Seven top tips to keep your content king

 Content is king image of king of heartsYou may wonder where this much used phrase “Content is King” comes from, so I thought I’d do a spot of online research to find out. According to a recent blog it was quoted by Bill Gates of Microsoft back in 1996 before “google” as a verb ever existed in the English language.

The recent changes by Google to their search algorithms as discussed in a recent blog, otherwise known as the “Panda” or “Farmer” update means that high quality content is now more important than ever as to how your website is ranked by the search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Some of you may be planning to launch your own blog or wondering how to develop the right kind of content on your website to convert your website visitors to customers.  Here are some top tips to think about when considering your online content strategy.

Those companies that have not started their social media roll out plans are those most likely to see their websites overtaken in the unpaid search rankings by those that have.

The numbers of fans and followers and popular ranking of your content is going to be become more important as readers want these indicators to guide them to the best quality content.

Here are some practical tips to improve your website content:

1. Content Planning and Consistency key

Ensure that you have a content plan with the key themes you are going to cover in your blogs at least a couple of months ahead and allocate people to them.  Suggest that weekly is the minimum frequency for a blog as consistent delivery is key to building your readership.   It’s important to check your Facebook insights to see what you can learn from your fan profile to help with your content planning. You can also tailor your Facebook posts to focus on fans from a certain city or country to make them more relevant.

2. Pictures speak a thousand words

As blogs proliferate you need to give your content some “standout” so try to incorporate some imagery to build interest and impact. Infographics can be a powerful way to display data. Here’s an extract from a great infographic from Moontoast that I found on browsing Mari Smith’s top Facebook tips which you might also find helpful.

Infographic of Anatomy of a fan courtesy of Moontoast

3. Invite your customers to share 

You can reward your customers for sharing their experiences and stories. This makes for much more engaging content and builds trust as customers trust content more if written by people like themselves.

4. Reviews make a difference and are trusted more

You have a number of choices when choosing how to share customer reviews. You can integrate reviews from third party websites like Trip Advisor into your website or you can develop your own customer reviews.

5. Don’t forget the power of video

Many companies are recognising the power of video to build trust and engagement with your customers. They can provide a quick summary of why people should choose your services or destination

How many websites have you visited where it’s not clear on the home page exactly what the site offers? This is especially true in travel where the product is complex and you’re left with a few niggling questions about the holiday or trip before you want to book it.  Your competitors are just a click away so it’s important to get your visitors to the most relevant service, product or valued information as quickly as possible.  Short helpful videos of two minutes or less hosted on sites such as You Tube and Vimeo can really help to drive traffic.

6. Leverage the growth of smartphone usage

The power of mobile is the staggering 216% year on year increase reported by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on the use of mobile browsing in the UK.  Hotel groups such as Accor are recognizing the importance of mobile browsing as shown below.

Screengrab of Accor mobile booking options

The take up of smartphones has accelerated across Europe as shown in a recent blog with some top Facebook tips and is still growing by up to 14% year on year in Spain, so don’t forget to make it easy for customers to book and browse your content on the move. Remember to check how your Facebook posts look on a smartphone.

7. Importance of social icons

Those sites that have implemented “social sign ins” where the web visitor has been invited to “like” or “tweet” something on their web page and  have integrated “like” and “tweet” into every product in their shopping carts and on their emails are seeing big increases in web traffic as shown by recent L2 digital research results shared in a recent blog.

Recent research by Rategain and Revenue by Design showed that only half of hotels surveyed in 2011 are tracking the revenue of their social media activity so still lots of room for improvement.

Whilst companies are starting to invest in social sign ins, few have integrated customer social IDs into their customer database which will enrich their customer insights.

Want to know more?

If you want to learn more about how to develop your content to really differentiate your company or destination from your competitors then don’t miss the free “Content Counts”  WTM Seminar on Tuesday 8 November. Click here for more information on the seminar and click here to enroll for the show and your chance to win a his or hers Bally bag worth £850.  (View terms and conditions)

Do share your comments below on this blog and tell us what type of content has worked best for your website visitors. If you found this blog useful, please tweet, “like” or “share” the link below or email to your colleagues.

We look forward to hearing from you. What type of content is king for your company?

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