We talk a lot about how businesses should create content for their websites that is genuinely useful to their customers. “Buyer behaviour has changed,” we say: “their first port of call is the internet. They are not looking for you, they’re looking for answers to their business problems. You’d better make sure that your website is packed full of valuable information that answers their questions and positions you as the trusted resource they seek.”
It’s a compelling argument but does it really get results?
Here is a case study from professional services business development expert Ian Brodie. Ian’s experience shows you how powerful the ‘valuable content’ strategy for your website really is.
Ian swapped a traditional, corporate website for his current content-rich site with impressive results. Here is his story.
Ian Brodie’s new content-rich website gets results
“I decided to invest in a new website a couple of years ago. Like many business owners I was incredibly frustrated with my existing site. I’d stumped up quite a bit of cash for what I thought was a good looking website. I’d written compelling, client-focused copy describing the problems I had helped clients with and the benefits they’d get from working with me. I had testimonials, case studies, service descriptions – everything.
Well, everything except clients.
Almost no one came to my site (despite paying for some search engine optimisation work). Those that did visit didn’t hang around for long.
At the same time I was hugely enthusiastic about what an effective website could bring me. As a sole practitioner I knew that my time was at a premium. I was spending a lot of time working to win business by going out networking, pitching, presenting and meeting people. I knew that if I could just get my website working for me it could bring me in business while I was with clients, sleeping or having fun.
I already had a separate blog – just for fun really: an outlet for my desire to share ideas on marketing and business development. I noticed that my pretty scruffy looking blog far outstripped my professional website in terms of traffic, and in terms of the connections it allowed me to make with my potential clients and peers in my niche.
Because my blog had useful articles on it, other websites and blogs had no hesitation linking to it and highlighting my articles to their readers. When I used social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn I had somewhere to send people to read more useful information (rather than just promotional puffery about myself which never goes down well).
Visitors stuck around far longer on my blog. They made comments. Some of them even emailed me to ask questions. I emailed back and we began to build a relationship. This never happened with my corporate site.
I started getting emails from people asking how I could help them in their business. Clients were coming to me!
In the end I abandoned my professional, corporate website. I got the blog tidied up and put all the stuff about my clients and my services as sub pages of the blog. I kept the focus of the new site firmly and squarely on delivering what you call “valuable content” to keep readers engaged and coming back for more – and to get other sites linking to me to raise my google rankings.
And the results?
Thanks to this strategy I now get the majority of my clients via my website - and as I’d hoped, I don’t have to go out and trade my time anytime I need new clients.”
Have a look at Ian’s site – www.ianbrodie.com- not overly fancy in design, just packed with extremely valuable information, absolutely relevant to his target clients, clearly laid out.
The lesson that we can learn from Ian’s story is this:
The most important factor in website success is the quality and depth of its content
Valuable content really does help you sell.
How about you? Do you have any stories to share about the benefits of valuable website content? We’d love to hear them.
We too swapped our original corporate site for a blog-based one with content we hope is valuable at its heart. Here is our post explaining why: A new blog-based site for Valuable Content.
And here is our article on the 4 Pillars of a Successful Business Website: no prizes for guessing that ‘Value’ is the first on the list!
If you are looking for help with your business website – either with its content or your overall approach – we can provide objective assistance. Find out more about our valuable website services or get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.