5 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Content Creation Game

An essential part of any digital marketing strategy includes creating relatable and engaging content. Whether you’re just starting out in content creation or have been doing it for years, there will come a time when your content won’t connect with your audience the way you want it to. By understanding why your content isn’t hitting the mark, you can work to improve and upgrade it. 

These tell-tale signs that you need to switch up your content creation strategies will help you start understanding how to make your content the best it can be.

You’re repeating the same ideas in every blog

No one likes to hear the same thing over and over again. In digital marketing and content creation, persuasion is key. If you’re repeating the same things in each blog, you risk not only boring your audience, but making them less likely to reach out or come back to view new content.

Instead, try to hone in on a few simple ideas while providing content that will engage your audience.

Traffic is decreasing

Losing followers on social media, decreased engagement or low conversion rates can all be impacted by the content you’re putting out. If you’re seeing a decrease in traffic, it may be a sign your content is getting old. 

Trying out different content strategies and new techniques can be a great way to try and increase traffic and visibility. Even if you’re producing great content, it can still lead to less engagement if it’s not hitting home for your audience. Experimenting with different styles of content can help you upgrade your content creation game and promote engagement.

Your content is full of industry jargon and complex terms 

Relatability is a key factor in content creation. Chances are, your target audience isn’t limited to industry professionals – it’s everyday people. Using complex terms not only makes your content harder to read, but can make you seem out of touch with your target audience.

Although you want to highlight your achievements in your particular market, do it in a way that’s easy for someone with no industry experience to read. Explain complex topics in simple terms. You may want to consider creating a glossary for readers to refer to – like this blog on SEO terms.

Social media is great for content creation

Your social media and website don’t show a clear brand identity

Creating a recognizable brand identity is part of any good content strategy plan. If your content doesn’t show a strong identity, it will be harder for your audience to connect to. 

A brand identity isn’t just a catchy phrase or logo, either. Brand identity can include the tone you use in your blogs, a particular color scheme or anything else that sets your content apart from everyone else’s. Creating content that is uniquely yours will make sure you stand out in your audience’s mind. It may also help you attract a wider audience. 

You’re not passionate about the content you’re creating

If you don’t care about what you’re creating, it can show in your content. Whether you’ve been creating the same type of content for too long that it’s gotten tedious or boring, or you just don’t feel like you’re creating your best work, it can have an impact on your content. 

Branching out with your content creation is one of the best ways to create content that you feel proud of and passionate about. Tie in pop culture or your personal passions to create new and engaging content that entices the audience. After all, if you’re not passionate about your content, how can you expect anyone else to be?

Content creation is vital to expanding your reach and keeping your audience engaged and interested. To create the best content you can, make sure it’s real, recognizable and relatable

If you’re ready to step up your content creation game, we can help! Check out our content services here and let us know how we can serve you.

improve your site

10 Ways to Improve Your Website

improve your site

In a rapidly changing world of technology, it’s easy for your website to be out of date. We constantly need to look into ways to improve it and stay updated. Of course, it helps when your website is built with a strong foundation at the time of its conception. Even so, websites demand constant care and maintenance to thrive online. 

We often talk about online presence and what steps to take to improve and maintain our website. And a big portion of it is taking care of your business’ flagship as it runs 24/7, one of your most powerful assets for lead generation. You may be asking yourself, do I need to redesign or re-build it then? The answer is…Not necessarily. Sometimes, small tweaks here and there can make drastic improvements. 

At the core of these enhancements is User Experience and it is different for everyone who visits your website. What makes a great user experience then? By now, you have probably identified your audience or your website visitors, and by knowing who they are, what they need, and how you solve that challenge/”problem”. Your website must reflect that.

How exactly do you do that?  Here are 10 ways:  

Use more white space. 

Don’t be afraid of using white space on your website. Sometimes it may feel like its a bare piece of online space that needs to be filled with images or ads. White space makes your website simple and elegant thus allowing users to better focus on the more important elements such as content and images. Simplicity on your website’s background creates a more open, modern and fresh feel. 

Simple Navigation

Make it easy for your website visitors to go through your website. Ensure your navigation bar functions properly so your visitors stay longer on your site. Remember your navigation bar serves as a compass to your visitors so have it visible at all times. Make sure you label the pages on your menu distinctly and use familiar words so users can guess the content before the click. Remember, a poor navigation design can hurt your website’s bounce rate. The moment users can’t find the way around or have difficulty finding what they are looking for, then they will leave, causing your exit rates to increase. 

