Is your webpage full of wonderful content but lacking the readership? While content may be king, it is important to keep in mind other aspects of website creation in order to generate the most success. Aside from strong content, you will also need a solid design and exceptional marketing to get the most out of your new venture.
By learning how to utilize these three aspects of online business, you will be able to finally get the following your website needs to thrive in our virtual age.
The Royal Family of Website Presentation
Content is king
In order for a website to be successful, it needs to have quality content. First and foremost, people want to be moved, entertained, or even sold on a quality product. While flashy pictures and an attractive background may help, they are only secondary means to the end. Even with upgrades in design, content continues to reign as king due to its importance in providing readers with the information they need.
Image credit: Bigstockphoto
The most sought after content is that which provides something new and easily digestible to its audience. While interesting content sells, it still needs to be understandable to a large enough audience in order to produce profits. It also helps to have wit and humor sprinkled throughout in order to remain relatable and entertaining. Some examples of profitable content are entertainment, reviews, and commentary on current events. If possible, try to make lists to help your content sell. Top 10 lists are very popular and will allow your readers to easily skim through the content.
Design is queen
With content as king, design is able to reign as a nice secondary queen. Make no mistake, the king and queen need to be together in order to rule the kingdom. With your webpage as the kingdom, content and design should blend beautifully together into a nice and elegant union. The content may be the most important aspect, but the design helps to enhance your page in all of the right ways.
Image credit: Bigstockphoto
It is important to take note of user experience (UX) in order to enhance the navigation of your site. While the trends in responsive design are worth taking note of, site functionality is the key to keeping your readers engaged. Your site should be easy to navigate and without avant-garde frills; if they can’t find their way around, they won’t stick around. Keep your site-map and links simple to help guide your users through your webpage.
Your design may be minimalist in order to allow viewers to focus solely on your content. You may utilize colors, artwork, and other post-modern designs in the hopes of creating a unique and memorable experience. As long as the design matches and does not overshadow the content, you will have a nice symmetry that attracts and keeps users.
Meet the new prince
You’ve met the established king and queen, and now it’s time to meet the new prince: marketing. Marketing is the third and important part of establishing your website for long term success. Without marketing, people will never be exposed to the website you’ve created. While you may get a few people stumbling upon your site, you will fail to get the views your business needs to thrive in today’s virtual economy.
Image credit: Bigstockphoto
Bad content + good design + good marketing =…
If you have a beautifully designed webpage with a strong marketing campaign around it, then you are sure to get an initial rush of hits. People will hear of your site, and then will stay for a short amount of time due to aesthetics. However, they will most likely not stick around due to a lack of quality content. Over time, poor content will fail to keep them excited about your website. No matter how flashy and grand your graphics are, your content is what will keep people begging for more.
Good content + bad design + good marketing =…
While it is crucial that you have strong content to emotionally affect your audience, it is still not the only ingredient necessary in making a hit website. You can have amazing content combined with exceptional marketing and still have be missing an important piece of the puzzle. While content is still king, you will need a well designed website in order to enhance the content.
A website needs to have a design that enhances the content in the best ways possible. If a design is lackluster, cheap, or mismatched with the content, then audiences may lose trust in the author or owner of the site. The design needs to show people that the website is reputable, well maintained, and that the owner cares enough to keep it interesting. Failing this, visitors will not be able to entirely connect with the website no matter how enticing the content may be.
Bad content + bad design + good marketing =…
If you have bad content and distasteful design, then it doesn’t matter how hard your marketing team works. Sure, it may get a few hits or an initial rush of curious visitors, but it won’t get you subscribers or a following. One of the keys to successful internet businesses is maintaining a trust and kinship with your audience. In order to do this, you need to have the king and queen fully functional before the prince makes his move.
Examples of the holy trinity in action
You don’t have to look far to see cases where the holy trinity has helped a site to make profits and grow a following. As one example, look at the comedy website www.cracked.com. While this website is known and visited primarily due to its comedic and controversial content, it has utilized design and marketing in order to be one of the best in its class.
Cracked has been focusing on its content from day one, yet it has been able to upgrade its design and marketing in order to stay ahead and keep its readership growing. In terms of content, Cracked makes sure only to publish articles by writers that they have chosen according to their standards. While readers may not enjoy every article they stumble upon, they are likely to find something in their niche to keep them coming back.
With design, Cracked has generally utilized a modest theme in order to enhance the content on the website. With a white background and a magazine-style layout, Cracked is able to stay distinct without ever being overbearing. In response to reader feedback, the website upgraded to a more secured format to enhance the comments feature. This is an example of a website listening to its audience and upgrading accordingly.
As for marketing, Cracked features links for social network sites at the left side of every article. This allows users to instantly spread their favorite articles on popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. This is free marketing for Cracked, and it allows them to be seen and read by thousands without any extra effort on their part. All they need is an entertaining and memorable article, and then their fans take care of the rest.
How to market your content without spamming
As we’ve seen with the Cracked example, it is important to let your content do the marketing for you. It is ideal if you let the ideas spread organically through sharing, linking, and reposting. While this is the most ideal form of marketing, it is not always possible for newer websites.
In order to get your content seen, you should initially market it to the applicable target group. You will need a base following in order to spread organically, and you must first focus on building that group. You can do this by paying for ads on related websites, or you can use SEO techniques in order to utilize Google search results.
You can also use more modern approaches to advertising. Instead of waiting for a following to share your stories, you can do it yourself on sites like Reddit or Facebook. If you can create a discussion around a topic on your site, then you will have curious readers exposed to the rest of your site as well.
By understanding what makes a webpage advance, it is now time to unite your king and queen with their new prince. Make sure to keep each aspect of your website up to its fullest potential in order to see results. With strong marketing techniques and a fulfilling design, you will be able to ensure the success of your original content.
How to gauge your site’s success
By following Google analytics, you can map the current traffic stats of your site. If there are ever long periods of dipped traffic, then you may want to increase your marketing efforts. It is ideal if your traffic grows steadily over time. You can also gauge how long the average visitor spends on your site. If most visitors explore your site and read numerous articles, you will have a greater chance of building a strong base.
Finally, you can gauge the content of your site by tracking the comments and resharing rate. If there is a comment section on your site, then check to ensure that the feedback is positive. If there is a discussion forum, then check to ensure that the discussion is civil, productive, and inviting. As for the re-sharing rate, you should see how many visitors are coming through second-party sites like Facebook. If your visitors are sharing your site with their friends, then you can enjoy the thrill of free marketing!
Final Food for Thought
It is important to look objectively at your work to see its strengths and weaknesses. Does your website have a synergy of king, queen, and prince? Which of these three aspects do you find to be most important in achieving success? Try and think of examples where all three meet in an exceptional way. You can also think of ways where a site has lacked either design, content, or strong marketing and was still successful.
By keeping these three techniques in mind, you will be able to see internet marketing in a whole new way. Utilize these new techniques in order to get your website seen today!