Small businesses have until tomorrow to make sure their websites meet the new EU ePrivacy Directive.
A new ContentPlus blog post discusses the merits (or not) of the law and highlights how small businesses might struggle with compliance as they have fewer resources than their larger counterparts to effectively implement the necessary changes to their websites.
However, this does not mean all is lost for small business websites, especially if you have an effective content marketing strategy in place. Below are the top five steps to ensure your customers keep visiting your site, cookies and all.
1. Engaging content
A new Econsultancy infographic about the cookie legislation shows that just 23 per cent of consumers claim they would allow cookies to be used on a site they visit. However, consider what the figure might stand at if more businesses delivered engaging content. From website blogs to fun and interactive social media pages, content that is relevant and well-written, and gets consumers involved will keep them coming back to a brand, regardless of whether cookies are used.
2. Interesting content
There is a fine line between content that is engaging and interesting, but it does exist. If your website, blog and social media pages all offer informative and unique content that cannot be found anywhere else, it will soon become a main reason why people hit 'yes' when asked if they will accept cookies. The key word here is informative; people should learn something from your content.
3. Relevant content
Content marketing is not just about being engaging and interesting, but also relevant. It's acceptable to deviate away from sector-relevant topics every now and again to keep things fresh, but your customers will come to expect certain news stories and blog posts when they visit your site. Relevancy is also important for SEO. If people arrive at your website through a search engine, the content they land on needs to correlate to the search term, not be about something completely different.
4. Unique content
Unique content is favoured by search engines and consumers alike. The online world is often filled with the same stories written in the same way and with the same angle. SMEs should not be afraid to mix things up a little and put a spin on things. This ContentPlus article explains that while smaller businesses can look up to successful larger ones, they should not copy their brand strategies. We were also inspired by the Daily Mail's Samantha Brick's ability to get people talking – although we wouldn't necessarily recommend being as controversial as she is!
5. Well-written content
So, you've ticked off all of the above points but then fall at the last hurdle of well-written content. Internet entrepreneur Charles Dunscombe has said in the past how a single spelling mistake on a website can slash online sales by half. You'll probably get away with poor spelling and grammar on a social media page a bit more than you would on your site, but it's still bad practice and could make shoppers suspicious of your credibility and professionalism. Ensure your copy is easy to read, makes sense and is free from mistakes.
By producing content that meets these criteria, consumers should be attracted to your site and accept cookies if it means they can keep on reading and sharing.