Optimized images (atl images)

Images bring life to your website whether it be via blogs or homepage. To optimize your images, check your competition if they are using the same stock photos, so ensure that your images are unique to your brand. If you are using stock photography, use images that do not use too many filters and use natural lighting. The more realistic it looks, the better. If you prefer to use illustrations, ensure that they are licensed and should follow a specific theme. Bear in mind, optimized images affect your SEO performance.  

Page Speed 

Your website shouldn't work at a snail's pace

Nothing is more frustrating than a slow website so make sure site speed is optimized. When you want to read or watch content, you want it right away. And waiting for a website to load is just a deal-breaker. Users leave- at once. There goes your bounce rate. In this day and age where everyone uses all types of devices, mobile phones, smart TVs, you need to make sure your site is optimized across all mediums. 

So how do you go about fixing that page speed? Google is the best alternative as it offers information on your page speed, load time all across devices, and provides you with recommendations on how to improve it. 

Also, start by evaluating the images that you use, and see if they are compressed before they are loaded into the website. If not, look for websites like compressor.io to help you improve that page speed drastically. This all sound too draining and cumbersome? We can conduct a website analysis to determine the best ways to optimize your site and get it running!

Calls to Action to Website

This nifty feature is a powerful one when used. A call to action is a button/text that prompts the user to act. Common examples are: Learn More, Sign Up, Subscribe, Download Now, etc. One of the biggest considerations is the use of color. The psychology of color is known to be very effective at how website users respond to the call to action. So choose your colors well, taking into consideration, complementing colors, easy on the eyes, and colors that evoke your target behavior.. Also,  ensure your action words catch the user’s attention by using value offerings. This means that the actions will benefit the user and prompt them to move forward with the action.  

Social Share Buttons  

Since social media platforms have taken the world by storm, you would want your website to have a strong online presence on social media. Adding social share buttons on every page of your website are similar to calls to action- as it prompts the user to share your content to the word. Remember part of a solid SEO campaign would be to ensure you rank in social media traffic  – otherwise, it will be a little challenging and costly to rank your website without these buttons. Ensure that your social media links are properly configured on your website and your social media accounts are live and maintained.  

Testimonial Pages

Pages like testimonials give your website more credibility and allow you to showcase your top clients. If you have clients who have great things to say about you, go ahead and post their testimonials. Most users won’t go directly to a testimonial page so make sure you strategically place them on your homepage, or throughout the pages on your site. This is an extra selling point for your business so make sure you post a couple of testimonials from your top clients. Including their company name and logo can also bring your website some added benefits.  

Value Proposition 

Why do you need to do this?  Having a mission or vision statement, allows your users to know your services and products and why you are in business and how users will benefit if they buy or subscribe to your products and services. A value proposition statement should be found on the Home page section, as much as possible in the headline or near the headline.  

You can start your statement with title such as Who We Are, What We Do, or come up with a brief statement such as: “ We are an email marketing company from Nashville, with the goal to bring your business to the next level of digital transformation and capture your target audience with dynamic marketing campaigns custom fit to your business size and budget.” 

Sharing your business goals and objectives helps users determine if you are the right company they can bring their business into. Try to make sure that your mission/ vision helps them understand that you are there to help, and how beneficial you are to them.

Optimize responsive and mobile-friendliness 

If you haven’t worked on this optimization step, then chances are your site is not user-friendly on all types of devices. Since the core purpose of improving your website is User Experience, this is an essential element.  

Google may penalize sites that are not optimized for mobile devices and this is something you want to avoid. There is an emphasis on the importance of your website’s responsiveness as more users use mobile devices more than ever.

Remember, accessibility to all devices can be very assuring to your users, as they know that you can be accessed anytime, at any device with the same great positive user experience. This lowers bounce rates and increases website traffic and returning users.  

Be mindful of 404s. 

It is imperative that each link that your users’ click will take them to the page they want to go. Again, once users are directed to a blank page or a 404 page, this affects your user experience, affecting your bounce rate and overall website metrics; plus it’s annoying. 

