How to Build Site Traffic with Compelling Content
Introduction to Web Content
Selecting a Web Content Provider
Current Awareness Solutions & Content Syndicators
Imagine you meet a couple at a dinner party –
let’s call them John and Jane Doe. It quickly becomes apparent
that John’s favorite topic of conversation is himself: his
background, his career, his kids, his golf game –
you get the picture.
Jane, however, is completely different. When
you mention what line of work you are in, she seems to have an
instinctive grasp of your industry. She knows about all the
major players and happenings, and has useful, interesting
tidbits of information to share. Some of her observations
confirm your own knowledge, but others stimulate new thoughts.
Jane talks about herself only when asked.
Which Doe sounds more interesting? (I’m guessing Jane.)
The same principles apply to your Web site. Of
course, your site has to provide information about your
company to visitors looking for that: your services, your
company background, your office locations. But to attract and
engage qualified new visitors, it needs to offer something more:
valuable content that both helps the visitor and positions your
company as the expert in your industry.
Here are 12 ways to attract site visitors with compelling
1) News feeds: No one has time to
monitor all the various sources of industry intelligence.
Publishing an aggregated news feed on your site lets you provide
your visitors with virtually all of the important news in your
industry in one place. You don’t need to generate original
content (although the feed provides an excellent source of
research material if you’d like to); just set your search
parameters carefully and then let an automated current awareness
solution do the rest. Services such as
offer customized news feeds based on your specifications.
2) White papers: Still popular with
both marketers and prospects, a well-written white paper subtly
positions your company as an industry or technology expert,
while providing useful “how to” type information to the reader.
According to white paper guru
Michael Stelzner, white papers “have become a common tool
used to introduce technology innovations and products…(and) are
powerful marketing tools used to help key decision-makers and
influencers justify implementing solutions.” You can write the
white paper internally (if you have the right resources), hire a
freelance writer, or have the white paper authored on your
behalf by an analyst group or recognized industry expert. This
last option is the most expensive, but also has the greatest
3) Directories: While directories of
various types abound on the Web, creating a high-quality
directory can still make your site stand out and add value for
visitors. Most Web directories are incomplete, obsolete (i.e.
full of dead links), and limited in scope. To create a directory
that has value – as opposed to just a page of links – you’ll
need to first search out as many existing directories on your
topic as you can find, to assure that yours is the most
comprehensive. (Tip: online bookmarketing services such as
or Diigo are
very helpful in compiling and organizing your list of links.)
Next, think about how you can add value by including original
content (such as review or description of the product, service,
company, site, or organization) and/or linking to related
content (such as industry ratings, analyst opinions, financial
reports, related news, blogs etc.). Finally, monitor industry
happenings to keep your directory up to date.
4) Stock quotes: If your directory
includes a lot of publicly traded companies, use a service such
QuoteMedia to add an instant link to stock price and
performance graphs for each listing. You can even create and
track your own index of stocks, or enable site visitors to
create individualized portfolios of watch companies.
5) Quirky characters: A creative way to
provide useful content on your site, while creating a presence
that stands out from the crowd, is to use a quirky character to
deliver helpful tips and information, like the Epipheo duck.
6) Blogs: Business blogs are rapidly
increasing in popularity, as evidenced by a spate of recent
books such as
Blogwild! by Andy Wibbels,
Publish and Prosper by DL Byron, and
Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright. Blogs are easy to create,
less formal than other forms of communication (such as
newsletters), interactive, and naturally search engine-friendly.
7) Webinars: Essentially PowerPoint
presentations delivered online using a
web conferencing service, webinars are an increasing popular
way to present educational and white-paper-like content. They
are common in the technology industry but underused in many
other market segments. Webinars give your message the combined
impact of audio, visuals, and interactivity. However, they do
tie your audience to their computers for 30-60 minutes, whether
the webinar is viewed live or recorded.
8) Podcasts: Audio podcasts can be
almost any length and can be used for a variety of purposes,
from creating an interest-generating "teaser" to an audio white
paper. "Podcast" is actually a misnomer; these audio segments
should be called "netcasts" as most executives listen to them at
their desks. While podcasts lack the visual component of
webinars, they give your content wings, freeing your recipient
from their computer; once downloaded to an MP3 player, a podcast
can be listened to on a plane, in a cab, while working out --
virtually anywhere. While you can record a podcast using various
software packages or web services, unless you're an expert, it's
best to hire a podcasting expert such as
Provident Partners to edit out the pauses, "ums" and "ahs,"
and otherwise assure that your podcast is produced and promoted
effectively and professionally.
9) Reports and statistics: These can be
a great traffic draw, but unless you’ve got a very sophisticated
internal research staff, they will have to be produced
externally. Fortunately, in most industries, there are
independent research firms, analyst groups, and publications
that will be happy to produce “sponsored” reports for a fee.
Marketed similar to white papers, reports and statistical
summaries can both draw traffic and serve as an
10) Regulatory updates: In certain
industries (finance, law, healthcare, insurance), keeping site
visitors appraised of regulatory developments and changes is an
effective way to position your company as an industry expert and
draw repeat site traffic. Information is available from
governmental and private sources, such as
LexisNexis, as well as from industry trade associations.
Obviously, duplicating an industry association study would be a
copyright violation, but such organizations are generally
appreciative if you 1) present a summary and major findings of a
study or regulatory update on your site, 2) identify the
industry group as the information source, and 3) link back to
their original presentation.
11) Book reviews: (Almost) everyone
knows they’d be smarter if they kept up with the latest
best-sellers on the business list – but who has the time? Making
the time for members of your staff to not only read these books,
but also write synopses/reviews of them on your web site,
provides a double benefit: a wiser staff, and an intelligent way
to draw qualified web traffic.
12) Write your own book: Reviewing
books is a smart way to attract site visitors, but writing your
own book can be even more powerful. B2b sales and marketing
experts such as
Brian Carroll and
Jill Konrath have written books that fuel interest in their
services. Sales trainer Duane Sparks funds much of his marketing
effort from sales of
his books. And professional services marketing guru Mike
Schultz has published a
two-part report on the business impact of writing a book
along with a guide to getting published.
The bottom line is, to draw more qualified web
traffic, make your site less like John Doe and more like Jane
Doe. Make it a source of interesting information that your
clients and prospects care about and can use. Emulating the
second Doe will attract more bucks to your business.
Introduction to Web Content
Selecting a Web Content Provider
Content Providers, Current Awareness
Solutions & Content Syndicators