An essential guide to ongoing content needs for a new website
How to engage your readers with great website content that's optimized for search engines like Google.
Building a website is sort of like buying a car mid-road trip. You know you need it to get where you’re going (because for some reason the old one wasn’t cutting it), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the best position—or if all those bells and whistles you’re buying really matter when push comes to shove.
And that’s not even touching what it will take to get traffic and sales on your website. You’re still going to have to put gas in the thing, but what will that cost? And how often should it be maintained? You can think of content as the fuel, or maintenance on your website. The list of content-centric questions goes on.
To put an end to your new-website-smell woes, we’ve put together a “buyer’s guide” to making sure your new website gets the mileage it needs from the starting line. Check off the list, and you can drive your shiny new site to success!
Building & filling a digital footprint
You can’t do digital marketing without a website. It’s the engine that drives your brand to success—and unless you want to look (and feel) like the Flintstones every day with a prehistoric website, building a good website is a no-brainer.
And this isn't an exaggeration. Your website quite literally touches (or at least cascades into) your other digital marketing efforts.
So, neglecting your website isn’t a great idea—and doubly so for the content, you put on that website. It’s what fills in the rest of the mechanical aspects you need to get things moving, like the transmission, wheels, and countless other pieces.
“Any old content” isn’t good enough. It’s like taking your nice, new tires and replacing them with bald ones.
There’s an urgency to make sure your content is in good shape when a new website launches. The first time Google crawls your site, they’re going to try to figure out who you are and what you’re about. The content you create is central to that effort—and starting with strong content will help you take the lead.
To help you cut through the noise and drive straight to a winning website, we’ve put together three overarching categories you can use to prioritize your creative efforts. Start your engines!
Starting line must-haves
Okay, you’re about to buy the website—but you know your content isn’t quite ready yet. It’s time to go into “emergency buy” mode where you fill in the gaps with everything you need. In our case, it’s high-quality content, and we recommend four essentials.
Regular & engaging blogs
Blogs are the gasoline you put in the tank to keep your digital car humming along.
So there’s one question here: do you want the premium, clean and ready-to-rumble stuff, or the questionable, maybe-watered-down stuff?
That’s a trick question, of course, you want the good stuff! And when you kick off your website, you need a full tank. To keep up with the modern marketing ecosystem, we recommend new websites launch with at least 10 blog posts for a good starting archive.
Remember, generally, more content is better. But 10 is a solid foundation.
Long-form thought leadership pieces
Next on your list of must-haves is some thought leadership. If you’re not familiar, this is a piece of content where you try to be as comprehensive as possible about a single topic in order to help guide others.
If you think about it, this is probably what you do when you try to close a sale in person. You give the greater context, show benefits and weaknesses, provide statistics and expert advice for your product, and essentially “guide” the prospect to a sale.
The only difference is that you’ll be doing the process above on your website and in your content—and it needs to be long!
And it carries a ton of other benefits like more social sharing, better conversion rates, and improved authority for your new site.
We recommend building 3-5 of these pieces before you launch. Again, this will help give Google a good idea of your site at first crawl, so don’t skimp.
In-depth sales pages
Before you launch, it’s in your best interest to build out in-depth sales pages that help your prospective customers understand your product or service, get questions answered, and ultimately make an educated decision.
“In-depth” has some room for discussion though. Just make sure it answers these essential questions:
- Does this explain the product or service?
- Does this convey trust?
- Is it easy for people to convert?
- Does it portray the brand image accurately?
And of course, give the page time to see how conversions roll in and keep a close eye on engagement metrics like bounce rate and on-page times. If they don’t, you’ll need to tune things up and see where you can improve. Build as many as you need for your mainstay services.
Detailed product pages
Last but certainly not least, you want to make sure that your product pages are filled with descriptive, helpful content that ranks and converts customers.
Build as many as you need for your high-priority products. The more transparent you are, the more your buyers will love you for it!
This is where you get to thinking about how you preserve the life of your website—like that first car wash to get all the bugs off your bumper. Except, you want to improve on all the stuff in the section above.
We won’t go into as much detail here as above, but put these on your to-do list for the first 3-6 months after launch:
- Video marketing to increase time on page and engagement metrics
- Comprehensive pillar pieces for continued, demonstrative thought leadership
- Lead magnets to capture leads and facilitate sales conversations
- Category Pages (some inspiration, if you’re doubtful)
- Whitepapers for dual lead magnets & thought leadership in a different context
A new website is a fresh start. Whether you’re switching domains or not, it’s an opportunity to take stock of what you have, what you’ve always wanted (or needed), and what you can improve on from old content.
So at this point, this is where you’re tinkering with your site to improve and sustain your lead generation, conversion rate optimization, and traffic. It’s the regular oil changes and tire rotations of the digital marketing world.
Put these on your list for every 5,000 (metaphorical) miles:
- Product announcements
- Services news
- Content round-ups
- Revamps of the old content
- Secondary landing pages
- Additions on existing website content
- Case studies
Or really any other type of content you can think of. The world is your oyster at this point—all you have to do is take the wheel!
Hit the road
We get it. New websites are stressful, and you want everything to be technically perfect. Which, in B12’s hands, it will be. :)
But don’t let this stress divert your focus from content that greases the wheels and helps grow your brand. An engine without the car is just an engine.
Content is what Verblio does, and we’d love to help you fill out your shiny, new website with content that will bring traffic and convert. You’ve got the keys—let us point you in the right direction.
Kali Bizzul is the head of the content and marketing manager for Verblio. She’s as passionate about effective content marketing as Verblio’s platform of 3,000 U.S.-based freelance writers is about creating high-quality content for businesses and marketing agencies alike.
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