About the Author:
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants
and the International
Association of Computer Professionals,
develops products that help computer professionals market
and manage their businesses.
She is author of
Run a Successful Computer Training Business,
Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business
Your Sanity in a Home Business.
also develops business plans, marketing strategies,
financial projections, & proposals for Internet
projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients
an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.
lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children.
C.E.S. Business Consultants
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed 5 Ways to Build Web Traffic. In that article one of the traffic generators was to keep your site's content fresh. Sometimes that's easier said than done. Does it really help to add new product literature or change the wording of your sales pitch? No, that's not what we´re driving at. The key is to add value -- repeatedly and consistently. How do you do this? Here are a few ideas:
- Write a periodic editorial or article about your industry that will appeal to your visitors. This could be comments or insights on your industry. Include a picture of yourself (or the editor). People like to know "who" you really are. Adding the personal touch with a photo gives people a more secure feeling about the person with whom they are dealing. It builds trust.
- Add informative tips or tools that visitors can view or download. This could be in the form of an article library or a software download library.
- Get others to write your content in exchange for promotion on your Web site. To find qualified writers, subscribe to several e-zines that relate to your industry. Watch for good articles and contact the authors about writing for a web site and/or newsletter. It's common to "pay" on-line writers with links to their e-mail and Web addresses. Some sites even offer a banner ad to those who provide regular content.
- Purchase ready-made articles. You can also purchase ready-made libraries of articles that relate to your industry. For example, www.ideamarketers.com offers copyright use to business-related and computer-related articles.
- Offer industry news. You can do this by researching happenings in your industry and writing summaries and/or commentaries.
A big time-saver for locating relevant industry news is the NewsTracker Clipping Service available with "My Excite" - http://my.excite.com. This can be customized to bring you news stories and links to articles that match keywords that you provide. This is an excellent resource for doing content research.
If you don't have time to summarize the news, you can compile a list of relevant articles by topics and link to these from your Web site. This saves your visitors time and makes your site a launching point. The downside to this is that visitors leave your site once they click on an article or news story. You have to have a strong site that makes them want to hit the "back" button to come back for more. You can use frames to keep your site ever present, but from a design standpoint, the use of frames is not recommendable.
If you have the funds, you can go a step further and purchase content from content providers who feed timely news stories directly to your Web site without you having to do a thing. Some services that do this are www.reuters.com or www.interestalert.com. These services help to keep people on your site because they feed the news directly into your Web site.
Finally, once you've started making periodic updates to your site, make sure you let your visitors know about it. Have a simple form for collecting e-mail addresses of those that would like to be notified of changes to your site. You can keep track of these e-mail addresses yourself, or you can use a mail list service like www.listbot.com or www.mail-list.com.