This article was taken from this month’s 43rd issue of Scope Magazine, your online marketing resource guide for small business. Download your FREE Scope Magazine now!
Your website content sucks.
That’s painful to hear, but it’s also probably true. But you’re not alone. Most small business website content sucks.
It’s badly conceived, poorly written, boring, and – worst of all – ineffective.
The good news is, you can make it not suck. It’s not even that hard. The most difficult part is evaluating your content with a critical eye and acknowledging that it’s not working. Once you’ve done that, it’s within your reach to create compelling and persuasive content that will get results.
Signs That Your Content Sucks
Your content probably sucks, but how can you be sure? Here are seven signs that your content isn’t pulling its weight.
#1: It’s Stale and Old
The first sign that your content isn’t up to snuff is if it hasn’t been updated in a while. Look at your website. Is your content:
- Out of date?
- Been the same for more than a year, or years?
These are all signs that your content is staler than last week’s loaf of bread. Google prioritizes fresh content, and so do web users. Your content must be updated regularly to stay relevant.
#2: It’s Not as Good as Your Competitors’ Content
The second sign that your content needs refining is if it’s not measuring up to your competitors’ content. You should be looking at your competitors’ sites and social media pages regularly, so you know what they’re doing.
If they’re blogging and you’re not – or if they’ve recently revamped their website – your stale site isn’t going to be able to compete. It’s time for considering an update.
#3: It Doesn’t Clearly Define Your Unique Sales Proposition
What’s so special about your business and what it has to offer? If your content isn’t doing a great job of identifying your USP so that prospects know why they should choose your product, your content is letting you down.
One of the key jobs of online content is to differentiate one brand from another. You can’t expect people to buy your products unless your content gives them a reason to do so.
#4: You’re Not Using Your Content to Generate Leads
Is your content helping you attract new site visitors and get them to opt-in to your list? If it isn’t, that’s a sure-fire sign that your content sucks.
It’s rare for a prospect to visit a site and make a purchase the first time. It requires repeated contact with a brand to convert a lead into a paying customer. Your content should be compelling enough to get people to give you their email addresses to get it – so you can follow up and nurture them.
#5: Your Content Is a Snooze
You might know a lot about your niche. You might even be the most knowledgeable person around – but it won’t matter if your content is boring.
A lot of entrepreneurs post regular blog posts that are effective only if readers are looking for a cure for their insomnia. Your blog posts (and all your other content) must be highly compelling, entertaining, and useful if you want people to buy your products.
#6: You’ve Omitted a Call to Action
What do you want people to do when they visit your page or view your social media content? If it’s not obvious, then the chances are good that they’re not doing it.
You’d think by now that every entrepreneur would know the importance of including a call to action in their content – and yet, a lot of them don’t do it. Every page (and every post) must have a compelling CTA that tells the reader or viewer what to do next.
How to Create Content That Doesn’t Suck
At this point, you know your content sucks. But what can you do about it? That’s the million-dollar question – and the good news is, there are some very easy things you can do right now to improve your content and improve your results.
- Audit your website and identify stale content. The first step is to review every page of your site and identify content that’s old, out-of-date, irrelevant, or stale. It may be that every page needs an update.
- Make a list of your top competitors and review their websites and social media pages. What are they doing that you’re not? Which content is getting the most engagement? Take notes and don’t be afraid to use their content as an inspiration for your own.
- Evaluate your branding and make sure you know your USP. It should be your guiding light as you revamp your content. Every piece of content you create must speak to that USP and make it clear to new and repeat visitors.
- Create a content plan for your website. What do you need? Can you create it yourself or do you need to hire a pro? Web design is easier than ever before, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a professional designer. You should also consider hiring a professional writer.
- If you’re not already blogging, start a blog – and come up with compelling, relevant topics that will appeal to your target audience. Remember, you can look at your competitors’ blogs for ideas.
- Create a lead magnet to generate leads. A lead magnet is usually a piece of long-form content that you give away to get people to complete your opt-in form. It might be a whitepaper, eBook, or case study. The key is to make sure that it’s valuable to your target audience.
- Make sure every page of your site has a CTA. The same goes for your social media posts. Nothing you post should be without a CTA – and the more directly relevant it is to your content, the better off you’ll be.
These seven tips can help you upgrade your content and give your target audience something that’s relevant, valuable, and entertaining. You’ll be able to collect leads – and convert them – if you follow these steps.
One more thing…
The final key to creating content that doesn’t suck is testing. Very few of us can create perfect content on our first try. Testing your content will help you fine-tune it until it’s generating leads for you every day – and that’s one thing you can’t do if your content sucks.
Check out the 43rd issue of Scope Magazine here:, your online marketing resource guide for small business. Each month we will be covering topics that resonate with local businesses just like yours. Our goal is simple. We want to enable you to do big things online, and it all starts by breaking down the complexities of marketing your business online.
It doesn’t matter if you’re are just starting out, or an established business owner in your local community, you can always benefit from increasing your brand’s visibility online.