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Question: What’s the most valuable part of your website?

If you answered high-quality content, you were right.

While a visually-pleasing website will draw visitors in, it’s the engaging, fascinating content that will keep them there. Content is more than blog posts; it’s a mixture of audio, graphic, video, and written information that represents your brand, informs of your offerings, and communicates with your visitors. High-quality content also increases the chances of prospects finding your website by improving the platform’s discoverability on the Internet’s search engines. Generic articles that don’t deliver value to visitors tend to rank lower on Google. They also run the risk of a high bounce rate with few returning website visitors. Neil Patel explains more about bounce rates and how to analyze them in his excellent article on Neil Patel Digital.

 

The Value of High-Quality Content

What’s deemed as high-quality content is subjective, but most will agree it is impeccably-written and well-researched information that cites sources and uses the most up-to-date facts available. It should perfectly capture your brand’s voice and provide prospects with the information they are looking for. Done well, content will drive a high volume of your target audience to your site.

Content should inform, delight, and persuade prospects to purchase the goods or services your company offers. Without content, you’re missing out on important sales opportunities. Research at intechnic.com shows that 52% of consumers say that blogs have impacted past purchase decisions while 42% of consumers use blogs and articles to help them make decisions about purchases. It’s not just B2C consumers that benefit from content. In fact, 60% of business decision-makers (B2B consumers) believe branded content helps them make better product decisions.

 

Content Planning Framework

To help build your content on your website, it’s good to start by knowing what kind of information your site will need. A useful framework for understanding what content you should be producing is the content marketing sales funnel. This process takes your website visitors on a step-by-step journey that converts them from a prospect to a loyal customer. It makes up part of your overall content strategy which defines how you manage the information on your site. For further reading on marketing planning, Hubspot provides a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know about content strategy.

The content marketing sales funnel is made up of four stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

This is the ‘ideal’ process; the reality has several more loops, yet it’s still a good model to use to structure your content creation. Potential customers will require different information at each stage of the process. It’s your job to fill your site with valuable content for every step.

At the Awareness stage, the prospect isn’t looking to buy. Instead, they are searching for a solution to a problem or need they have. This is the stage where you make this prospect aware of your company and your industry expertise. You will want to provide blog posts between 500 and 1,500 words which can be your own content or provided by contributors, such as guest posts from other expert sites or from professional writers. You can also provide downloadable white papers, e-books, and webinars which visitors can access after signing up for free. Each blog post should talk about a specific problem and the solutions to that issue without actually mentioning your product or services just yet. To build content for the awareness stage, think about pain points your customers have and design titles centered on those problems. For tips on blogging, you may want to check out our article about the most common blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.

In the Interest stage, the prospect likes your company but isn’t ready to buy yet. You want to continue to inform them by adding educational content that relates directly to your products and how it can help them. The type of content you may want to include is product webinars, demo videos, case studies, and in-depth blog posts about how your product addresses their problems. Now is the time to talk about your products and showcase how perfectly apt they are to help your prospects.

In the Desire stage, the prospect is now ready to buy but is still perhaps undecided from where. This is the moment where you need content that encourages the prospect to contact you. This can include content such as product demonstrations, trial offers, proposals, and tailor-made emails. You could also develop custom-made emails to send those who signed up at the Awareness stage. According to epsilon.com, 80% of those surveyed are more likely to purchase from a company offering personalized experiences, such as emails and other content.

Finally, at the Action stage, the prospect wants to buy your goods and this is the moment where you need to support their decision, both before and after the sale. The content you will include is welcome emails, guidelines, implementation documents, and thank-you notes. This content should be highly personalized and can also take the form of blog posts, such as case studies of customers who use your product or service and can show how it has helped them. Later, you can request a testimonial from them to add to your customer reviews content on your site

Once you’ve decided on the types of content your site needs, the next step is to decide where to get content from, what topics to write about, and how often you should post.

