About our guest author: Kali Greff is the head of content and marketing manager for Verblio. She’s as passionate about effective content marketing as Verblio’s platform of 3,000 U.S.-based freelance writers are about creating high-quality content for businesses and marketing agencies alike.
Websites are really hard to design. And really hard to write the content to fill them with. And even harder to code. Luckily, with Topcoder in your back pocket, you’ve already controlled for the first and third of these challenges on the design and code front. As for the second (content)—I’ll introduce Verblio.
Content is oft-cited as one of the most difficult aspects of online marketing—and there’s no skirting it… writing, and writing effectively, is tough. Delegating your time is claiming power and independence back in your days, weeks, months, so entrusting those tasks to experts (who notably aren’t you) who can tackle your myriad needs is part and parcel to effectively running a business. Verblio is the missing piece to that puzzle as the simple, cost-effective content writing service for both marketing agencies and businesses alike, and Topcoder’s newest trusted partner to get content done with a talented, knowledgeable crowd of U.S.-based writers.
But more on Verblio in a bit.
First, let’s talk about the development of a website and how the design and the content that you use for messaging can (and should) inform one another. Far, far too often the content piece of the launch of a new website is hurried, or worse—relegated to an afterthought—which in turn unduly delays the launch of your gorgeous site that took painstaking weeks to create.
But before we discuss options for getting the content piece squared away, let’s dissect and map out the anatomy of your new website through the lens of content before the eleventh hour (what a concept, right?) and determine exactly what needs to get done before launch.
Tackle the main website pages
A quick caveat—the critical pages for a website obviously will vary vastly by company and by website. However, this general framework is intended to help you think through which pages you’ll need, depending on your own goals for content and user experience of your website.
- The homepage is the MVP of the website when it comes to design, content, brand experience—the whole gamut. With regard to content, you’ll need to be delicate in balancing SEO needs, brand messaging/tone, and valuable information on your products or services while not overwhelming your user. Essentially, it’s the most powerful sales page you have, so treat it as such.
- #2 in important pages for your site. How much does it all cost? Content needs for pricing pages varies wildly, depending on your solution, but generally, your prices (numbers) will speak most loudly on this page. Don’t pass it up entirely, though—committing to a convincing SEO presence (also known as a healthy amount of content) on this page will be a very powerful signal to search engines.
- “How It Works”/”Why Choose Us”
- Another powerful sales page here. This page typically needs to be more interactive and deeply visual than other pages to entice and educate—think infographics or explainer videos, paired with some brief copy blurbs/visuals. If you want to go the video route, great! Mark this video script as another content to-do.
- Product Pages/Product Descriptions (Ecommerce)
- A critical SEO opportunity, but taking full advantage of it without keyword-stuffing proves a delicate balance to strike. How can you give your prospective and current customers enough background on what you do, in the terms they’d use to search for those solutions, and in a unique way?
- In the world of ecommerce, these product pages will take the form of more abbreviated product descriptions, which should also be carefully considered as potential SEO opportunities.
- Social proof is powerful internet currency, and the way for online consumers to get their bearings about a company or brand from others. As such, testimonials and reviews should exist on a permanent page on your site to persuade prospective customers to work with you and showcase your work.
- About Us
- Such a neglected page on websites, by and large! Start with these picture-perfect examples of “About Us” pages as your baseline of how to make an “About Us” page that converts and isn’t all “me, me, me.”
What role do you need content to serve?
Your Topcoder team will talk through content goals with you, because a website design that’s both catered to these goals and to their medium (e.g., mobile, desktop, interactive, in service of really slick design, etc.) is essential for the success of your efforts (and money well spent!). Neither is successful without the other.
Here are some potential goals you may have for the content in context of your new site:
- Serve as a salesperson (i.e., pillar pages, sales pages, awesome product pages)
- Foster leads—through educational pieces in methodology of inbound marketing (i.e., thought leadership, pillar pages, email drip campaigns)
- Build SEO footprint (i.e., pillar pages, blurbs in line with keyword strategy, ample opportunities for content throughout design/formatting to optimize SEO)
Build up your blog
You probably know that a blog is critical to your overall marketing strategy, but may be a bit fuzzier on the functional details of what it can do for your company or brand, such as:
- Custom blog content drives more interest and demand. “61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are also more likely to buy from that company.” (Custom Content Council)
- Blogging increases SEO, web traffic, and conversions. “Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%).” (Kapost)
- Blogging increases lead generation. “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.” (HubSpot, 2015)
- Blogging enables sales. “47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.” (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
Knowing that proving the dynamism of regular publishing to your site is important to search engines, let’s talk about your website and how to start the blog off on the best foot. Check out more in this post on how blogs still help your business even in the edge-case, worst-case scenario—if no one is reading a single one of your posts.
Get your blog ready for website primetime
As a best practice, it’s recommended that you create at least a handful (10-15 ideally) blog posts as a baseline before the launch of your site or new blog (which don’t necessarily need to coincide).
Think about it—you’ll work your tail off promoting your website as soon as it’s live to get fresh eyes on it, but if your prospective customers don’t have enough content to interact with in those first critical impressions—they’ll leave. And won’t come back.
So instead of allowing the lonely little “Welcome to our blog!” to sit alone for days, weeks, or months while you schedule all of your quality content for future dates, take the time to put together several high-quality pieces and upload them all.
The reason for this? It keeps incoming visitors on your site. Provide educational value to familiarize them with your company, and demonstrate expertise to establish the foundation visitors need to keep coming back for more information. Make this impression count.
Need some ideas as to the critical blog posts to create for your content archive? Start here:
- The 10 must-have small business blog topics.
- How to come up with business blog topics to actually accomplish marketing goals.
Prevent the last-minute scramble for website content and plan ahead
Now consider the alternative to scrambling to get content done for your new site—partnering up with a trusted content partner from the start to help tackle the content in parallel as you approach the end. And all without distracting your in-house team from keeping the entire project moving forward.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it… content creation is one of the toughest parts of maintaining an ongoing, credible, valuable online presence. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Which brings us back to Verblio, Topcoder’s newest partner. We’re the agile, critical piece of the puzzle for content marketing and SEO. We create high-quality content for marketing agencies and businesses like you. Through our network of 3,000+ U.S.-based writers, Verblio offers unique flexibility, speed, and access to a wide range of subject matter expertise and writing styles for any of your digital content needs.
Contact one of our experts today to talk through solutions to get your new website set up with content or help out with ongoing needs to keep promoting and growing your digital footprint. Or, if you’re ready to give Verblio a try, redeem this one-time Topcoder-specific coupon for 50% off your first month’s content on us!