As a content writer, one of the most consistent questions I hear about website content is, “But why does it matter?”

Curated website content isn’t a top priority for every company or firm. Sometimes other goals take precedence or content falls to the wayside in the face of limited staff or funds. The truth is, content is hard. It’s often difficult to produce, especially for an audience that prizes authentic narratives.

One Adweek article headline even claimed, “The Future of Advertising Still Rests on the Art of Connecting Brands and Consumers: More than ever, it's about authentic and compelling stories.”

For today’s customer, not just any old content will do. Hubspot cites difficult to read content as the #2 reason people leave websites. Outdated design comes in at a solid first. But even more importantly is #13, “your content or products don’t live up to your landing page’s promises.”

In today’s digital world, your online presence is often the first point of contact with potential customers or users. A potential customer may form an opinion of your company and services without ever contacting you or interacting with your services – whether based on Yelp reviews, your social media presence, or ultimately, your website. Each interaction with a potential customer is a chance to spark engagement, but also an opportunity to lose their interest.

This win/lose scenario can leave website managers and marketing professionals in a corner. At the risk of losing customers to poor content, where does one even begin? If you don’t have the time or staff to contribute daily content, how are you expected to have flawless website content, and social media engagement, and blog posts? And what about Periscope? Should you be on Snapchat?

Is there any way to catch up?

When it comes to crafting quality content on limited resources, the best place to start is where your customers already are. Is that social media? Is that on a company blog? Is it on your website itself? For example, let’s say you’re considering a complete content overhaul of your website’s customer service FAQ section. However, your analytics show that very few users are actually visiting the FAQ page and completing customer support forms via the website.

Instead, you’ve noticed that your customers are very vocal on social media, and often tweet in their questions via Twitter. So far, this has been working great for your support staff! They’re able to reply and follow-up with customers one-on-one. You’ve also noticed that when you announce new product releases on your website, the clicks on the official announcement on the website are extremely low. In contrast, your tweet announcing new products has been retweeted 50 times.

In this scenario, social media is where your customers are. When time is money, why spend that time refocusing your resources away from your audience? If users are obviously open and engaged in one medium, orient your content strategy there. In the same vein, if you do need to update your website but have limited time and funds, find out which pages garner the most traffic. Is it your “About” page? If you’re a restaurant owner, are customers mostly visiting your menu page? Are you a government entity that has customers regularly downloading or filling out online forms? Then target your resources towards making sure those pages are consistently up to date and accessible, maybe not your Facebook page (for now).

In an ideal world, both your website and social would be receiving equal attention. But when it comes down to providing quality content and retaining users, it’s not strategic to dedicate time and resources to content that will never be seen. If you’re stuck juggling time, budget, staff, or just not able to tackle a content overhaul all at once, start small and strong. Continue to meet your audience where they are, with quality content that will keep them there. And that’s what matters.

Curious where your customers are congregating? Not sure how to decipher your analytics’ numbers to see where you should target your content efforts?

Download our guide, “Web Analytics: Where to Begin” to get started.

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