In this digital world, businesses that don’t have a website are losing out on important revenue streams and connections with potential customers. A study from HubSpot found that consumers connect most strongly with companies they’ve found online, particularly if those companies also have a strong physical presence. In fact, consumers are 72% more likely to visit a business they’ve found online vs. one they’ve discovered in person.
This trend shows that being found is more important than being known. As a business owner, you have the ability to build a trusted web platform that can be used to reach consumers wherever they are. But it takes a bit of work to figure out where you should host your website and how to make it useful.
Hosting Versus Publishing
There are two primary options for where to host your website: internal or external. With internal hosting, your website content is stored on a server inside your organization, which means that all of the software and databases are under your control. This hosting option is generally recommended for small businesses since it’s easily managed. (You don’t need a team of people to operate a server that can host your website.)
External hosting is where your website content is stored on a third-party server, which you must have permission to access. This hosting option is recommended for businesses with more resources since it provides the flexibility to grow your organization as you see fit. (You don’t have to worry about upgrade fees or the technical burden of maintaining a server.)
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and it’s what we use at BuzzSumo to power all of our sites. What makes WordPress so special is that it’s highly customizable and offers a huge selection of free themes and plugins. (The latter make it much easier for non-techy users to manage their sites without getting overwhelmed.)
WordPress also has a very large and active user base, which means it’s got lots of resources available for those who want to use it. If you’re looking for a reliable platform that’s easy to use and has plenty of support, then WordPress is the ultimate solution.
What About Domain Names And Web Hosting?
Your website’s domain name is how your audience will find and connect with you online. A great tip is to find a name that is both memorable and has the sound of quality. (This will inevitably help your SEO.)
You’ll also need to decide whether you want to host your website yourself or find a reliable web host that offers email marketing, website backup, and security as a service. (If you do decide to go the DIY route, keep in mind that you’ll need to have a basic understanding of web hosting concepts. You can use WordPress’s built-in automatic installer to get up and running quickly.)
To help you figure out what type of content you should publish and where, here are some key metrics to consider:
User-Generated Content Is On The Rise
According to HubSpot, 68% of consumers globally want to discover content that’s relevant to them, rather than constantly being pitched marketing messages. (This statistic accounts for mature demographics like Gen Z and millennials who are likely to prefer content that they’ve discovered themselves.)
Businesses that want to stay relevant must start creating more content for their audiences. But not all content is created equal, so you must decide what type of content is valuable to you and your customers.
User-generated content can take many forms, including videos, infographics, webinars, and blogs. (Content that isn’t user-generated is typically expensive to create and can be a bit of a time commitment since you’ll have to develop your own marketing materials. This content may also rely on paid sources for its content, so businesses that want to remain independent must prioritize this type of content as well.)
If you want to find the sweet spot where your customers live, you need to start creating content for them. Start by asking yourself questions about your customers’ lives and what they want to learn about your products or services. Create content that will help them find the answers they’re looking for.
Mobile Is The New Desktop
Desktop computer users account for a tiny proportion of web traffic compared to mobile users. However, as the device of choice for accessing the internet, mobile use is increasing rapidly. (Around 94% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices now, compared to 77% from desktops.)
If you want to stand out amongst your competitors and drive sales, you must ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and accessible on all platforms. (This includes desktop PCs, mobile phones, and other digital devices.)
The type of content you create for mobile devices will impact your SEO rankings. Since Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites, you must make sure your website’s content is accessible on smaller screens. Ideally, you want to create content that’s designed for smartphones since most web traffic now comes from mobile users. (It’s also a good idea to test your site’s mobile friendliness before you publish new content since any changes you make may require a new version to be released.)
Where Do I Start?
Once you’ve decided what type of content you’ll create and where you’ll publish it, it’s time to start brainstorming topics. You don’t need to have a solid list of topics ready; simply start coming up with ideas and jot them down. (If you find yourself struggling to come up with content ideas, consider hiring a content strategist who can help you develop an editorial calendar and plan out content.
As you flesh out your plan, be sure to factor in keyword research to determine which topics are likely to bring in the most traffic and, therefore, the most value. After all, nobody wants to read about your product or service if they can’t find it easily on Google!