“Content is the emotional and informational bridge between commerce and consumer.” Jay Baer, President & Social Media and Content Marketing Strategist, Convince & Convert

Many of us have heard “content is king”. But why exactly? Content does many things. Most importantly,

  1. It creates an enjoyable user experience and keeps online visitors on your site for longer. The longer they stay, the more likely they will shop and checkout.
  2. It attracts search engines. Updated content gives search engines a reason to come back.  The more you update your website, the greater the likelihood that search engines will take a look at it and include your valuable content in the search engine results.

Okay, so content is great, and important. But what counts as content and where do we start? Content can be a product, images, text, etc. This guide will give you several ideas that will help you grow your website so you can attract online visitors and search engines, thereby increasing the revenue produced by your website.

Start Strong With an Engaging Homepage

Of all your web pages, your homepage usually has the most pull with search engines, so it’s important to keep it updated. Make sure any outdated content such as seasonal products or sales info is up to date. Plan to make at least a small update to the content of your homepage once a month or more to let search engines know that your website is current and relevant for searchers.

  • Update images of products, slideshow images (if applicable), or other images on your homepage. Images are a great way to draw a visitor in and attract them to your products.
  • Engage customers with featured products. A section of featured products, new products, or sales items, is a great way to draw customers to your online store. It also makes for an easy way to find a place on your homepage you can update each month.

Read 7 Steps to Nailing a Perfect Homepage

By updating your homepage and making it better and better, you will give off a great first impression of what the value your online (and physical) store has to offer customers.

Show Who You Are With a Real About Us Section

Search engines are becoming more and more complex. Their goal is to bring searchers in touch with an excellent user experience.  More often than not, this equates to a personal, real feel in a website. Let shoppers and search engines know who you are and why you do what you do. Here are two steps to break down the “how” for you.

  • Create a page that talks about how your shop started and your passion for the industry you’re in. Have you been a musician your whole life? Do you feel at home in a scuba suit? Show your passion, and online visitors will feel a human connection that is an important part of creating loyal customers. After all, one of the best things about being a small business is being able to connect with customers on a more personal level.
  • Give a shout out to your employees and teachers. Create a section with photos of your employees and something they love about their job. Do they love opening new guitars to sell? Do they enjoy teaching music lessons? Let their passion and love show through.

By creating a real about us section, you will give online customers a glimpse into your physical store, inviting them to come shop there. When they get there, they will recognize and connect with you and your employees and feel at home.

Compete With a Robust Online Store

Your online store is probably the most important part of your website. That’s where the magic happens. Make more of it happen with great content.

  • Update great photos. If you already have a photo for each product, consider how you could improve the customer’s experience with more than one photo of each product. Can online shoppers see all the angles of your products? Would up-close photos be helpful? Would a size comparison be helpful? Do you have a photo of it being modeled or used?
  • Write helpful, unique product descriptions. Writing product descriptions is a great way to draw in more search engines. I know, I know, you have hundreds or thousands of products. And just using the manufacturer’s description is easier. It is easier, but will not help you as much with search engines. Search engines are looking for unique content. Take one step at a time. You can even use the manufacturer’s description and then add your own unique content. Start by creating group product descriptions. Or choose your most popular products.  Or the ones that bring in the most money. In the description, give the specs, why it’s great, what it’s used for, etc.

Making your products stand out with great photos and helpful descriptions will give you an edge over your competitors in the search results. Updating them will also send a signal to search engines that you have something new to offer searchers.

Give an Inside Look Into Your Classes and Services

If you aren’t already using your website to spread the news about your classes and services, start today. Classes and services are an excellent way to connect with shoppers and turn them into loyal customers. Be sure to dedicate a web page to them.

  • Give online shoppers an inside look into what your classes will give them. Take photos during classes of teachers and attendees/students (you may want to get permission) having a great time. Include these photos on your website. You may even want to take a short video.
  • Add photos and descriptions of your services. If you do cleanings or repairs, show before-and-after photos. Write about what makes your services stand out and why customers should choose you over someone else.

If you can, also make sure classes and services can be purchased or reserved through your website. If your website does not have this functionality, let customers know they can contact you about them via phone or email. This way, once customers read about and see how great your classes and services are, there’s nothing stopping them from purchasing them right away.

Read 22 Tips for Filling Every Class This Year

 

Getting Started

Now that you are filled with great ideas about increasing your website content, make a content strategy plan. Schedule out on your calendar two or three days a month, maybe even one day each week,  when you will spend some time, maybe 30 min, maybe 1 hour, whatever you can, on building out the content of your website.

About Author

Holly Wade

Holly Wade is a lover of words and marketing. She can’t read great writing without smiling, and she can’t watch a commercial without analyzing its success as marketing content. She gets a little carried away every time she goes to the library, and she always sides with using the Oxford comma. She loves writing articles that help small retail businesses find success. She's been with Rain since 2010 after graduating from Brigham Young University.

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