If you have been following my blogs and podcasts, you would have heard me say (dozens of times) that Search Engines love fresh content. Even more importantly, so do your site visitors. Nothing entices a visitor to return to a website than the knowledge that each time they return, they will find something new to read or explore.
As a website owner, the downside of this expectation of new content is that it can be very time consuming to create that content. You do have a business to run and if you spent all your time creating “free” content to entice people to your site, then the business is obviously going to suffer. What can be done? In this podcast, we will discuss how you can create the illusion of new content to keep those clients coming back until you can get new content online. Please remember that some of the solutions shown are not suitable for a long term replacement for actual new content – so keep the hate-mail to a minimum please….
1. RSS / News Feeds
RSS feeds have been used for a number of years to allow the automatic syndication of content across many websites. You have probably seen the RSS Feed button at the bottom of news stories and blogs but have been unsure how to use it effectively.
Basically, a publisher (blog owner, news organisation, etc) will allow you to display their content for free – pretty good huh? It will be automatically attributed to its parent site however it will be displayed within the framework of your site. All you need to do is copy the provided code onto your site (or your web designer can do it for you). You can also grab a number of RSS feeds from a variety of sources.
This is a fantastic way to get quality information on a regular basis delivered automatically to your website. Make sure that the content feeds that you subscribe to are relevant to your core business. One note: a danger with automatically displaying content is that you don’t have any control over what is displayed. Make sure you keep an eye on the content to ensure the integrity that you try to convey with your business is maintained.
2. Facebook / Twitter Feed
I have spoken at length about this one in a previous podcast so I will just touch on it here. Set up your website so that any updates that you make via your company’s Facebook or Twitter account are automatically displayed on the site. This will save you time. If you post information, a status update or a link once, you shouldn’t have to repeat the process for each medium. If your site is based on WordPress, there are a multitude of plugins that will (if setup correctly by your designer) display the updates as an integrated part of the web page.
You can also grab social media feeds from other sources such as employees, suppliers and partners.
Automatic content doesn’t get any easier.
3. Random Post Displays
This is another one that can be set up very easily with the use of WordPress plugins. Use the multitude of older blog posts that you have in the archives of your website to your advantage.
Through the use of a randomiser that selects a blog post at random, display a different post each time a visitor lands on your front page. Make sure that you allow the date to be omitted so that visitors don’t know that they are reading a blog post from 2006
Some may look upon this as a form of cheating however if you have quality posts in your blog, you might inadvertently uncover some gold for your clients without any effort at all.
For a pictorial type of “fresh” content, set up a slideshow on your site that randomly selects images from the gallery to display. You can do this either as a continuous slideshow or simply display a key image on your front page whenever a visitor arrives.
To ensure that visitors have less chance of seeing the same “random” image over and over again, make sure that your image gallery has a wide selection of piccies to choose from.
5. Ghost Writers/Blog Guests
My final tip, unless you are very lucky to have one in the family, involves employing a “ghost” writer or guest for your blog. This tip is the only one that we are talking about today that has content created specifically for your website but comes with one inherent danger – whoever you employ to write for your site, be aware that they are not intimately connected to your business like you are. They don’t have the same passion that you have and this may be evident in some of the pieces that they write. Be very careful about using this last tip as, if it is not monitored carefully, it could “blow up” in your face.
There you have it, five tips to get fresh content displayed on your site without actually creating the content yourself. Please remember that these are only stop-gap measures that you should only use when you cannot find the time to get new content out there on a regular basis. Do not, whatever you do, set up these systems as a permanent measure. Your site visitors will eventually notice.
That’s the lot for this episode of the Website Marketing Series from Rusty Mango Design. Thanks again for joining me on this marketing journey and I really hope you have found some gold nuggets of information that can help your business website gain some serious visitor numbers! I look forward to talking to you again next time. See you then!