 

Content Creation

While you should typically post on your social media pages daily, you don’t need to post every day on your website. Research from Hubspot says that companies that produce 16 posts or more every month had four times as much traffic as those that post four times or less. This means posting content once every two days is sufficient. That may still seem like a lot, but there are some ways to lessen the time burden.

One great tip is that you don’t always need to produce brand new content. In fact, you can recycle a lot of old content into different styles. For example, a blog post about SEO or keyword analytics can also be turned into a video, an infographic, and a podcast. This will help you reach a wider audience and saves the time of thinking up new ideas. If you don’t have time to produce your own content, then you can ask for guest posts from experts relating to your industry who may be willing to contribute in exchange for a link to their professional pages.

You can also invest in a professional writer who can produce high-quality content, which saves you time to manage the rest of your business. You can either give the writer the titles you want or they can pitch you different topics. To measure the return on investment, use your site’s statistics such as the volume of traffic and conversion rates to see how many sales and how much interest your content is generating. You can hire a writer with experience in SEO, which will help boost your site’s visibility. For more information on SEO, we suggest our guide to the importance of SEO for your website.

If you’re struggling to think of content titles, you can use tools such as the Hubspot blog ideas generator that will produce a list of possible titles based on your keyword input. You can also brainstorm topics that relate to your industry, problems your prospects may have that you can help with, and the advantages of your products as further ideas for content.

Uploading content every two days sounds time-consuming, yet it doesn’t have to be. You can actually mass-load content onto your site and schedule future publishing dates so they automatically self-publish on the day you want. You can do this weeks in advance so you have a steady stream of content programmed to publish over a period of time. You can do the same for your social media with social media scheduling tools, which helps save time and gets more content out there to your audience. Here are some of Sprout Social’s favorites for 2018.

Content is not only vitally important, but it’s also exciting to produce – after all, it’s the true mouthpiece of your brand and your company. At Komaya, we empower businesses with knowledge and support, allowing them to achieve all their online marketing goals. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.

Okay, first of all, you may be wondering what SEO even is. Short for Search Engine Optimization, SEO references the formula that computers use when they’re trying to sort through millions of matches for search terms.

Is SEO Really that Important

Here’s an example:  You just adopted a dog and you’re wondering how to properly train it.  You’re wondering who the best trainers and training schools are in your area and if it’s possible to start the training process at home doing it yourself.  You may ask your friends or family for advice (in person or via social media), but more than likely, you consult a search engine.  Let’s say you type in “dog training tips” and press enter.

You’ll likely get millions of matches, but they’re going to be ranked in a certain order.  In this particular example, if you type in those exact search terms into Google, the top 5 matches are the American Kennel ClubPetFinder.comRover.comCesarsWay.com, and NylaBone.com.  So basically, Google has provided you with information from the nationwide authority on pet breeds and shows, the number one site for finding or locating a pet, a popular dog walking app, the most famous dog trainer, and one of the most popular dog bones by sales volume in the United States.  What doesn’t show is a 16-year old’s blog about her pet Collie, pictures of dogs being trained, or questions from other people asking how to train their dogs.

Search engines know that you want the best information from the most reputable sources and they try to make sure you get what you need as quickly as possible.

Since search engines are not humans, they don’t know who’s really the best — so they must rely on the context clues provided to them.  Search engines will rank sites based on their popularity, the number of hits and clicks they have, the keywords they’re using, the quality of their content, how frequently their content is updated, and those are only a few parameters.

But back to the original question:  How important is SEO?  To which I’ll reply:  Very!  SEO is an integral part of doing business in today’s online world!  If your business has local competition, or you would like more customers, and everyone that you know already knows about your business (meaning you need to acquire customers that are strangers to you) — that means the internet is going to be extremely important to you.  And SEO is extremely important within the realm of the internet.

Experts know what search engines want, and they stay up-to-date with all the latest changes. To find out how your website is performing in terms of SEO, request a free website review from us.  Someone will respond to you as soon as possible with what you could be doing better, and it’s completely commitment free.

