There’s one universal truth when it comes to populating your website with content: it’s going to require a significant investment of time and resources. That said, when you invest in the right place you’ll have a positive impact on your visitors, business, and its bottom line. Invest in the wrong place and you won’t do anyone any favors.
To ensure your content creation efforts aren’t squandered, we recommend taking the complete content approach.
Why Complete Content?
When you fill your website with complete content, you clearly communicate your brand message and have a positive impact on your visitors. This, in turn, allows you to build lasting relationships that’ll keep customers coming back to your site. It also makes sure they keep doing business with you.
Incomplete content does the exact opposite. It conveys an incoherent message and leaves visitors feeling like they’re missing something. They may also regret wasting their time on your site.
Let’s take a look at what complete content is, why it’s important, and what you can do to start creating it.
What is Complete Content?
Complete content is website content that provides users with the exact information they need to know. It also gives them the ability to take action based on their newfound knowledge.
To achieve this, your content should:
- fully inform
- inspire action
Any content that doesn’t accomplish both these goals is incomplete content; incomplete content is a waste of time for everyone. You waste your time creating it and your readers waste their time trying to interact with it.
Complete content is thoroughly researched, comprehensive, and created in a way that covers the nuance of a larger topic. This content can be compiled on a single page or across multiple pages on a website using internal links.
Typically, this type of content combines well-written text with:
- other informative types of media.
It also needs to accomplish a wide variety of important tasks such as being:
- well thought out
- intentionally structured
- easy to read
A combination of these factors gives those interacting with it practical ways to take action.
Why is Complete Content Important?
The majority of content we come across on the web is incomplete. Oftentimes, it was written without much thought. It partially achieves its aim overall, but could definitely do better.
Unfortunately, it makes sense that there’s so much of this junk out there. We’re all busy and many don’t have the time to sit down and do the legwork. Instead, we publish a half-baked effort and hope our audience likes it and maybe does something after interacting with it. Then, we rarely go back and do anything to ensure our content is performing.
On the other hand, complete content sets great content marketers apart from the masses. Those doing content marketing right use a complete content approach. Those using it also reap the benefits in terms of more traffic that actually converts.
How Does Complete Content Work?
Information is power. Complete content empowers your visitors by giving them all the information they might want to know about a particular topic. It explores the nuance of a large topic your audience is interested in. Complete content should answer customer questions and leave them feeling knowledgeable enough to make educated decisions.
Additionally, by answering your audience’s questions, you showcase your expertise and position yourself as a trusted authority and resource that customers can rely on in the future.
There are two ways you can inspire action with complete content:
- You can inspire visitors to take a desired action on your site.
- You can inspire visitors to pursue actions that’ll keep them coming back to you as a trusted resource.
Whether you’re generating revenue through products or services, or via ads on your site, getting your audience to rely on you as a trusted resource will pay off. But first, you have to give them the knowledge and confidence to feel informed and inspired to take action.
Examples of Complete Content
Diet Doctor provides dieters with guides to help them start and maintain various low-carb diets. They make their money selling subscriptions to their diet guide services.
How it Informs
This piece of content breaks down the complex topic of how to get started with a ketogenic diet. It tells, and more importantly shows, readers everything they need to know to get started.
How it Inspires Action
First, it gives readers the knowledge they need. It then gives them the ability to sign up for a free trial, establishing the site as a trusted resource
REI is an outdoor recreation equipment retailer with multiple locations across the United States. They also have a massive eCommerce presence. They make money by selling outdoor equipment in their stores and online.
How it Informs
This content breaks down everything people need to know in order to go backpacking. It covers everything from food, to what to pack, to what kind of backpack to use.
How it Inspires Action
It allows readers to easily buy the backpacking gear they’ll need, book a backpack fitting session in a store, download useful checklists, etc. It also guides them toward other useful content that will help inform them before they set out into the woods.
DollarSprout is an affiliate marketing website/blog that makes money by reviewing and recommending various financial products to its readers.
How it Informs
This content lists an impressive number of ways readers can make more money without going into an office.
How it Inspires Action
This article links to dozens of places that people can go, sign up, and make money. Plus, every time someone clicks on one of those links and signs up, DollarSprout gets a commission.
How to Create Complete Content
There’s a simple process you can use to create complete content. Use it as a checklist, ensuring you check off each step. The end result will be a great piece of content that informs your readers and encourages them to act.
Get to Know Your Audience
If you don’t know who your website is talking to, it’s probably talking to no one. When you don’t know exactly who your audience is, you aren’t able to answer specific questions, inspire customers, or effectively communicate with them.
Start by identifying your target audience. What drives them? What’s preventing them from realizing their goals? What issues can you help them solve? What topics are they interested in learning more about?
Research The Questions They’re Asking
Once you know your target audience, you can figure out what kind of topics they’re trying to learn about. You need to step into their shoes. Start reading the blogs they read, listen to the podcasts they listen to and use websites that are important to them.
Once you identify their areas of interest, research questions surrounding your audience’s topics of interest. Use tools like Answer the Public and BuzzSumo to find out more. Compile a list of all the questions your audience has and start answering them.
Educate and Inform with Helpful Solutions
The best part about the Internet is that it’s full of solutions for our everyday problems. And typically, our most trusted resources are those that help us navigate those problems.
Complete content allows your target audience to solve their problems. Build content that’s rich with media, highly useful, easy to interact with, and most importantly, engaging. Go deep into the topics and leverage your expertise by providing value with:
You need to spark the curiosity of your readers and keep them interested throughout an entire piece of content, or through multiple pieces of content.
Make it Easy for Them to Take Action
Remember, there are two main types of action you want people to take: actions on your site or actions in their lives that encourage them to revisit your site.
You can make it easy for people to take action on your site by including thoughtful instructions. Through calls to action, encourage them to buy helpful products, sign-up for newsletters, follow you on social, etc.
You can make it easy for people to take action in their lives, too. Provide them with resources that will allow them to easily take those actions. Give them checklists, step-by-step guides, other content to explore, etc.
When you inspire your audience to take action, you’re either going to convert them into customers or start building relationships with them. In the latter case, one day you may end up turning them into customer anyhow.
How Do You Know if You Have Complete Content?
You can figure out if your content is complete by looking at user engagement metrics in Google Analytics (or additional analytics platforms). These key performance indicators will help you discern whether or not your content is complete:
- Sessions – If your sessions number is a single digit, you’re doing something wrong. On the flip side, if it gradually grows, you know you’re on the right track.
- Time on page – If users visit your pages and spend mere seconds on them, you probably haven’t created a quality resource for them.
- Bounce rate – If visitors bounce from your site in search of better content, you’ve missed an opportunity due to incomplete content.
- New/returning visitors – You can expect the number of returning visitors to be much higher on your site when you have complete content. If returning visitors don’t increase once you start publishing, content might not be as complete as you think.
- Pages/session – If your content is incomplete, people visiting one page will take off to other sites for better answers. Complete content encourages people to engage with other content on your site because they want to see more great content.
Now that you know what complete content is, it’s time to start using it. Begin by going through your existing content and making sure every piece is complete. When you find incomplete content, improve it. Then make sure your newly created content also hits the mark.
When your content fully informs and inspires action, your business will gain your audience’s trust and keep them coming back for more.
Ready to go beyond complete content? Use this 10 step small business SEO checklist from Pathfinder SEO and get found in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.