Keeping up with innovations in the alternatives to written content could be considered a full time job as the role of websites continues to evolve from simple information dissemination sources to whiz-bang multimedia experiences. While the options have expanded dramatically, the ultimate purpose of any research based, optimized content remains the same; to bring visitors to the site and then keep them interested while they move through the conversion process. With visitors becoming more discriminating, the sales process may require multiple visits prior to conversion so a variety of content and multiple ways to deliver it can make each return trip to the site a fresh experience. Going beyond written content can include any of the following:
- Videos: Can be of two kinds, product information video or product use video. Add it to your sales pages to increase conversions. According to industry statistics, conversions increase by 30% if an effective video is added.
- Video conferencing: Good for B2B customers.
- RSS Feeds: Use these feeds to advertise your product.
- Webinars: suitable for knowledge product sites
- Live Chat: Suitable for all websites, it instantly resolves problems and questions by prospects
- Interactive Features like Twitter”” and Facebook on social networking: This is the new WOM (word-of-mouth) sales pitch. Others talk about you in fact they recommend you while you just act as an information facilitator or a problem solver.
- Flash(Now that Google/Adobe are working to make it readable by crawlers): Interesting Flash makes the visitor stay longer on the website and the probability of clicking on a link increases by 23%.
- Podcasts: Get interesting interviews done, throw in some humor suddenly you’ll find people liking you and your products more.
As a result of increasing competition which makes standing out from the crowd more difficult, many businesses are now using these written content alternatives to offer a more dynamic experience to their visitors. Some of these features, such as videos and video conferencing, can either be embedded on the site or linked out to third party providers, depending on the budget of the website. In fact, advance at video conferencing providers such as SightSpeed and Vidyo have now made the services both cost effective and robust enough to host larger conferences.
Two things which haven’t changed are the need for extensive keyword and keyphrase research as the foundation for SEO initiatives as well as constant testing to see what is working and what isn’t. The bottom line for any of these features, after all, is to deliver on their intended objective. Research and testing can confirm its value. If research and testing capacity isn’t available in-house, consider outsourcing these tasks to experienced web design and search engine optimization agencies.
With increasingly high expectations from visitors and an intensifying competitive landscape, websites which add alternative content delivery features must pay more attention and be open to testing and analysis of them to see that they are providing optimal results. It is at the web pages themselves, after all, where information is collected, conversions occur, and success of the site is determined. For that reason, using only the features which visitors see as valuable is imperative in terms of delivering a company’s message and enhancing the perceived value of the site in its entirety.