For all of your website building and branding questions,
Komaya

If you’re a business owner or manager who wants to succeed, you have probably familiarized yourself on SEO and what it means.  Search Engine Optimization is the art of making your site (or sites) pop up when people use various search terms on their search engine of choice (typically Google).   The higher the ranking, the more people that see you.  It’s the modern-day equivalent of having a business named “AAAA Aardvark Company” in the Yellow Pages, it is desirable as a business owner to have your company listed first in a certain category.

SEO Has Changed. Here are a few of our best tips:

What many people don’t know, however, is how exactly SEO works for them, and the logistics that go into it.  An analogy might be the kitchen faucet in your home — we know that it has an on/off mechanism, there’s a spout, perhaps a sprayer, and the water flows out — but we really couldn’t explain to someone else the exact passage of water or what to do if something breaks.  Similarly, we understand that computers help us and we know how to use user-friendly apps, but very few of us know how to take one apart and fix a faulty motherboard, for example.

What makes all of this even more complicated is that SEO, like all things technology, is constantly changing.  What you may have learned in a class or seminar two years ago may not hold true anymore.   Additionally, because more people know what SEO is (and there are more user-friendly apps available for people to master it), the competition is growing fiercer. At Komaya, we are always here to help you master SEO and make your business as successful as possible, so here are a few of our best tips to make your SEO stand out:

  1. Try a plug-in, like Yoast:
    If you use WordPress, there’s a free plugin called Yoast that basically functions like a “spell-checker”, except that it checks for readability and SEO. You can enter in your article, blog, or web content, and let it know what the target keywords are. Yoast will analyze the piece and provide scores on a few specific categories, as well as what you can do to improve the piece. It’s an SEO game changer.
  2. Use apps that analyze your competitors, suggest keywords for you, and give you an action plan:
    Apps like Keyword Finder (https://KWFinder.com) will analyze keywords and find words for you that you can easily rank for, as well as keywords that your competitors are missing.
    That’s just one example. There are a lot of sites out there that will analyze keywords for you, recommend them on a weekly basis, and even remember which keywords worked well for you at certain times of the year so you can go back to them for repeat business. They will even identify where there is a hole in the market based on the keywords your competitors are using, versus what consumers are actually searching for.
  3. Make your website as optimized as possible:
    For starters, if your website hasn’t been updated since 2012, there is little chance that it will rank over a site that was updated yesterday.  Keeping your content fresh and constantly changing is the number one thing that is necessary for website optimization.  You also need keywords that people would actually type into a search bar. There’s a difference between describing your item and optimizing your item’s description for search engines.
    If you sell hand-knitted sweaters that come in three colors and are made in Maine out of organic materials, your keywords should be “red organic sweater”, or “blue handmade sweater”, or “organic hand-made sweaters” and not “hand-knitted sweater Maine three colors”  because no one is searching for that, they just want a sweater.   You’ll also have a great deal of luck by making several pages with different titles and meta descriptions, as opposed to trying to put as many words as possible on one page.

We haven’t even begun to cover the ways your keywords, titles and meta titles, descriptions, SERP, and the way your page is searched and crawled, but that will be information in a forthcoming blog.

With all of that said, this can definitely be a confusing or overwhelming topic, but at Komaya we are here to help. Contact us today to get a consultation on your brand and what we can do for you.

I have a holistic healer and she often reminds me that I need balance in my life.  In her eyes, it wouldn’t do me any good to eat terribly and then just scarf down antacids, or to work out every single day only to eat piles of junk food.  It’s much better to do everything in moderation, develop healthy diet and exercise habits that I can maintain every day, and also to do yoga and spiritual growth exercises that make me happy.  Plus, time with friends and family is ideal, and everyone needs to curl up in a blanket, watch a movie, and hit the recharge button every now and again. Being holistic is really just about being whole — it’s focusing on the entire picture and not just on what is going wrong or right.

