How to Know When It's Time to Spend Money on a Web Content Overhaul
Did you know websites could die of loneliness? Unless your site is attracting qualified traffic, experiencing significant amounts of hits, publishing blogs that are being shared on social media and enjoying a profitable, digital marketing ROI rate, your company could find itself burying its site and saying good-bye--permanently.
The death of a website doesn't have to happen. Website analytic tools can tell you just how "sick" your site is by measuring hits, how long visitors stay on your page, conversion rates versus visitors and where your page ranks on search pages. Google analytics provides SEO reports that provide information necessary to determine whether your site is sinking or swimming like an Olympic gold medalist by telling you specifics like how many times visitors clicked on your site after querying, what words users typed in Google's search box to find your site and the average rank of your site in search listings.
What is the typical diagnosis given to dying websites with horrendous analytic outcomes? Ask any professional website developer and they will all give the same bad news— vague and boring content.
It's Time to Spend Money On a Web Content Overhaul When:
- The content on your company's website includes a sentence proclaiming "Happy New Year 2009" (or 2010, 2011…)! Unless you constantly update your site's content, your digital marketing ROI will tank.
- Articles on your site have never been formatted in paragraphs. In other words, your site's content is one big, formidable block of text that doesn't appear to have any punctuation. Reading "text blocks" not only drains all the energy out of visitors but also ensures they will never return.
- Your content is full of words but little information. Innocuously known as "fluff", this type of web writing is loathed by Google's search algorithm and even more unpalatable to impatient Internet users who want meaty, "zip-zing-zow!" content that doesn't read like an injection of Novacaine. Excellent examples of fluff can be found here
- Your website hasn’t had any new information added to it in years. Concise, informative articles and compellingly written blogs are necessary components of any successful website. However, readers only return to a site when they know something different will be waiting for them. List articles, tutorials, tips and advice blogs, infographics and interactive content need integrated with traditional website elements.
- Your content isn’t original. It never fails that website owners are always stunned to discover that content from their site exists on other sites. Try running snippets of your blogs or articles through Copyscape and see how many "dings" you recieve. Since attempting to stop plagiarism of your content is nearly impossible, the best thing you can do is stay three steps ahead of these lazy, unethical individuals and consistently replace your site's content with fresh, trending content. One of Google's main pet peeves is finding matching content on two or more sites. Their crawlers tend to avoid them like they have a highly contagious disease.
- You have way too much information on each website page. Can you scan each page’s content in less than two minutes? Is the content broken up into four or five-sentence paragraphs? Got bullet points? Got subheads? If not--get 'em! The phrase "surfing the web" wasn't coined because users were spending hours on one site, reading blocks of straight text word for word. It was coined because readers actually "surf" or skim webpages in their neverending quest for enlightening, entertaining content.
- The images on your site are low-quality and/or non-sensical. What kind of images do you have on your site? Are they relevant to the main ideas of your content or are they those annoyingly generic images of pretty people smiling while getting a root canal? Web users are exposed to hundreds of images each day that they have already seen on hundreds of other web pages. Additionally, some studies have shown that people read image captions first before diving into the content so it's vital that you use "deep captions" to attract visitor attention. Deep captions consist of two or three sentences that compel the reader to examine the rest of the content
- Your claims aren’t sourced or content isn’t properly credited. Finally, if your content contains technical or scientific information, do you provide links to support the validity of your information? Claiming that a Mongolian nomad roaming the Gobi Desert has found remnants of Noah's Ark buried in the sand makes fascinating reading but unless you link to the source of your info--peer-reviewed journal articles or .edu sites, for example--no one is going to take you seriously. In fact, making claims without viably backing up these claims may give your site a less-than-reputable notoriety that will be hard to erase.
If any of these descriptions apply to your site, it may be time to contact a digital marketing agency for help getting back on track toward a positive digital marketing ROI.