Working on web content with independent dealers, we frequently run into two problems. Either the content is dead and hasn’t been touched for years or else, the content has been patch-worked together and has grown into an incoherent monster. Fortunately, there’s a way to directly address both of these two problems and its name is WordPress.

Bring-Your-Website-back-to-LifeWordPress is very simply a platform on which you can build a blog. Why all the fuss? Because you can build a fully-functioning website and a blog integrated together on one site. To see why this is critical, you have to know that the use of blogs is exploding.

Research has shown that the top three reason people go to the web are 1) for information, 2) communication with others and 3) entertainment. Blogs encompass all three.

In addition, Google loves blogs because they are chock full of relevant content. If a search engine doesn’t deliver relevant content—as opposed to paid advertising—it will soon be out of business.

Over 80% of web surfers skip the paid ads at the top of a search engine result because they want the unpaid “organic search” listings where blogs thrive. It is estimated there are now over 150 million blogs.

The time is just around the corner when a business without a blog will be looked at the same way a business without a website is looked at now.

Blogs have excellent findability—searchable content about your particular expertise. Prospects browsing the world’s largest yellow pages, the web, or driven there by marketing materials and social networking, find your blog. And while reading your useful information they find that they are right in the middle of guess what…your website, with your full brand surrounding them and your navigation waiting to help them learn more and to buy.

A well-executed blog helps a website mimic the traditional sales process: exposure > expertise > engagement > credibility > affordability > purchase > satisfaction > recurring purchases.

And if an Integrated Blog is not enough…
WordPress has an easy-to-use dashboard for entering your content. Set up correctly, it is easier to use than Microsoft Word. Programmers say that the free WordPress dashboard would cost $5,000 to build from scratch.

You don’t have to compromise your design but can import your present graphics. Our designers build and insert all types of imaging including complex motion graphics.

Finally, WordPress is written in open coding and that means thousands of programmers are right now designing widgets and plug-ins providing functional upgrades for your website.

For example: interactive calendars, inexpensive shopping carts, do-it-yourself SEO, rotating endorsements, unique sliders and who knows what else on the horizon.

Meet Frankenstein
We recently took on a client whose website was so totally dysfunctional, we called it Frankenstein because employees had been sending additions to their webmaster and no one was in control. By the time we got to him, Frankenstein had amassed 989 pages, patched together using antiquated software and rather than generating business, it served as a horrific bottleneck to gaining new customers.

After going through a Branding Map process to establish their identity, core strengths and credibility, we began to put together relevant, exciting content.

We cut out all the fat and kept only the content with the most branding and marketing muscle. We placed the new content into a re-designed WordPress site with some motion graphics and a couple of unique widgets. We put Frankenstein on a crash diet that took it from 989 pages to a slim, trim 20.

We organized the integrated blog into a library of “support and inspire the customer” articles, categorized according to the company’s areas of expertise and we started driving customers to the new Frankenstein using updated marketing materials, e-blasts and social marketing centered on the blog.

The result: Frankenstein enjoyed instant popularity. Interest picked up in all product lines. Analytics showed that phone calls and “web hits” increased 40-100% depending on the product line. And the business enjoyed an overall 360% increase in converted buyers—by far the most in the company’s history!

Even if you may not have a Frankenstein yet, here are three ways you can build content that can actually help your sales effort:

  1. Rebuild or Convert Your Website to WordPress. This will re-organize your site and naturally divide your content into relevant marketing support on your home and core pages. You will naturally categorize your deeper material into a useful library in your blog. Your web will be much easier for new prospects to grasp and for existing clients to go deeper.
  2. Cut the Fat, Keep the Marketing Muscle. Let your brand take the lead. Develop a focused, lean website based on your brand promise, expertise, strengths and credibility. Make your home page a “genius simple” sales support tool that your prospects will enjoy using. Cut out awkward, keyword loaded copy (keywords matter but overloading will actually get you penalized), cute or irrelevant lifestyle stuff, shaggy dog stories about your company, antiquated material, anything you could do but don’t—you get the idea. Emphasize the many ways you differentiate.
  3. Actively Participate in Your Website. Ever had a great idea at 3 a.m.?. With WordPress you can add text or a blog post and it will be on the site by the time your head hits the pillow with no more Web Master in the way. Google rewards original content from different authors. Be actively involved. Even if you are too busy to blog and farm out your blogging to companies like ours, we see better bottom line results if the company marketing leaders contribute and are in control of the content.

The bottom line:  With WordPress, you can build brand based, relevant content and put an end to seeing dead content or a Frankenstein-like website scare away your customers.

Brand well and prosper!

Andy Cleary

(This article was also featured in the August issue of the Independent Dealer Magazine)

Andy Cleary

Andy Cleary

Founder & CMO at Orbit Design
The founder of Orbit Design, the Branding Map Process, and co-author of “Genius Simple Branding” and “Salt”, Andy Cleary has been working with independent businesses for over 30 years. He has branded businesses ranging from business products companies, to universities, to international airport designers. His focus has been on how branding drives sales.
Andy Cleary

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