This is a guest post by one of our favorite partners – Dustin Hall from Firesnap.
With the explosion of content marketing over the past several years, just about every website has a section dedicated to educating their buyers…the popular “Resources” section.
This is typically where you’ll find e-books, white papers, guides, kits, case studies and a whole slew of other goodies. For visitors, this section represents an opportunity to find answers to their own problems without having to engage with a company’s sales team. For the company’s offering these resources, this section represents critical conversion and thought leadership opportunities.
That all sounds great, assuming the resource section works like we think it should…
But it doesn’t.
Here are 3 very important reasons by the resources section of your website is not enough to drive business growth.
1. Visitors Must Actually Visit a Resource Section
Unfortunately, most resource pages do not get the visitor love we’d like them to (or think they do).
As valuable as we might think our resource sections are, most people will visit your Home page, service/product pages and various blogs long before they actually make it to a resources page.
For example, here’s a snapshot of Firesnap’s top 5 most visited pages over the span of a week:
Still not convinced? Check out your own analytics to see where your resources page sits among your other website pages. Odds are high that it will not be in the top 5.
2. Resource Sections Are Not Targeted
A vast majority of resource sections function as a library of sorts, displaying any and all resources available for download.
This makes sense considering this is their purpose, but this blanket approach to content delivery creates unnecessary friction for the end user…which is always a big no-no.
Even those with the ability to quickly search by topic, persona or recency are still requiring an extra layer of user activity in order for more relevant content to be displayed.
As proof, here’s an example of a resource page by tech giant, Microsoft:
Yes, it’s a massive and knowledge filled resource section, but it still requires the visitor to manually self-identify in order to see what’s relevant to them.
3. Most Resource Sections are Not SEO Friendly
Since most resource sections are basically just directories of landing pages, they rarely hold the same SEO weight that blogs or web pages do.
It’s rare for visitors to find these pages via online search due to a couple common practices:
First, landing pages and resource pages typically contain thin content with high image and/or html to text ratios, which Google and other search engines are not big fans of. While these layouts are often optimal for conversions, they are not optimal for search – with lacking keyword and context density and even slower page loading times.
Second, many webmasters implement the popular robots.txt files for these pages due to these common SEO issues mentioned above. This may be a good strategy to preserve the SEO value of the rest of the website, but it also guarantees that the landing page or resource page will never be indexed by search engines.
How to Turn Your Content Resources into Lead Drivers
If you want to maximize your resources’ ability to convert visitors into leads, you’ve got to “take it to them.” This means you can’t simply upload a new resource, add it to your resources section and expect it to magically catch your visitor’s attention.
A common method most marketers use to display resources where their visitors live is by placing a call-to-action (CTA) for the resource on the pages most relevant to that resource. For example, a blog article on “How to Generate Leads” may have a CTA placed within that article directing people to “The Ultimate Guide to Generating Leads.” This also applies to email marketing and social media marketing, using basic principles of segmentation based upon buyer persona.
Recently, more tech-savvy marketers have been making use of conversion rate optimization platforms (CROs) to display relevant resources in a more agile, intelligent fashion. Since CRO’s use advanced algorithms to combine data on visitor interest with top performing content housed on that website, visitors are presented with content that’s of highest use to them (which is good news for conversion rate).
At the end of the day, we’ve got to stop placing so much emphasis on our resource sections to do the conversion “heavy lifting” and start placing these resources in front of our visitors to enhance their experience. Learn how to do this and your conversion rates (and ROI) will be eternally grateful –
Dustin Hall is President & Co-Founder of Firesnap, Inc. – an inbound marketing and HubSpot Gold Partner agency out of Los Angeles, CA. Dustin has built successful B2B marketing and sales programs for multiple mid-market and enterprise level organizations and holds numerous sales and marketing certifications, including Pragmatic Marketing III and HubSpot software. Dustin also served on the Board of Directors for the Business Marketing Association’s SoCal Chapter and is an active speaker on marketing strategy and sales alignment.
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