Beyond a Blog: Creating Resource Centers, Learn Pages, and More to Host Your Content
Having a company blog to share thoughts on current trends and events, as well as pages that offer technical and customer support for your website or products are important pieces of the content marketing puzzle. A company’s website becomes more than just a source of products but is also established as a center for thought leadership.
Aside from narrowing the focus primarily on refining blog pages – which is where the majority of a site’s content will live – it’s imperative to organize the other content that will be created on a site in one easily accessible place. This article will explore best practices and examples on how to set up a resource center so that it benefits readers and can be found by search engines.
Why have a resource center
The volume of a site’s content is growing, where does it all go? This is where the importance of a resource center comes into play. A resources page is a hub that has links to a company’s blog articles, infographics, webinars, images, etc. By improving the quality of this page, the ease of information discovery for your customers and readers increases. Customers are, in turn, more likely to continue browsing through your website when the information they’re looking for is effortlessly found. With happy readers comes the sharing of your links and pages, which will eventually drive more traffic to your site.
However, don’t forget to promote, promote, promote. Just creating the resource center is part of the success. Make sure you’re sharing it on social media or to your email list.
Collect your resources
You may be thinking – “What type of content do I put on a resources page?”
Take a close look at the content that already exists on the site. Look to see if there are valuable resources already on your blog or other pages on your website. Create a list of these pages and then gather the content from these resource pages to be placed into the new resources page.
Some content to look out for while you’re doing inventory:
Videos are a great way to add a visual aspect to your teachings and information. These can be anything from how-to videos to webinars. Make sure that when you are moving this content over to the resource center, that it is complete with a transcription below the video. This will help with SEO by providing readable content for the search engines. In addition, this offers the opportunity to link internally within your website to other relevant pages or to the products being displayed in the video.
TransUnion’s new screening service has a “how do I…” resource on their site that is a home for videos that are walkthroughs on how to use their tools and services:
(Image source: ShareAble for Hires)
Infographics are a wonderful way to convey information in an easy to digest visual. Infographics can display charts, diagrams, step-by-step guides, etc. Since they are quick and easy graphical representations of information, infographics are commonly shared.
How-tos and tutorials are also important to include in the resource center. These guides are especially important if you are providing a product or service and need to explain how either work. These don’t necessarily have to be video tutorials. They can be written, step-by-step instructions.
This tutorial page on Seamwork’s website is a great example of a simple but very instructive how-to page. It doesn’t necessarily explain how to use a service or product but it presents sewing methods and separates:
(Image source: Seamwork)
Forms and templates
If it is required by the users or customers to fill out forms for any reason, they should be added to this list. This goes for any downloadable content that may be useful for your readers. This includes things like worksheets or templates that are available for download.
This is all content that may be lost in the cluster of content that is your blog. After you have pulled all the content you’ve deemed fitting for the resources page, you must remember to remove the content from the page that it originated from in order to avoid duplicate content on your site.
Categorize and organize
After taking an inventory of the material that will be added, a system of categorization must be implemented. Figure out what category options are going to be on the page. Then, you need to pinpoint where each piece of content will fit and drop them into that section of the resource center. You can also create a filter function that will aid in finding the specific information the reader or customer may be searching for.
AutoNation’s “Autonation Drive” page is organized well making it easy to find useful information, such as test drive reviews, videos, car advice and more:
(Image source: Autonation Drive)
Don’t forget about SEO
When crafting these pages, it is best to keep Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. Not only do you want these pages to be of great use to readers and customers but they also need to be discoverable on search engine results pages. You must consider building content for each of your target keywords. Use the keywords in the title and body of the content. Make sure there are internal links to other sources of information or products on your site.
For more information on how to optimize a webpage for SEO, see The Basics of Search Engine Friendly Design and Development.
A resource center is not a blog. Articles on your blog typically have a shorter shelf life. As new and more relevant information surfaces, older posts will be replaced by them. The aforementioned content should be able to stand the test of time. However, this isn’t to say that these resources should never be updated. As an industry changes so should the relevant information. Are you ready to build a killer resource center?
Haku Kapule is a contributing editor at 365 Business Tips, a new blog that prides itself on presenting the best advice and practices for small and medium-sized businesses everywhere. He’s passionate about finding and offering useful tips to small business owners. He is an expert in digital PR and marketing strategy and has assisted with the increase of digital presence and customer support for small and large companies alike.