October 7, 2009 – In the quest for driving as much new traffic as possible to your website, there has been some debate about video versus text content. As much as people would like a clear favorite, the truth is both are great and necessary elements for the success of a website.
Right now, online video is the fasting growing medium out there. Billions of online videos are watched each month by over 160 million U.S. consumers, and a great online video can drive loads of traffic to your website. But what happens after they get there? If you don’t have any content to back up the quality of your video, the traffic just clicks away without contacting you or purchasing your services.
Content is the backbone of your website. It is your voice, even if you have a video of yourself speaking on your website. People will watch your 2-4 minute video introducing yourself and your business, or showcasing some of your products or services, but they still need to read information on the website itself. They aren’t going to remember everything you said and they aren’t going to replay the video a dozen times to get the specifics of your services. They need relevant web content they can bookmark, reread, and compare with other information online to make an informed purchasing decision.
To give you a retail analogy, I used to work as a Marketing Coordinator for a brick and mortar store in San Francisco that also had a very large online presence. When we wanted to increase sales, we would occasionally throw large parties in the store. We would advertise the parties through our website, email blasts, traditional advertising in newspapers, fliers, the whole shebang. Then the night of the party would come and we’d get 300-500 people in the store in a few short hours. When the customers arrived at the party, the in-store sales employees would mill around behind the counter in private conversations, not offering to assist potential customers or just outright ignoring them. At the end of the party, the sales would be average or marginally higher than normal. It didn’t matter how many people were in the store if no one was selling them anything.
The point? An online video can drive thousands of people to your website, but if there isn’t any meaningful, informative, and relevant content there to help them, they’ll leave without buying anything. Your web content is the customer service on your website, it needs to inform customers, answers their questions, give them the statistics and prices and procedures, etc. they need to feel comfortable buying a product or service from you vs. the other guy selling the same item/service at the same price.
So go make a video! And then place it on a relevant content page that further explains what that video discusses. Your new customers will thank you for it.
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