The saying “Content is King” has become so redundant online that it almost means nothing any more. But the concept behind it, the need to create good content is more valid than ever. Does a website need extra content to rank? Yes, but it’s not a necessarily a direct correlation. See content is really just a means to an end for everyone. If you have been dragging your feet getting into the arduous task of content creation, if you need more convincing here are 3 solid reasons any site needs more content.
The main reason any good SEO will recommend content is the links that it can attract. Any website in a remotely competitive space needs to actively build links and there are dozens of different ways to go about it. But one of the most effective methods is offering useful resources that others will want to share with their own users via links. Sure, your products, about us and sales pitches are technically content, but is it the kind of content other webmasters will want to pass on? It is a tricky business simply banking on the quality of your business alone to make you worthy of homepage links. But when you write articles, create widgets, run contest or create useful tools, that’s the kind of content people are far more apt to link to.
Of course, it’s not as simple as “if you publish, they will come”. Once you have invested time into making your site chock full of value, the next step is promoting it. Obviously social media is a powerful channel for marketing content, but direct one to one content can be just as useful. When you contact people on an individual basis to share content, you also gain the added benefit of relationship building, which is, in its own way, as important to a website’s success as link building.
Since every ranking page on your site is, in a sense, a doorway to your website the more content you have the more entry ways you have for people to come through. When people aren’t shopping, social networking or playing games online they are often surfing for information. In fact most searches are informational rather than transactional. That means, whether you’re selling something or not, most people will find you because they are researching something or other. Now it may be as high level as say the “what is half life of plutonium?”, or it may be as vapid as “where does Paris Hilton shop?” While there’s no accounting for taste, this tells us one thing. Everyone, EVERYONE needs to offer more information on their websites in order to capture some of that research based traffic. When you create content that answers informational queries you can rank for these types of searches and attract visitors that way.
With a little bit of research, you can find great ideas for the kinds of content people want. Tools like Wordtracker Questions or even sites like Answers.com or Yahoo! Answers are chock full of ideas for questions that you can answer on your own site. When you create pages that address these kinds of searches, it gives these pages the chance to rank. However, just getting visitors on-site is only half the battle, once they’ve arrived you need to make sure you meet user intent, offer engaging information and include calls to action to turn casual surfers into customers.
There is no better customer or client than an informed one. Sure, your sales pitches do a nice job of selling your business as an authority but are you backing it up with content? When someone is looking to invest in anything, they are often inclined to research the decision. Now, they can leave your site to conduct that research, or they can spend more time on your site.
The more objective, unbiased information you provide the more you can educate your potential clients. When you do the business of providing knowledge on your own site you also gain the added benefit of increasing your credibility. When it comes to doing business online trust is everything; and it can be difficult to build trust through text on a white screen. So while you may not be able to sit down with each potential customer and give your polished speech with a smile, your ability to publish expert content on your subject is one of the best ways to compensate for the lack of human contact.
It’s great to have glowing tributes, promises and guarantees dispersed throughout your site. But when you build relationships through education, it speaks just as highly of you, but in a far quieter, and more sincere way. Businesses often run into trouble coming across as genuine, because deep down we all know that they just want our money. But when you offer a plethora of impartial information you increase your humanity and in turn make a much stronger connection with your future customers.
There are so many good reasons to have great content on your site that it is amazing that so many businesses still haven’t caught on. Sure it’s time consuming and the ROI is a little more difficult to track. But it’s well worth the investment of time. The benefits that can be gained in the form of links, entry ways and education should be enough to encourage anyone to add more content to their site. When you are passionate about what you do, creating resources of value should be labor of love that will pay off in their own ways time and time again.
This article is written by Jessica. She writes frequently for the French version of the online reputation management platform Reputation Observer.