Serve the visitor
The most important job of a website and its content design is to help people find what they are looking for.
What visitors are looking for is to find ways to make decisions.
The answer then is to plan around visitors. We get rewarded for being as helpful as possible by both the visitor and Google, so when we learn how to listen to visitors first, we plan better-performing content.
You can only write well when you know what the audience wants.
Pick the topic
Our content plan will go something like this; we have a framework to refer to.
- Create a list of topics (this has a specific meaning – each topic is an audience)
- Determine the most “likely to succeed” products and services, margins and demand.
- Look at the searches around the topic, and understand niches.
- Work through the decision journey
- ‘Go fishing’ with content that is most likely to succeed first
- The feedback loop comes from seeing what traction we get in the search engines.
You can’t build out all the content you need and ‘complete’ a website quickly. It happens over time. The content you are reading here right now will evolve, the individual points will expand, and we will set up dedicated pages and articles.
We have a framework to follow. Fortunately, your new business revenue pays for it all to happen.
Search clicks are new business opportunities.
But not all of them.
The little searches are where the new business comes from at first. Those visitors are specifically interested, and we can respond more directly. There are fewer of them, and this is a good thing.
Later, once the green shoots of “new business” arrives, then organising content around the whole audience and what they are trying to do makes sense and improves performance.
All this is derived from insight from your data.
Every website could do a much better job of serving visitors. Most of the time, we build websites for ourselves, or the search engines, not for our multiverse audience. This is back to front, upside down and inside out.
Write for the readers.
It is for the automation of conversation, for their convenience and benefit; we are there to serve people first and search engines second. We optimise the content, not the search engine. What people look for is how to organise the content on the site.
The audiences is where we start.
Who to write for first
We are there to translate your positioning into the best audiences and niches we can find in search.
Our first task is to prioritise and plan the content work around the most likely to produce more action. Then build on the momentum you get. The nature of website content is that once it works, it continues to work for years ahead.
There are a gazillion relevant searches, but resist the temptation to focus on the big numbers. We get more by helping the little numbers first. The more granular and specific we get, the more traction. Focus on the new business searches.
- If you already have a lot of content, it can often be reorganised to get more traction.
- We can help guide you on where to start if you are looking at brand-new content.
Brand clicks are from people who know you already
The home page is designed to help brand-click people find the topics that interest them, whether that be in us, what we care about or what we are known for.
We don’t really know what they want. The links and graphical nature of the page are to help steer everyone to what’s most important to them. Standard navigation is incredibly useful for visitors; they know how to use websites; let’s not move the pedals in the car.
In many ways, these are the clicks and visitors we know least about.
We find that by building content around the people who don’t know us yet, the search clicks, we also help other clicks. For everyone who doesn’t know you yet, they will find you through a search.
Insight: What is it people are looking for? What are they trying to do?
People come to websites mainly to make decisions, whether they realise it themselves or not. That’s where the content can be most helpful.
Decision-level content is where performance comes from.
As users, websites are there to sell ourselves on the idea of doing something. Making decisions is doing something.
A website is for digital sales conversations
We build and advise on content relevant to the search. Relevant to the visitor decisions.
Making a case, making claims, backed up by evidence and argument. This is the thinking that produces results. There are thought leadership elements to the best content.
Yes, the design matters an awful lot, the functionality speed and small details. But when we build websites for search visitors, we do better when we build them around the topics, the interested audiences, and how we can help them.
Those audiences exist; we don’t make them up. We just need to understand them.
Then, we can plan their visits.
Start with what search audiences want.
Search is built about topics; the better we understand those, the better we can serve the audience for that topic when they visit the website.