I’ve decided to start up my own business. “Yay me!”
It’s quite exciting being your own boss and having control over your working day, but there’s one thing I didn’t think of when I started this…
What exactly do I do, that other people don’t, that’s “valuable”?
I thought about this and I’ve decided that I optimise content.
Well, not quite because now I have to ask myself “What does optimising content mean?” and “How does optimising content add value?” Big questions for someone who is launching her own company!
So I sat down, a comfier and more long-term solution than thinking on my feet, and mulled it over.
Let’s open Door Number 1
Optimising content, on the surface, means making the ‘words on the page’ of a website better, ie:
- Easier to read and focused on the message of that page
- Consistent in voice and tone and matching the corporate style guide
Always a fun task, but what value does it add to the company that owns the site?
Sadly, when you’re running your own business, money and ‘value to the client’ have to be your drivers. Fun is important, but it does have to take the passenger seat.
OK, so we’re optimising content but what are we achieving?
Well, editing content on the page and making it easier to read, and focused, helps customers understand what the page is offering. Customers who understand what a site is offering are more likely to transact with that site.
One point to optimising content.
Batter up, let’s go for two points!
It’s a comfortable feeling when a web page matches other company publications. The page and the other publications feel like they are part of the same message.
Customers feel like they’re dealing with one entity. This helps them feel confident about what they’re reading. A confident site visitor is, again, more likely to transact.
Two points, we’re doing well.
But is that all there is to content optimisation – tidying up page content?
As I explored the question, I came up with a number of other content-related improvements that we can make to a site that go way beyond the words on the page.
How would you like to improve the SEO ranking of a page?
Align the terms used to describe that page to the right keywords and watch the page move up the rankings.
Do you want more people to complete a form?
Look at the words on the form – the instructions, field names, error messages and button labels – are they simple and easy to understand? Make the message easier and more people can make it to “Submit”.
Are the navigation and internal site search up to scratch?
Maybe the words used to label and describe pages could be better? Match those labels and descriptions to the terms customers search with and they have a greater chance of finding what they’re looking for.
What about site management, is it tricky to find the right site assets in the CMS?
Yes, you can optimise content in the CMS. Get the names and descriptions of site assets – the metadata – right and they’ll be quicker and easier to find.
We’re really racking up those points now.
So what is content optimisation?
It’s finding and improving the language and labelling of all content across a site:
- Words on the page
- Page titles, names, navigation labels and in-page links
- Form field names, instructions, error messages and button labels
- Meta data – the words that label and define each site asset
And now to Door Number 2 – how does this add value?
After opening Door Number 1, this seems like a rather silly question, doesn’t it?
If you review and improve your content, navigation, site search, SEO, form completion and the assets used to build a site… that’s gotta add some value?
Let me think… surely it will:
- Increase the number of people coming to a site
- Simplify the journey through the site
- Improve the experience of the site
- Increase the number of conversions on the site
- While making the site easier and more efficient to maintain
Now the only question is “How do I spread the word?”
So…. my company is F Two and you can find it at www.ftwo.com.au 🙂
And speaking of optimising content, I’m about to optimise the stuffing out of it, so do drop in and let me know what you think of it.
Those of you of the canine-loving persuasion may enjoy the dog metaphors soon to arrive.