TL;DR -Takeaways for the impatient)
Content is almost everything your visitors see on your website - text, images and videos-even sound. They will also see your navigation-the links to other pages on your site and those that point to other websites. Content does not even need to reside on your web server. Videos, for example, can be hosted on services such as YouTube and Vimeo, and still perform as content for your website. The 'best' content for your small business website is that which informs and persuades your ideal customer ( read about ideal customers) and is prepared in a way to help your site get found and be authoritative.
Buyers need to:
Prospects want to know what your business is about. Studies have shown that "About Us" pages are among the most heavily visited on business websites. Why should they buy from you? What makes your business different and better than any of your competitors? Why should a consumer or business purchase from your business? Think of this as a conversation with a prospect. What would you say to them? Are your products/services better for them? How? Are your prices lower, your customer support better, your warranties better?
Show and tell time - what are the important things about your business that would make people trust you? Things like years in business, years in the area, numbers of satisfied customers, and so on. Actual customer reviews can be valuable in building trust. If you have artisanal products or provide services, here is a perfect place for videos about the care and quality of your work.
For many products and services, help after the purchase can be as important as the original purchase. This means that your customer support page is not just a list of phone numbers or email addresses. You need to assure prospects and customers that your business will be there for them after the purchase. What support is available, how do your customers get help, what hours and days of the week is support available?
We put this section last, as too many businesses put nothing in their websites but product/service information. While you certainly need to describe, demonstrate and show your products/services, they should never be all of the content on your website. Be sure to have images of your product/service in action, and don't skimp on the quality. If your products are artisan-made, simple videos of the artisans and the process will help establish your products as something special. Note: don't make this a sales pitch. Instead, talk with your customers about why they chose your products, and get that information into this section.
Remember that the search portals like Google and Bing want to offer high quality content to their users. When a search portal places a website high in the results for a search word or phrase, they want the users who click on that website to find useful, authoritative content when they arrive. You want the people to arrive to be in your ideal customer segment, so your objective is creating relevant, authoritative content your ideal customer can use to be aware of your business and your products, to develop interest in your business and solutions, to decide to purchase and to invest their money as a customer.
You are an expert in your field. That expertise is what prospects and customers want to know. Think of all the questions that customers have asked you that relate to your products or services. You don't have to write or peck away at a keyboard. You can record your thoughts and have them transcribed inexpensively. It's your expertise that counts, not your writing skills. There are editors online and locally who can help you polish your work. If you're having trouble getting started, we can help. Our Content Firecracker will get you started creating content, edit and format your initial efforts and show you how to keep your website interesting, relevant and authoritative.
Kissmetrics BLOG: "The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content"https://blog.kissmetrics.com/ingredients-of-great-content/
Jayson DeMers on Forbes: "50 Content Marketing Ideas For Your Website Or Blog" (4/16/16), https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/04/16/50-content-marketing-ideas-for-your-website-or-blog/#42bb645a7211
Last updated May, 2017