It’s that time of year again, a new year means it’s time for change and time to improve on last year. This year we are shifting focus from personal goals to goals that will enhance the performance of your website.

Below are three ways to create and manage content on your website that will help you reach your goals.

1. Create Content with Purpose

Throughout the year there may be a lot going on in your destination. This means opportunities to create new content to help drive traffic to your website for events, new attractions, and more. As you are creating content for your website, make sure you are writing it for a purpose beyond simply providing information. Balance your site’s intentions with your visitor’s experience.

First, ask yourself why. “Why is a visitor coming to this page?” The first question is generally an easy one to answer which goes back to the beginning, to get information. But then dive in deeper by asking what. This can be divided into two questions:

  1. What type of information is a visitor looking for when they get to this page?
  2. What do I want a visitor to do when they get to this page?

For the visitor’s “what” create an outline of all the different types of questions a visitor could ask like these below.

Events Example

  • Why do I want to go to this event?
  • Where is the event?
  • When is the event?
  • Where are some places to stay nearby?
  • What are some places to eat nearby?
  • How do I get to the event? (Directions, maps, public transportation, etc.)
  • Where can I park for the event?
  • What else can I do while I’m in town for the event?

By starting from the mindset of your visitor, you can easily create your content to answer these questions and use them as an opportunities to begin driving traffic to other areas of your site that answer some of those questions.

But also during the creation process, consider what do you want a visitor to do once they get to your site. For a DMO this normally falls into four buckets:

  • Engagement - getting visitors to go to multiple pages, spend more time, or get to a certain section of your site like “hotels.”
  • Lead Generation - getting visitors to sign up for an e-newsletter or request a visitors guide
  • Partner Referral - getting a visitor to visit partner listings and click off to a partner website
  • Sales - getting a visitor to make a purchase from your site, e.g., book a hotel, purchase an attraction pass, etc.
Once you determine the highest priority action you want to take on your site, write and lay out the content to push them toward that action.

For example, if you want a visitor to sign up for an e-newsletter, you don’t make that the last thing you mention on the page. Tell them in the first paragraph.

“As a top culinary destination, Simpleville is the place to visit to explore unique and diverse flavors that will have your taste buds screaming for more. Don’t miss exciting news on foodie events by signing up for our newsletter today.

Simpleville’s 7th Annual Cookie Kick-off is an exciting time to taste the amazing flavors of top bakers that have made Simpleville home. Check out event information and more below to start planning your visit!”

2. Strive for Quality Not Quantity

Now that you’ve created great content for your website it’s time to start driving traffic. Traffic comes in from multiple channels to your websites, some outside of your control like organic search, organic social, and referral traffic. But there are areas where you do have control such as paid search, paid social, display, programmatic, etc. Make sure the traffic you are working for is working for you.

Take the time to regularly evaluate the performance of traffic to your website, and don’t be afraid to change direction. If you find that traffic from a particular source isn’t performing the way you want it to, re-evaluate your targeting and ad messages to make sure it’s aligned with the content on your website. If all else fails, be bold and shift funds into what is working best.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail and Reach for Bigger Wins

In conversion rate optimization, failure isn’t a stopping point, it is an opportunity to learn about your visitor and iterate new content and tests based on what you’ve learned in order to shift your strategy and start winning. Also, just because something is doing well doesn’t mean it can’t be doing better.

Let go of website bias and a commitment to one way of doing things. Open up and learn about ways your site can improve through continuous optimization. Technology and how people are using it is growing at an exponential rate. As digital marketers it’s important that we embrace the change and change along with it if we want to keep up.

If you look at the data from visitors to your site, you can identify areas that have room for improvement. For example, if you see that a lot of visitors make it to your e-newsletter form, but they are not filling it out, ask yourself why. Are you asking for too much information? Is there not enough clarity in the questions? Maybe there are too many distractions on the page. Dive into the analytics, heatmaps, and more to learn about the visitor behavior on your website, and make informed decisions for changes.

With the new year you have new opportunities. This year employ the three strategies outlined above to start creating better content, attaining quality traffic, and improving your website performance based on data from actual visitors to your website.