. If they have to register to get the download then I will have at least first name and email and can email and added incentive or bonus related to the download and connected to the product they should buy.

During the sale I should clearly show privacy policy, security, guarantees, how many steps the process is, how long to delivery etc. Just be very very clear. People that get confused or bogged down, abandon their shopping and go to another website.

After the sale, an instant receipt and thank you should appear on the page and be sent by email. For travel or events, an email a day prior to the event, and maybe even the morning of can remind them of what to bring and what to expect.

Ongoing communication should always be useful, interesting and expected. If they did not register, you cannot email them.

Quick Note: Sometime a hand written note or phone call is much more appropriate than an email that was automatically generated by your autoresponder software.

Step Seven: Identify ways to make their participation social. What is remarkable about what you offer? Surprising facts, products, media and ideas are worth sharing.
Can you offer a Tweet this or Share on Facebook to get instant access to a webinar or receive an entry in a contest?
Is there a hashtag you want people to use? Tell them.
Create a share this panel for the page or product to make it really easy to be social.

Step Eight – the bonus step is track what you did that worked AND what didn’t work. If you thought a photo contest would be popular but nobody entered, make a note of it now and your thoughts on why it failed. If the Tweet this for contest entry got great response, capture the verbage and level of participation for future reference.

You can track email opens, clicks, visits and conversions with software that is freely available or very affordable. Google Analytics, facebook insights, email software will all give you added details on what worked or didn’t.

If you follow these steps, starting from your five year plan, working down to short term goals and campaign objectives that all fit together, your online presence will actually be a true asset to your business.

Download the worksheet I use with my classes:_Goal Based Online Strategy

Cher Cunningham

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