I often ask people, “How often would you return to Facebook if your newsfeed showed the exact same information every time you visited?” Let’s say you visit Facebook in the morning and they show you certain posts from your friends. You go back to Facebook in the afternoon and you see the exact same posts. The same thing happens in a week, and again next month. How often would you return? Seldom, if ever, right?
Then I pose the question, “What makes you think your site is any different?” If every time a potential customer visits your site and nothing has changed for weeks, months, or even years, what possible reason do they have to return?
The simple truth is, your site is no different than Facebook. That’s why all major sites like Amazon, YouTube and others constantly update their sites. Oftentimes, these sites not only frequently change their content, but they personalize it for each person who visits. These sites are dynamic in order to attract and retain customers.
Yet, most small businesses are under the impression that they can just create a website and “it’s done.” Sometimes they only update every three or four years! Is it any wonder that you aren’t getting traffic to your site?
To delve deeper into this topic, I recently conducted a survey and verified these results. 84% of respondents said they visited Facebook either more than once a day or several times a week. But business sites were visited “Never, Seldom, or Occasionally” a whopping 92% of the time. This proves that sites with frequently updated content are visited more often.
You hear top marketers say things reminiscent of Gary Vaynerchuk: “The more content I put out, the luckier I seem to get.” I’ve even heard Gary V. say you need to post 100 times per day! And it’s not only him who believes this is the key to success; Bill Gates once wrote an essay, “Content is King”. With approximately 1.94 billion websites in existence, the only way to get noticed is through fresh content published on a regular basis.
So, you decide to put out a ton of content, yet all you hear is crickets. As a result, you give up and stop spending so much time creating. You’ve got better things to do, right? If no one is engaging with your content, is it worth it?
Have a Strategy
The answer is yes, but you need to know where to start.
To pull yourself out of this funk, the first thing is to make sure you have a strategy. Most marketers have no strategy for creating content. They just post whatever they want, whenever they want, which makes it easy for readers to ignore your posts.
Consistency is crucial if you want to be successful online. You most likely aren’t publishing often enough. When it comes to uploading content, quality usually beats quantity. But, if you’re only posting once a month, you’ll struggle for any real attention.
That said, don’t confuse readers with a sales pitch. Your content shouldn’t sell, it should inform. You’re trying to build trust with your content.
There’s another important reason to produce content for your website, even if few people are consuming it: it makes a huge difference to your search engine placement. Content doesn’t have to be a blog. It can be a meme, audio files, videos and all the other stuff you like to post on social media. Just put it on your own website so that your site gains credibility instead of doing all this work for someone else’s site (such as Facebook – they get enough attention!).
For example, let’s say you’re selling a gourmet food product. You should create weekly content telling people how to use your item. Provide a new recipe each week. Teach them how to make a great meal using your product. Interview customers who came up with creative ways to use what you’re offering.
The fact of the matter is that you must keep going and putting out new content. Just don’t expect to see results overnight. I’ve seen first-hand that it often takes months or even years to gain a following.
Keep Visitors Interested
Next, make sure you keep people on your site. Most websites practically beg people to leave.
In the past, you’ve probably been told to make your content scannable. However, this is about the worst thing you can do if you want people to spend time on your page. Think about it. How long does it take you to scan an article? Instead, you want to give the perception that your content is scannable.
Most readers try to skim marketing content rather than investing the time to read it. They look for the points that stand out, such as subheads, callouts and images to get the gist of your article. If your reader can successfully do this, there’s no reason to actually read it. You obviously don’t want that.
But if your article is a wall of text, it’ll look like too much work, and people won’t read that either. What you need to do is give your content the appearance that it’s scannable and use those elements to draw readers in.
For example, I frequently use Click to Tweet callouts to get people to keep reading. Subheadings are also a good way to break up long blocks of text and make your article appear easier to read.
Remember, if you want visitors to return to your site and stay for 20 minutes or more, you need to follow other leading websites’ examples. As Tony Robbins likes saying, “success leaves clues.” Emulate the leaders and produce a ton of content. If you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, get others to create content for you (again, much like Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, and other leading sites do.)
Come to think of it, this is a guest post, so I just created content for this site – you can do the same!