Over the years I have noticed that creating content is often a sticking point for clients. I have also noticed that there are times when one product or service could really use more attention. To help illustrate the concept of developing deeper content to achieve better engagement and sales, I have worked out a system for starting with just one area that is important to you. By biting off a small piece of work, my hope is that site owners will make a concerted effort to experiment and then use that experience to develop similar models for other areas of the business.
My Deeper Clicks Engagement System combines the stages of the buying cycle with new website content to deepen engagement, improve rankings, and encourage conversions.
Bear in mind that people are not always ready to buy or act in a definitive way that reaches a conversion. Sometimes they just want to read a review and start thinking about their next purchase or activity. If you want to reach the largest number of people long-term, you want to connect with visitors who are at all stages of the buying cycle.
Consider the following stages/terms:
- “Flat screen TV”: Generic term, may be mix of early stages and late stages
- “Flat screen TV review” or “laser printer compare”: Likely not quite ready to buy; however, may be susceptible to marketing messages that concern benefits of a particular unit
- “Cheap laser printer”: Probably close to the purchase stage, but price-sensitive
- “Best laser printer”:Likely not quite ready to buy; however, may be susceptible to marketing messages that concern benefits of a particular unit
- “HP 1200 laser printer”: May be close to purchase due to the specific model number used in the search
- “Laser alignment for jet engines case study”: Knows what they want and are likely comparing solutions.
The goal is to develop at least a three-tiered content model for each product or service.
- Early stage: Articles, blog posts, FAQ videos, and top of the funnel calls to action such as guides or ebooks.
- Middle stage: Comparison option/case study content and middle of the funnel calls to action such as a webinar sign-up.
- Late stage/ready to buy:The main service sales or product page with bottom of the funnel calls to action such as a form, cart, or “register” or “download” button.
Here’s an example: Let’s imagine that widget-manufacturing.com has only one page for their hottest items, Fuzzy Red Widgets. The main page for this product is getting a limited number of clicks per month. It is one of the most visited pages on the site, but traffic is not heavy, engagement is shallow, and conversions are light.
The company develops the following new content:
A. Blog Post on “Benefits of Fuzzy Red Widgets”
The blog post has anchor text links pointing to the main page (this is good for SEO and helps that main sales page rank better). It also links to a case study, making a circle of three connected pages. The links look like this:
Check out our Fuzzy Red Widgets Case Study and buy Fuzzy Red Widgets with free shipping.
B. Case Study on Fuzzy Red Widgets
This is developed using keywords to incorporate short and longtail terms such as “Fuzzy Red Widgets” and “really rare Fuzzy Red Widgets in Denver Colorado.”In terms of links, the case study points to the main page and the new blog post.
C.Fuzzy Red Widgets Main Page
The company just needed to enhance this page with better calls to action, links, and conversion elements.
When you make enhancements like the above, be sure the text includes links to other pages so users can go on a journey that satisfies the stage of research they may be in and piques their interest. However, make the call to action more prominent than these links by making it stand out more.
The fact that the company built two new pages shows Google a depth of unique URLs and title tags around that keyword, thereby increasing thematic relevance. More pages around that topic means you care more about it, which is good for the user and Google. It is amazing how many people obsess over ranking for a given keyword, even though they have only one page on their site about that topic.
Get links from outside your own site to each of the new pages and make sure your main page has the most backlinks from outside sites and from your internal links, so it is most likely to be the highest-ranking page.
This exercise will provide you with a set of keywords for each stage of the buying process that you will rank for. When a user lands on any of the pages, they are drawn into the conversion architecture where there are calls to action that meet their stage and also links to the other pages that may interest them if they are considering moving along the stages. By connecting conversion optimization, content development, and keyword ranking, you are leveraging the powerful relationships between tactics.
For Extra Credit
Doing a press release about any new developments in this product or service area can also bring in extra links and visitors. If you share those three pages and the press releases on your social channels and add “share” buttons on the content, you can also bring social media into the mix. If you can encourage reviews and comments, it gets even better. Users will be impressed by other people verifying how much of an authority and how popular you are, and that can at the very least indirectly lead to increased search rankings. That is a much better way to market your company than bragging about it in an advertisement.
Considering how hard it is to drive traffic and how much is to be gained through conversion optimization, combining these tactics and adding social elements is an incredibly high-test strategy to bring your marketing to the next level.
Photo credit: ell brown / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)