What do you look for when you send a link to someone else or link to a web page on your blog? If you are interested in having other people link to your business website, you need to think of what you – or, more importantly, your target customer – might find valuable. Good content can be found in a web search and is more likely to be shared between friends and business associates. Here are six things that your content should have in order to be easily referenced and shared.
Something unique. For example, nearly every mortgage company has a calculator that lets you estimate what you can afford to pay each month. You’re probably not going to share a tool or resource that many similar companies have. But if you run across something you’ve never seen before, such as an article with 10 tips on how to make sure you’re getting the lowest mortgage rates in your county, you might share that with others.
Keep it professional and related to your business, though. A video of cute kittens doing tricks might be fine for a pet store, but not for a electrical supply store.
Something valuable. What knowledge do you have that others would love to have? I had a chance to have coffee with Melissa Thompson, who owns On Call Heating and Air with her husband. What would be interesting about buying a new furnace or heat pump? As it turns out, lots. Melissa gave me some tips on how to evaluate proposals for a new furnace, which can be extremely varied from company to company, and what questions to ask in order to be able to compare the proposals accurately. Think about what people want to know in your industry – ask some friends or other business people to get some ideas.
Something relevant to your network. If you’re at a networking event and talk to someone interested in golf, you might later send them a link about how to choose a golf instructor. If your friend says that her family is thinking about remodeling their master bathroom, you might send them a link to the “before and after” online portfolio of a company that you’ve heard does good work. Your website content doesn’t have to be gimmicky to attract this kind of attention; it simply needs to be relevant and easy to scan for information.
Think quality over quantity. The benefit to having educational content related to your business is that it’s most likely to be found by people who are seeking answers, services or products that they might pay you to provide. A viral video or article is great, but only if it attracts quality leads. Which would you rather have: 10,000 visitors with only 2 becoming customers, or 10 visitors with 5 becoming customers? You need to attract your target customer, not everyone under the sun.
An updated site. If the site looks like it hasn’t been updated in many months, it might make me think that your resource isn’t current. If you have a great resource that gets visitor traffic, consider updating it every six months to a year with fresh information.
While you’re at it, make sure your site is professional. Questionable advertising, inappropriate or irrelevant content, etc., may make people look for another online resource.
Make it easy. Give people options for sharing content. Let them email it to a friend, share it on their social networks or bookmark the page – all from your site, with the click of a button. You may not have 400 people re-Tweet an article on selecting the best bird food for fall, but you want to make it simple for the 40 people who have a strong interest in birds to share with their like-minded friends.
In short, think like a customer. What do they want? What are their worries about buying your product or service? What additional information can you give them? If your target customer likes what you have to say, they’re more likely to interact with you and to share your website with others who have similar interests.