A Holistic Approach

The same is true for your web presence.  At Komaya, we see a lot of companies that want to hit social media really hard or run a really strong Facebook ad.  We sometimes see CEOs that think blogging with keywords is the way to go or would bet money that their SEO strategy is the best in the country.  The problem sometimes with tunnel vision is that you can often lose sight of the bigger picture.  You can also end up focusing so much on one thing that you have to work really hard in the future to right a different wrong.  Back to our health and wellness example, rather than eating 12 doughnuts and having to hit the gym twice as hard the following day, wouldn’t it just be better to only eat one doughnut and go to the gym for a half of an hour in the first place?

When you’re working on your web presence, and the strategy for it, you need to remember that a holistic approach is always the best one.

By taking a step back and looking at the larger picture, your business will be healthier overall.  We like to remind clients to do this by concentrating on SEO, website, and social media.   In the long run, these things will all feed one another as well, and they need each other for long-term success.

As another true-life example, let’s look at it this way.  Let’s suppose you wanted to buy a very specific kind of potato chip dip and you needed it for a party tonight.  You probably would first go to social media, and ask if anyone knows of any recommendations (because after all, you’re not really sure what it’s called or what you’re looking for).  Someone probably tells you that the brand is called Best Dip.  You then might go to Google (or another search engine) and type in “brand + potato chips + your zip code” or something similar.  The search results say that Star Mart has your product.  You then go to the Star Mart website, you see via their online catalog that the product is there, and then you use maps to find out exactly where that store is.    You may even revert back to social media to ask if anyone has any tips on how to get there exactly or where you can find street parking.

The point of the above story is that in this case if there wasn’t a social media listing for Star Mart or Best Dip, you would have been out of luck.  If Star Mart hadn’t used the keywords Best Dip + potato chip + some relevant zip codes, you would not have known they sold your product.  And had there not been a maps or Yellow Pages listing, you might not have found the store.    Everything works together, and it is vital that you have a combination of all of the things to make your brand successful.

A Powerful Web Presence

Without social media, you’re unable to receive real-life reviews of your product, and you’re also unable to communicate or interact with your customers.   Without a website, you’re unable to sell your product (because people can’t truly buy via social media).  Without SEO, you’re unable to let people find your product.  Without blogging, you’re unable to explain your product.  And without all of these things, working together in perfect harmony, your product has a much lower chance of success.

For more information on creating a holistic and powerful web presence and how best to achieve it, contact us today.

What It Is

You’ve probably heard of the term SEO and know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization. But what does that really mean? SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.” All of the major search engines have search results where web pages and other content are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to the term searched. The goal of SEO is to ensure that your brand, company or product ends up in the primary search results on these search engines without you having to pay for it.

Why You Need It

If you own a website, search results matter. When your pages have higher rankings they help more people find you. The key to higher rankings is making sure your website has the ingredients search engines need for their recipes – and that is SEO. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines have algorithms that help turn information into useful search results.

Main ingredients: words matter, titles matter, links between websites matter (if your page has a lot of links to it, that makes it look important to search engines), words in links matter too, reputation (sites with consistent record of fresh, engaging content and growing numbers of quality links may do well in search rankings)

How To Do It

For great resources on how: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo

Posting blogs on your website is one great way to create fresh, useful content: https://www.saleshub.ca/blog/why-blogging-is-important-for-seo

Web Presence Strategy

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be a key part of your website strategy in order to maximize your market reach and impact. Most users are coming to websites as a direct result of a search engine. Don’t miss out on helping people find your business!

Here are some key SEO questions to ask yourself, and if you don’t know the answer, now is a good time to find out:

  1. How well does your site score with search engines?
  2. Is each page of your site optimized for search engines?
  3. Have appropriate keywords been targeted within each page’s content?
  4. How easily are people finding your website?

We have discovered that having an effective web presence requires a holistic approach encompassing search engine visibility (SEO), a powerful website, and active social media channels. It is no longer enough to just build a website and think your brand will be found. In order to realize your business goals, you need to be discovered, engaged, and connected with your target audience. Strengthening your SEO is a great place to start.