How do you determine pages that have potential 404 errors?  Simply use this free tool by Google, called the Google Search Console. This is a webmaster tool that will crawl your pages and send you a report on pages with errors, that way you catch them early on and do a fix. If just in case one of your pages need more time to fix, or its been taken down due to some major redesign, ensure that you create page redirects or some creative 404 pages to let your users know you are aware and that page will be back soon. Here are some cool ideas and ways to show your 404 pages just in case. 

Make us your partner as you move into your business’ digital transformation. Get your free guide on The Use Content Marketing to Boost Your Website Traffic & Digital Presence.

5 Signs Your County needs a new website

Your county website should be all about functionality, efficiency and user experience. Anyone who visits a local government site (or any government site for that matter) expects only the best user experience to help them with any query.

Credibility is a big factor when it comes to websites and you would want to avoid a user interface that is slow, inefficient and does not provide the public the results they were expecting.  

What makes a government website different from a business website is that it serves the public sector, so the site is assumed to be created to provide the best service and the best state of the art website for your county.

More users are going online to find government sites to provide them with the service and information they need, so you need to have a strongly built website to create a positive user experience. If lately, you have been receiving feedback about having fewer visitors, then your county’s website might be due for a redesign.  

Here are some telltale signs that your county needs a new website:  

 Your county site is not mobile-friendly

Most people visit websites via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. So ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users. Many website developers now use a technique referred to as responsive design. Essentially, your website’s design and functionality are automatically reformatted and scaled to fit and function on mobile screen sizes.  Aside from functionality, having a mobile-friendly site gives the public the assurance that your website is accessible everywhere, anytime at the tip of their fingers. Positive user experience is of utmost importance. 

 So what does it mean that your site it not optimized for mobile devices? Try to browse and go your county’s site and see if it comes up as a “mini” version of your site. Does it show you the desktop version with letters are so small you have to pinch and adjust the screen to see? Then that means your website was not developed for a mobile browser-and its time to change that.  

 No Location data awareness 

Aside from being mobile-friendly, you would want to have a site that automatically detects your location. As soon as users log in, they should be asked to choose their location and show them a map of nearby government agencies that they are searching for. Location data from smartphones automatically detects user information based on their locations if users turn on the location function on their smartphones, and most likely most people today do. 

 The convenience your website detecting location is vital as the user needs to be guided on the right government agency they are looking for. No one wants to get misguided information online, most especially if its about government services. 

No county notification services

Offering free service to text subscribers with alerts such as traffic, weather, and emergency events, as well as reminders on important events can take your county’s website to the next level. Public service using notification services are widely used nowadays by top government sites. 

Combining features such as mapping and sign up options for newsletters and alerts make your county citizen’s feel that they are taken cared of by their city/county/state and have a sense of community and belonging. Add on social media links to the website and encourage engagement and social sharing, local awareness, and concern. 

Your website is slow 

A 3-second rule should apply to your website. It should load within that time, otherwise, your site might need troubleshooting, The problem with slow sites is that visitors leave because your site takes too long to load – thus creating a negative user experience. And this is something you want to fix right away. 

A good website should load fast on ANY browser, so if it loads faster on Firefox than on Chrome, then you might want to re-think and optimize your site speed optimization settings, especially if most of your users (via Google Analytics) are using Chrome. Whether it is on mobile or desktop, website speed is essential. If troubleshooting your website does not improve anything, then it’s time for a redesign. 

To determine this, PivotPath can run a website analysis and test your site speed. If it doesn’t load in three seconds, then reconsider your website’s design and interface as it may also be one of the causes why it is loading slow.

Your site design is out of date  

Consumer preferences change over time. Website design is just as important as site functionality. Aesthetics are important because first impressions do last. When your citizens visit your county’s website, you would want them to feel the pride of belonging to the locale. Images and welcoming content should resonate to its citizens- making them browse further and  discover. 

Having a beautifully designed website, with easy navigation and responsive and fast is essential to especially to a government website. Having a poorly functioning website will make you lose your citizen’s loyalty and gratitude, as well as make a really bad impression and representation of the local government; we are here to ensure that won’t be the case.  

If you have these 5 signs or symptoms on your website, then it’s time to take action. Here at PivotPath, we can help you create an extraordinary website for your county that makes a great impression, and give your website visitors the best user experience.