When it comes to your business’s website, the content you feature can determine whether or not you secure a booking. But before we get into ideas for how to create (or improve) content for your website, let’s pause to talk about what content actually is and why it’s important. If you don’t have time to read all of the content in this article, focus on what’s in bold.
A few years ago, “content” became the biggest buzzword in business. Everyone from tech companies (where I worked) to marketing firms were touting content as *the* thing to revolutionize business.
Back in the real world, where people start and grow small businesses, the word “content” still means very little. So here is the gist of it: Content is an all-encompassing term for the media you consume every day. In the case of a business, it’s what you put on your website, send to customers via email, print on pamphlets, and so on.
Content can have a meaningful impact on your business, particularly when it comes to awareness.
Tech companies love content because—whether its articles, picture or videos—it powers websites. Search engines use content to rank sites, for example. Marketing companies love content because it’s engaging. Adults spend most of their waking hours engaging with some kind of content, whether it’s news, social media, or you guessed it, the articles on a company’s website.
Now that you know what it is, you can see why creating content for your company’s website is so important. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Focus on quality over quantity.
You don’t have to write one hundred articles in one go. Think about what content makes sense for your business, based on its size, the type of charters you run, and the type of clients you work with. If you operate crewed yacht vacations for a luxury audience, one highly produced video may have a bigger impact than seven short articles.
2. Don’t “set it and forget it.”
Try not to create and publish a lot of content all at once, then ignore your website for a year. Instead, try to consistently publish new content.
Not only can this can help your search rankings, new content gives (potential) customers a reason to revisit your site. Try to write at least one article per month to begin with.
3. Write what you know.
Write articles that highlight your knowledge and experience. Your expertise is your biggest advantage over large online agencies. After all, who knows more about the top attractions in your area, local culture, and regional history than you?
You also know about boating, and your customers might not. Create content that explains the different boats in your fleet and the advantages of each.
4. It’s not just the boat.
You know your boats better than anyone, and it makes sense that, to secure a rental, you want to sell their features. But remember, you’re also selling a vacation, which means the destination and the activities your guests can do ashore are equally important. Use your local knowledge to inspire customers to come visit by writing about your favorite beaches and restaurants, the beautiful anchorages only locals know about, and your favorite fishing spots. In short, bring your passion to your potential customers. As a bonus, keep a copy of this information onboard the vessel for existing customers to enjoy.
5. Stay organised.
It can be tempting to dump everything you know about your company, sailing, and your favorite destinations into one long post, or to simply post content as you think of it. But it’s important to think about the customer experience. After all, people are going to have to find this content on your site, so it needs to be well organised.
Try to come up with some structure for your content from day one. For instance, you might create posts by topic: a series of articles on natural attractions, another on the best local food, and another still on historical sites.
Or, you might choose to organise your content by itinerary, so guests can begin to envision what a start-to-finish trip looks like with you. For this content, you could ask a skipper to blog about a recent charter trip, including personal anecdotes, like a dolphin sighting or a visit to a favorite restaurant where the chef is a friend. Be sure to include lots of photos.
6. Content can support sales.
When you’re listing a boat, you can save time and space if you have supporting content elsewhere on your website. For instance, you might say that your fleet is meticulously maintained, then link out to a detailed blog post that discusses the care you take each offseason to ensure the boat is perfect for your customers.
Or, when advertising a crewed charter, you might link out to profiles for each of your staff to emphasize the skills your crew brings to the table and to personalise the experience.
Creating content can seem daunting, but in reality, it’s simply taking what you know in your head and translating it into searchable text on your website.
Taking the time to share that information can make a world of difference to customers. After all, content is what transforms a boat model and calendar dates into a dream vacation, filled with visits to historic towns, fresh limoncello, and dolphin sightings.