As a content marketer you work hard to produce good content for your content hub. Your content hub may be a blog, website or microsite. Despite your best efforts, sometimes your content does not perform the way you would like.
If your results are falling short, your content hub could be the problem.
10 Tips to Make your Content Hub more Professional
1. Use Good Design, Graphics and Branding
Your content hub represents your brand. It needs to convey your brand’s personality and your story. It’s your way of standing out from the crowd.
The best way to achieve an attractive, unique and credible looking site is to work with a graphic designer. They can design a modern looking, well organized site that will help you meet your goals.
A well designed site with good content will result in visitors spending more time on it. It will convey a professional attitude and will make your brand seem more credible and trustworthy.
To attract the audience you want, you should think about what will resonate with them. This will affect your design and color choices. It will help you choose a designer who understands your personality and what you want to achieve.
Invest in design, graphics and branding. It will pay off. There is no point spending time and effort creating content if visitors bounce off your site because the appearance is unappealing.
Examples to Inspire You
The Rise to the Top – David Garland
Communication Rebel – Dr. Michelle Mazur
2. Make sure your Design is Responsive
A Responsive Design adapts for mobile so it will look good and work properly on SmartPhones, Tablets and the web.
For mobile users, it makes your site easier to navigate and it displays your content so it can be consumed effortlessly.
Your content hub absolutely must be mobile friendly because people are increasingly accessing the internet on their SmartPhones and Tablets.
In 2016 over 56% of the mobile phone population will access the internet from their phone.
If your content hub is not mobile friendly you are losing out on huge numbers of potential visitors.
To learn more,
- read my post Why Your Content Needs to be Mobile Friendly
- get my free guide – 12 Ways to Make your Content Mobile Friendly
3. Display Social Shares
Your Content Hub should have Social Share Buttons that display the number of shares your content receives on different social sharing networks.
If you are using WordPress there are many different alternatives. A few I would recommend are:
Social sharing buttons are a good idea because they will:
- remind people to share your content
- make it easy to share your content
- indicate the type of content your audience prefers to share
Tip: How To Get More Shares and Links
A recent study by BuzzSomo and Moz analyzed 1 million posts to see what content got the most shares and links.
If you want more shares and links the formats that work best are:
- opinion forming and authoritative content on current topics
- well researched and evidence based content
- long form – over 1,000 words
- lists, videos and “why”posts
You can read the in depth post by @steverayson on the Moz blog.
4. Get your Legal Documents in Place
If your Content Hub is going to be credible, legitimate and professional it needs to communicate to visitors the legal terms under which it operates.
Terms of Service
This document sets out the terms under which visitors may use your site or service. It puts users on notice about acceptable behaviour on your site or service and it protects you by limiting your liability.
Your Terms of Service should be written for your particular circumstances. But if you need some ideas here are a couple of resources:
- Terms and Conditions Generator
- To learn more about why you should have a Terms of Service you can read this excellent post by Nellie Akalp @CorpNetNellie
A Copyright Policy notifies visitors that you claim copyright over your original content.
If you include a Permissions Policy it notifies anybody wishing to use, copy or link to your content how your content may be used and how you should be credited for it.
If you have a Copyright Policy it makes it hard for people who infringe your work to claim they did not know you had a copyright.
In addition to a Copyright Policy your site should display a copyright notice. Here is how you should do it.
You can combine your Terms of Service and Copyright Policy if you wish. You can see ours here.
5. Use a Self-Hosted Site for your WordPress Content Hub
If you use WordPress for your Content Hub it should not be hosted on WordPress.com but rather on a self-hosted site.
A self-hosted site can be on a rented server or virtual machine where your site is the only one on that server or it can be on a shared server.
Mark Brinker @markbrinker wrote an excellent post on why WordPress.com should not be used to host your site. According to Mark, serious bloggers or site owners use self-hosted sites because WordPress.com:
- has a limited selection of themes
- limits site customization making it difficult for you to have good design and unique branding
- charges fees for extras like storage space and no ads, making self hosting more affordable
- limits the selection of plug-ins – e.g. no email opt in boxes
- can terminate your service at any time without cause or notice
There are many services that offer high quality, reliable and affordable self hosting. We use inmotion.
Invest in a good self-hosted service for your Content Hub.
It gives you more freedom, flexibility and control over your site. It opens up a world of possibility for good design and branding.
But, most importantly, your Content Hub will not be subject to being shut down without cause or notice.
6. Keep your Content Fresh and Valuable
Poor quality outdated content will cause people to bounce off your site quickly because there is no reason for them to stay. It gives visitors the impression that your site is neglected.
Show the value of your content by using good practice. If you make a claim in your post or quote research, you should provide a reference and links to outside sources. It shows that you did your research.
7. Move your site to Secure HTTPS
What is Secure HTTPS?
Secure HTTPS otherwise known as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a type of secure communication that allows visitors to your site to be assured that:
- all of the data exchanged will be encrypted – the communication is private
- the server hosting your site has been verified by a trusted Certification Authority so visitors know they are communicating with an authentic website owned by you
Why Secure HTPS is Important
- it can boost your rankings on Google. Google gives preference to sites that display their content using strong HTTPS encryption.
- it protects the privacy of your visitors which is important if you collect information from them
- it reassures users that your site is real
It is easy to check if a blog or site is using HTTPS. All you need to do is type the following into Google:
https://sitename for example: https://mediavidi.com
If a site is not using HTTPS you get an error message in the address bar and on the page that looks like this:
This is scary looking stuff. Once the HTTPS standard is more widely used error messages like these may chase visitors away.
Get out ahead of this and move your site to HTTPS.
To find out how to move your WordPress site or blog to HTTPS , read our post How to Switch Your Site to HTTPS
8. Have an Authors Page and/or an About Page
The Authors Page tells a visitor who the people are behind the site.
It shows that you are human and it makes your site more authentic and credible.
This page should tell your story and convey what you are trying to accomplish with your site. It gives visitors context for why are you are blogging or sharing content.
If you have a product or service it is OK to mention it but don’t make this page all about this.
Use this page it to tell your visitors about you and your brand so you can start to build a relationship with them.
To see an example, check out our About Page.
9. Use Different Types of Content on your Content Hub
People are attracted to different types of content. Some prefer text while others are visual learners who respond better to video and graphics.
And if you provide audio, it gives people the option of downloading your content and listening to it on the go.
If you offer different formats for your content you will attract a more diverse audience and you will keep people engaged by varying the types of content.
Nathan Ellering of Co-Schedule @njellering wrote an excellent post on How to Grow your Blog. He recommends that you use images in your posts and here is why:
10. Make sure your content is not too Sales Focused
Content Marketing is like dating. You need to to romance your visitors and add value before you try to sell them something.
Visitors have to get to know you and what you stand for.
Your content conveys to visitors the quality of your work and the depth of knowledge you have in your subject area.
Visitors want to be educated and entertained. They want high quality content that meets their needs. Your Content Hub should be about building awareness and being helpful.
Jamie Cartwright (@Cart_writing) wrote an inciteful post.
He says you shouldn’t try to close the sale too soon.
You need to understand that the buyers journey takes a while.
If you put these 10 Tips into practice you will convey a much more professional image for you and your content hub. This will will help you gain influence and attract more visitors. And ultimately put you on the right track to achieve content marketing success.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, MediaVidi will receive an affiliate commission. We are the creators of the Social Migration Pro WordPress Plugin. Regardless, we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will be good for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”