Websites have come a long way from the standard brochure-style sites of the past. Websites now have the capability to be engaging and interactive -- and it's these sites, known as "sticky" websites, that tend to keep visitors around and coming back. It's possible that many of your competitors still feature the standby, brochure-style site offering essential information on an attractive (or unattractive) background. Adding a little engaging content is all it could take for your website to stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to ramp up your content:
- Host a blog. Your blog can be hosted on your domain, or on a free platform, like Wordpress or Blogger. It's generally a better idea, from an SEO perspective, to host your blog on your own domain, because the constantly updated content and any links that are attracted will boost your site's rankings. If your website is designed using Wordpress or Joomla, hosting a blog within your own domain is easy. If you have an HTML site, you may need the assistance of a web developer to set it up, and if you don't want to deal with that, you can simply sign up for a free Wordpress or Blogger account and link to it from your main website.
- Feature articles on topical content. Many website owners make the mistake of providing information related to their business, but not their industry. People browse the web searching for information -- give it to them. The more keyword-rich content your site has, the better your search engine positioning. And guess what? The next person looking for information on "paying for assisted living" could come to your website, have their question answered, and learn about your facility in the process.
- Let your visitors make your content viral. Use a service such as Add This to create buttons for your visitors to share your content (all that topical content from #2) on Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and more. If your content is good, your visitors will literally build backlinks for you while driving traffic to your site.
- Don't be afraid to link out to relevant sources. Linking snippets of your content out to relevant, reputable, and valuable resources isn't bad. Many website owners get hung up on the importance of inbound links and become fearful that outbound links will hurt you. Choose your outbound links carefully, with the mindset that your goal is to provide value to your site visitors, and link only to relevant pages. Outbound links to the appropriate sources can actually help establish your credibility and authority.
- Link your content to relevant pages within your own website. This practice makes it easy for your web visitors to quickly navigate around your site as they read and look for information. If one of your pages is optimized for the key phrase "activities of daily living", and you use the phrase in another article, use the phrase as anchor text and link it to your optimized page. Links from within your own site don't carry as much weight as links from another website, but they don't hurt you, either.