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Add value to your website

Value added
NYT
A good blog should be like a newspaper site. News sites keep the content rolling so people will keep checking back in for the latest updates.

I read a tweet yesterday quoting usability expert Jared M. Spool that said “People think innovation is invention.  Real innovation?  Add VALUE where it didn’t exist before.”

When trying to upgrade their web presence, the first thought many jump to is “we need a new website.” The question is: are you making the most out of the website you already have?

Good content strategy can make your website much more attractive to visitors.  Adding features like a blog that creates value for visitors without heavy handed sales.

A good blog should be like a newspaper site. Imagine if the New York Times posted all of the stories for the week at once. You would visit the site, browse the headlines and check out a couple of stories. The next day when you visit the Times website, however, they still have exactly the same stories posted.  Chances are you aren’t going back a third time. News sites keep the content rolling so people will keep checking back in for the latest updates.

Keep people coming back to your site

Blogs allow you to keep the content on your site fresh if you roll out the content on a somewhat regular basis.  You don’t have to change the whole layout and function of your site, just provide people a reason to come back. This helps create a habit of checking your site to see what’s new.

The commitment on your end is to plan your content strategy—plan what you are going to post, and how often.  Thinking about what is valuable to your customers. This will also give you content to share via social media.

Who is this content for?

In his new article, Spool notes:

Steve Jobs once said, “You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Picking the right things to say ‘yes’ to is a careful art. One trick is to give yourself a lot to choose from. Saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things, like Jobs refers to, means you have to have 1,000 things to say ‘no’ to.

Just because you can add tons of bells and whistles to a website doesn’t mean you should do it. As mentioned previously, people confuse adding value with overloading a site with every option possible.

Always ask yourself these questions:

– Will this feature benefit most of my site’s visitors? Any addition is bound to appeal to someone, but think about appealing to as much of your audience as possible.

– Is this a feature I like or something my site’s visitors need (or both).

– Do the additions create real value? Are you adding items to your website that will keep people coming back or encourage them to share the site with their friends?  Is it appropriate to your brand?

Have you thought about ways you can maximize your website?  Please share in the comments!

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