When you’re building a website, resist the temptation to say, “we want a page for this, and a page for that”. If there isn’t a clear, strategic reason for the page, scrap it. You’re stuck thinking in terms of the old Internet, not the modern social web.
You can, however, do seriously good marketing work for your business, by simply retooling that strategy for the social web.
LISTS MAKE BETTER BLOG POSTS.
In the early days of the Web, before Google helped us find exactly what we wanted, people would populate their business web sites with irrelevant lists, trying to become what Google is – a fast, fluid resource. That’s living in the 90s. Now lists come in the form of blog posts, like “Best 5 BBQ Restaurants in Dane County” or “6 First Rank Schools in Tulsa”. These are best published across social platforms that allow people to comment, like, and share.
THIS IS THE FUTURE.
It’s no longer enough to just build out your businesses web site. Effective businesses interact with clients and customers, and contribute to the content on the web. In the past, web sites were so cluttered that they needed a search box to rifle through them. Now sites are streamlined, and your time is better spent blogging fresh content for shared social spaces, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
GIVING AWAY YOUR SEARCH JUICE.
Real estate sites, for example, are notorious for cluttering up their content with endless links out to other things in the community, using the outdated logic that their web site is a community resource. But no one bothers with portals anymore—you’ve got to add more value than re-posting other people’s content. It’s stale and inattentive marketing. Plus, it can really hurt your search engine optimization (SEO). With too many external links, Google treats your site as little more than an index to other people’s valuable sites – that’s Google’s job, not yours, and the search giant will reproportion your search value to the sites you link to. If you do it with cut and paste content, they’ll penalize you for duplication.
BLOGS DO BETTER THAN CLUTTERED MENUS.
Businesses used to clutter their main navigation menu with endless pages. That makes it difficult to wade through your site and contributes little value beyond the self-congratulatory feeling of “building up” your site. In reality, you should strip it down and make it easy to use. Have an ABOUT page, CONTACT page, SERVICES page, the BLOG, and not too much more – unless it has a direct, strategic marketing purpose. To truly contribute to your community, generate localized and relevant content on your blog – blogs have built-in navigation, are search friendly, and (most importantly) are socially gregarious (share-able).
YOUR BLOG NEEDS YOU ANYWAY.
A good rule-of-thumb: if you can make that page a blog post, make it a blog post. You want to write reviews of local restaurants? Do it in your blog. Don’t have enough to say for a blog post? Then don’t do put it on your site – it wastes your SEO juice and visitors’ time. You’d be better off commenting more often in Yelp and Merchant Circle, or “liking” such places on Facebook and following them in Twitter, and sharing them on your social pages with a nice comment – you’ll get more attention, more followers, and be seen as more reciprocating and worthy of people doing the same for you (Reciprocal appreciation is far more valuable than reciprocal links).
WEB SITES ARE SOCIAL.
Stop thinking of your website as a ‘place’ where people will spend 30 minutes looking at everything you’ve added. They won’t. These days, you’re only as good as the value you’ve created lately and pushed out into social media venues, video sites, search engines, etc. Prospects don’t look to you as the primary information source like they did when the web depended on portals of links – your site will be too idiosyncratic and limited, and they can search faster, wider, and better with search engines and social search platforms like Google, Youtube, Yelp, and Twitter. A modern marketing strategy puts more of your effort into cross-channel marketing – starting with your blog and re-purposing for other venues, in an overlapping way.
The social web is waiting for you. Here’s the real truth – you don’t just have one website anymore. You have a dozen. Your Twitter page is one of your websites. Your YouTube channel is one of your websites. So is your Yelp page, and so on. It’s not more work, it’s more effective. Twitter, Youtube, and Yelp already get tons of traffic, so you can focus on just generating valuable content. Life is easier and better. Welcome to new social web.
For effective digital marketing strategy, contact MadPipe.
Industry Insight: Lots of Pages Won’t Necessarily Rank You Higher. Why posts then? Targeting specific searches, social value, freshness (which matters), and shareability.
Our copy was wordsmithed by our talented friends at MarketSmiths.