If you own a business, your website should do more than just give customers your basic information; it should be driving leads and converting them into sales. In the age of Googling, your website can be one of your most powerful sales tools, and it’s not just design and convincing copy that get you customers. Your content should be driving leads to your doorstep.

Not Just Content, But Content Marketing

The first thing you need to do to drive leads with content is shift your attitude. Content isn’t just content. It’s not just space filler or a good read. Content should have a purpose and a reason for existing. Get rid of the idea of content and welcome the strategy of content marketing: the creation of content for the simple purpose of getting and retaining customers.

Get Your Leads Into the Sales Funnel With Content

Your potential leads aren’t even in your sales funnel yet, which means you need to attract and engage them. Content is perfect for this because, by its very nature, it is not sales-y. Attract those leads with content that they want to consume. It should be interesting, but also informative. Think about the kinds of questions your potential customers have and then create content to answer them.

For example, let’s say you’re in the business of selling flower arrangements and houseplants. What do your future customers want to know about flowers? (If you’re not sure, read the next section and start researching your keywords.) Maybe someone who is thinking of buying a bouquet of roses is wondering whether red, pink or white would be most appropriate. He Googles it and finds your blog post on the meanings of the colors of roses. You just got a lead and he’s now in your sales funnel.

Find Your Search Terms and Use Them

Content should also be used as part of an overall SEO strategy. More potential leads will find your site if you are optimizing your content with the right keywords. Using the right keywords is the key, though. If you’re not using the terms your potential customers are searching with, your careful placement of them in content is all for naught. Use tools like Wordtracker, Übersuggest, and Google Trends to find out what people are actually typing in the search window.

Apply the Same Psychological Trick that Copywriters Use

Copywriters are a manipulative bunch. The single-minded focus of their craft is to make you do something. This requires a few tricks that get into your psyche. The most important trick that copywriters use is that they try to feel your pain and then use it to make you think that buying something will erase that pain.

Let’s go back to the flower example. What kind of pain might your potential customers have? Maybe it’s that they don’t know what to get mom for Mother’s Day. “She never likes my gifts! She always thinks I spent too much or that I got her something she doesn’t need.” You write an article about how a potted plant is the perfect, non-wasteful, lasts-forever, inexpensive Mother’s Day gift that no mom can complain about. Find your customers’ collective pain and use content to convince them you can fix it.

Vary Your Content and Update Your Content

One or two content themes won’t attract leads from every corner of your audience, which means you need to produce varied and updated content regularly. Not everyone is having a hard time picking a gift for Mom or worrying about rose colors. Reach everyone by hitting all the topics related to flowers. It’s also important to vary the medium. Use blogs, videos, social media posts, articles, webinars, newsletters and infographics to better reach and interest everyone who didn’t know they needed to buy flowers.

Don’t Forget the Call to Action

That guy investigating the colors of roses may be prepared to buy his lady a bouquet from you after reading your informative and interesting article, but if you don’t push him he might just go to the store down the road. Every bit of content should include a call to action. “Say it with roses, today” encourages your reader to go ahead and buy, especially when linked to the page where he can actually buy roses.

Add content marketing to your to-do list. It’s one of the best ways to drive new leads to your site, to gather readers in your sales funnel and to turn them into real customers. The best thing about crafting great content is that it doesn’t just get you new leads, it helps you keep them. Good content is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to market your business.

Read more: Contributor profile Mary Ellen Ellis