Blogs by date "03/01/14"
The foundational value of a website is largely determined by the quality and presentation of its content (such as the nature of the copy, media, graphics, and images.)
Ultimately, giving visitors a solid sense of purpose that answers the question "why I am here?" can help position your online brand as a legitimate, trustworthy, and enlightening resource.
Whether via SEO or other inbound marketing strategies, the righteous path to realizing success online is through your content. It's essential to create user-centric content (whether via blogging, crafting landing pages, or designing the homepage) that resonates with your audience on a meaningful level.
Furthermore, awesome content can actually earn your site valuable links. This can play a huge role in driving higher keyword rankings for SEO and keeping your online business thriving.
Below we share a series of tips and techniques you can use to inspire brilliant ideas for your content strategy.
Incubate & Empathize With Your Target Audience
The first step of the planning process is putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Learning exactly what your target audience likes, laughs at, and loves, (although difficult sometimes) can generate some of the best ideas for content creation.
A good approach is to chat with your existing clients to get an idea what jives with them. In short, pick their brains on what forms of content will spark their interests and captivate their attention.
Engaging with your target audience is key to learning more about their tastes, perspectives, and preferences. For instance, after publishing a blog post, try ask questions (whether in the blog post [depending on how many readers you anticipate] or in the social media posting when sharing the content.) Not only does this help generate feedback, but it enables you to interact with your audience on a deeper level, thus instilling your brand deeper into their subconscious.
Consistent communication with your clients and prospects also helps to establish long-term relationships and higher levels of trust. If you're regularly seeking the feedback of your clients, it sends signals that you truly care.
Dive Into Research & Read Up
One of the best sources for inspiration are other successful ideas. This can be in the form of research or other articles published throughout the web. Using these resources can help you get generate valuable ideas and facts to share in your own words (or imagery via video or graphics.)
Here's an example: fitness guru Ben Greenfield has created a massive following and a prominent online brand by diving into health-related research studies. He shares topics of interest on his blog and podcasts, which organically grows his audience and cultivates sincere followers whom of which are loyal.
In addition to reading up and researching other related ideas for content creation, finding good studies or articles provide excellent pieces that can simply be shared via social media. Not only does this give you something good and tangible to share with your audience, but by sharing other authors' (or influencer-generated) content, these powerful individuals might befriend, like, follow, or encircle you on their social media accounts. These are meaningful connections that can later be of incredible value for your content strategy.
Stay Current & Up-to-Date
Dovetailing aspects of your content strategy on news and current events is also a solid means to create link bait-able content. Often times, busy marketers don't have the time to visit and explore websites and other sources of news and events. Using an RSS feed, Google Alerts, or Talkwalker are great solutions to be shown content that relates to specific interests you can define.
With these alerts and feeds, you can notified whenever something relevant and important comes up. You can then take timely action to re-purpose these happenings into your own content.
Think Locally. Execute Globally.
Producing content that favors a local audience is highly effective in engaging specific in-market users. However, in order to draw the interests of larger audiences, you need to develop and share content that can be absorbed by people of diverse cultures.
For example, if you operate a website that provides natural health supplements, you can find relevant news of local interest to cover, but also tailor your content to also be relevant on a grander scale. Just a hint of locality in your content can spark a connection regional prospects and customers (but you also want to respect the entire clan.)
Don't Forget to Serve Existing Clients
As much as expanding the client base is the primary goal of most businesses, it's important never ignore existing clients. In fact, it's equally important that your currently clients are happy, loyal, and satisfied with your product or service.
Be creative and come-up with ways to reward your current clients. This can be as simple as a social media shout-out or even deeper by offering incentives or discounts on their investment with your company. The objective is help them feel appreciated, which can lead to repeat purchases and, most importantly, referrals.
As you can see, generating user-centric content should be..... well... user-centric. In other words, deliver value to your website visitors and don't obsesses about the links. If your content is truly awesome and resonates with your audience on a meaningful level, the links will come, naturally.
Top 5 Ecommerce-friendly Platforms That Offer the Best Web Designs
Design, layout, and overall aesthetics of a website are some of the most important considerations that go into an ecommerce business. There are numerous ecommerce-friendly CMS (content management system) platforms, and some offer better web designs than others.
Whether you support a large-scale retailer or a local store seeking an online presence, finding an ecommerce platform with the ideal web design is key. In this article, we share five ecommerce-friendly CMS platforms with the most creative selection of web designs.
Shopify is a versatile platform that makes it simple to establish both large and small-scale businesses. It's an easy-to-use CMS with a wide variety of modern and clean web designs to choose from. Shopify's designs are cutting-edge, yet simple, and all layouts are intuitive and easy to navigate. Design customization to the might not come easy to basic-end users, however Shopify does provide a dependable and well-supported ecommerce platform.
Shopify is a fully-hosted platform offering complete packages and 24-hour support. Without worrying about these additional website needs, ecommerce entrepreneurs can concentrate on running and growing their online business.
BigCommerce is also a fully-hosted ecommerce platform that is user-friendly for most business owners. BigCommerce comes with over 100 free web design templates to suit various styles and sizes of online stores. The platform is also supported by a network of skilled web designers who are available to create custom made designs for unique needs.
In addition to offering a wealth of design options, BigCommerce is well-known for its simple, yet complete, analytics platform. Online store owners and marketers can see detailed reports based on a number of different performance metrics. This platform also makes it easy to feature special coupon codes and gift certificates.
3. Exponent CMS
Although its not the most popular ecommerce-friendly platform available, Exponent CMS is an open-source, SEO-friendly CMS that showcases a wide variety of attractive web designs. Centered around online stores and deep inventory management, ecommerce merchants can take advantage of a complete platform that's supported by a number of resources.
In addition to its online community, Exponent CMS is supported by web design and development company, OIC Group, Inc. So if you're interested in a custom web design for your ecommerce stores, this team of Peoria web designers can tailor a unique design based on your needs. Additionally, Exponent sites can be hosted via OIC Group, in addition to a number of other web-based services and consulting programs.
4. Square Space
Square Space is emerging as one of the best ecommerce platforms for small-to-medium sized business owners looking for simple yet highly professional web design. Square Space offers beautiful looking web templates that are ideal for creatives (like interior designers and photographers) who want to feature portfolios of their work on the website. Square Space is intuitively programmed for seamless inventory management, allowing online merchants to upload thousands of products, configure sales taxes, and other back-end features of store management.
Since 1999, Volusion has been recognized as one of the pioneers in top ecommerce CMS platforms. Supporting its solid reputation, Volusion offers a huge selection of solid web designs that range from creative and elaborate to modern and contemporary.
Volusion is an affordable platform for small businesses that are starting out. It is a hosted ecommerce solution which comes at a price of $120/month, but that includes the complete package. This enables a standard business owner to comfortably run a medium sized store. Additional features and capabilities also make this ecommerce platform ideal for medium sized stores that might require greater functionality and capacity.
Ecommerce CMS platforms are incredibly popular for all types of online stores. In addition to niche and local businesses, many ecommerce platforms support national big-box retailers. Be sure to choose the platform that offers excellent web design capabilities and the right set of options.