What do companies do nowadays to make their web sites stand out from others? What’s the real “secret sauce” in web design?
Many business leaders are convinced that new forms of data visualization are the way forward. They believe in the power of flash animation and infographics.
It’s true that the visuals and classy themes and overall graphic design layout make a difference — but it’s also a mistake to ignore the quality of content.
Those who read more deeply into what’s happening in today’s marketing world understand that there is a trend towards meaningful, investigative long-form content. With that in mind, companies that follow yesterday’s playbook — simply setting up a five-point website with landing page, about us, contact, products and services and a blog, may not be doing themselves any favors.
Adding Long-Form Thought Leadership Content to a Site
In addition to the above generic site layout, having long-form pieces and articles does a number of things.
First, it gives the core audience that real industry data that they crave. People want to read about real things on the Internet, not just surf through endless pages of fluff. Companies that reveal some industry secrets or explain confusing ideas to consumers can see their online and off-line traffic increase.
The long-form comment is also a key indicator that the site has something to offer. Even people who don’t read resources like white papers, e-books or digital guides can note the inclusion of these items on the site, and make their judgments about the company’s standing in its markets. In fact, some companies put news pieces behind pay or registration walls — which may or may not be a great strategy for showing customers what they’re about. Do you want your customers to read the long-form pieces – or are they just decorations?
Using Thought Leadership Content
In fact, the “wall” question is a good example of key decisions business leaders will have to make about this investment in thought leadership. In general, long-form content doesn’t belong on the landing page — so where does it go?
You can choose to sit your thought leadership pieces behind a pay wall or registration wall, or you could house them somewhere in a menu directly off of the landing page. You can also surround them with compelling photos and other visuals that keep web users engaged as they navigate your site.
All of this is part of what you might call a “Web 3.0” approach that moves a business from the 1990s and early 2000’s into the evolving virtual dynamism of today’s digital marketing world. Ask WebSubstance about how to really upgrade your site for today’s audiences and position you as a thought leader in your target market.
WebSubstance can help. We excel at offering companies the ability to create better and more interactive websites with pro photography, content management and other key services. Ask us about setting up one of these thought leadership websites, connecting it to social media, and ranking high on search engines.