Content marketing cakeWebsites are a lot like cake (stay with me here). In order to bake a scrumptious sponge, you need to include all the right ingredients, in the correct quantities. And it’s the combination of each individual ingredient that results in culinary success. Similarly, it’s the combination of ‘ingredients’ (pages and sections) on your website that makes it a success.

Let’s continue with the cake analogy (because hey, who doesn’t like cake?). Imagine, 30 minutes in to a 40 minute bake, you realise you forgot to add the baking soda. You hesitantly take a peek into the oven and see that your cake looks exactly how you now feel – deflated. Mary Berry would not be impressed…

There are six essential ingredients to a quality SME website. So long as you remember all of them, generating interest around your brand and attracting prospective customers will be, well, a piece of cake!

1. A homepage that defines your business

When a user lands on your homepage they want information – and fast. If the page doesn’t accurately or effectively describe your business’ products and/or services, then you’ve just fallen at the first hurdle.

The ‘accessibility’ of your website is in part judged on how easily users are able to find the information they’re looking for. Thus, your homepage needs to give them answers, or at least navigate them to where they can find those answers.

There are two questions you need to ask yourself: 1) will users understand how my business can solve their problem? 2) will they know exactly where they can find the solution to their issue? If the answer is ‘yes’ to both questions then you’re on the right track.

2. Contact information

You’d be surprised at the number of websites providing inaccurate or outdated contact information – telephone numbers with digits missing, email addresses of employees who left the business two years ago, etc.

When uploading information on your Contact Us page, double and triple-check that everything’s correct. Provide as many contact options as possible, including postal, telephone and email, as well as links to your social accounts (which we’ll get to in a moment). If details change (for instance if you move offices) you need to update the information immediately and inform your customers.

3. A meaningful About Us page

The ‘About Us’ page is a big deal and its importance shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly when you’re a smaller business competing against companies that have years of experience and an extensive client base. The About Us page is a chance to sell your business, to tell your unique story and win the hearts (and therefore custom) of the people who read it.

The About Us page is a chance to talk about your company’s background, but also introduce your team behind your company. And these personal profiles need to be, well, personal! Don’t talk about the fact that the company manager is a self-confessed workaholic with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Instead, write about their hobbies and interests – what sports they play, what their favourite film is or what’s on their bucket list.

Trust plays a vital role in the buying process and the About Us page helps build that trust. It breaks down communication barriers and shows the personal side to your business.

4. Testimonials

The power of word-of-mouth is undeniable. If a couple of customers have given you a 5* review – whether it’s via email or on one of your social media pages – do not let it go to waste! Ask their permission to include their comments on your website as testimonials, which will add credibility to your business and help to further build trust. Better still, if a few customers are willing to step in front of a camera (perhaps in exchange for a branded freebie), a testimonial video is one of the most credible forms of brand endorsement.

5. Social links

Your online presence should be like a giant web with everything interlinking (after all, that’s why it’s called the World Wide Web). This means that each of your social accounts should be integrated within your website. For a simple yet professional look, add a social button bar to your homepage so users can easily check out your business on Facebook or Twitter.

6. A quality blog

Last but by no means least, the final ingredient to your show-stopping recipe is a quality blog! And when I say ‘quality’ I mean industry-related, engaging, original and thought-provoking. I mean a blog that’s updated regularly, that is expertly-written and contains no sloppy errors.

Mastering the art of blogging will do wonders for your small business. Sharing your insights with the world (via your social channels) will help you to assert yourself as an industry leader and will help generate much-needed consumer interest in your business.

By the way – M2 Bespoke are a team of content marketing experts. So, if you feel like you need a hand creating a top-class content marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to give one of our friendly team members a call.

Ben Hollom

September 4, 2015