Notes from my Spring Fair seminar: 14 tips for creating great retail web content #SF
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After sharing my practical tips on creating a great retail website at last year’s Autumn Fair, it was a pleasure to be invited back to the E-commerce and Social Media Stage at the even bigger Spring Fair – many thanks to everyone who came along to my seminar this afternoon!
If you were there, you’ll know that my talk wasn’t about e-commerce expressly, but about web content – the words, images, information and inspiration that tell potential customers about you and your store, whether or not you’re actually selling online. For an online store, interesting content, such as blogs and articles, helps to entice people in and make your site more appealing to Google. Equally, if you’re a high-street shop, useful and quality content on your website – from opening times to news stories – can drive footfall by raising awareness of and interest in your business.
So, to recap, here’s a summary of my 14 key tips:
Tip 1: Get a website for the right reason: Understand what it can do for your business, and be prepared to invest time in keeping it fresh and interesting. [read more…]
Tip 2: Do your planning: Think about the messages and values that you want the site to communicate. [read more…]
Tip 3: Buy the right domain name: It’s an important part of your brand, so choose carefully, keeping it simple and logical. [read more…]
Tip 4: Make a great impression: Remember, your homepage is your shop window and the first thing customers see. [read more…]
Tip 5: Don’t forget the basics: Remember to include the all-important details that allow people to contact you, find your shop, and learn a bit more about your business. [read more…]
Tip 6: Write content for humans: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) isn’t rocket science – like humans, search engines love content that is original, relevant and well written. [read more…]
Tip 7: Check what you write: Make the right impression by ensuring that what you write reads really well and is free of mistakes. [read more…]
Tip 8: Don’t rely on static content: Enliven your site with fresh and interactive content that will encourage customers – and Google – to keep coming back. [read more…]
Tip 9: Blog about your passions: Be informative, distinctive and chatty, and convey the personality of your shop. [read more…]
Tip 10: Stand out by using video: It can be a creative and engaging way to showcase your business. [read more…]
Tip 11: Integrate social media: Make it easy for customers to stay in touch – link to your social networks and make your content shareable. [read more…]
Tip 12: Use images creatively: Generate search traffic and make your website more visually appealing by using original images. [read more…]
Tip 13: Analyse and tweak: Keep an eye on the analytics and make sure that everything on the site continues to work as it should. [read more…]
Tip 14: Plug at every opportunity: Be sure to cross-promote your website wherever you can – such as on your shop fascia and printed materials. [read more…]
The good news is that much of the work involved in creating and maintaining great website content can be done yourself – indeed, there’s usually merit in what you publish being authentic, and having a tone of voice that reflects the personality of your shop and brand. At the same time, however, it can often be useful to have a second pair of eyes look over your content, or have a helping hand to get you started on Twitter or blogging.
Fortunately there are plenty of people out there who offer affordable online marketing support – including a tailored-for-retail version from my CannyInsights.com business, of course! – so do feel free to drop me a line if there’s anything I can help with.
Remember, what you invest in your website is time and money well spent if it helps to create customers who love your business and buy more of whatever you sell.
My retail consultancy business, CannyInsights.com, helps retailers with many of the tasks highlighted in this blog post, including critiquing websites’ appearance and usability, creating and improving web content, proofreading web copy, and helping businesses get to grips with social media. For more information on how CannyInsights.com can support your business, visit www.cannyinsights.com, drop me an email, or give me a call on (0191) 461 0361.