Almost all the experts these days recommend that you
have lots of good content on your website. Sounds like good advice,
doesn't it? But what does it mean?
Quite simply, content is the stuff on your site. Good content is
useful information or tools that your visitors will find helpful.
It means different things to different businesses and the bottom
line is that what constitutes "good content" depends on the goal
of your site.
Here are some examples of different type of content:
Core Site Pages
These are the heart pages of your site, the pages that are the
core of why you built a site in the first place. They explain
your mission or goals, who you are and detail the
products/services/information available through your site. The
best place to start with "good content" is making sure these
pages are as complete as possible and answer all of a user's
Typical pages that visitors expect to find on a site are:
* About Us
* Contact Us
* Information (delivery/privacy/consumer guarantee)
Your pages should be written in the style and voice to appeal to your potential customers. It can make a difference between just getting traffic and getting traffic that converts into sales or business.
Make your core site pages a priority and ensure that they are
easy-to-read, complete, and informative before working on other content.
Complementary pages enhance and expand on your core site pages.
These are the information pages that can really make a difference
and help set you apart from your competitors.
For product sites, you might offer detailed product reviews,
extensive "how-to" pages for product usage, special
print-friendly detail pages, creative ideas for other uses,
customer feedback and testimonials, or help pages that go over
and above the standard.
For service sites, the complementary pages might deal with how
you do what you do, your qualifications, common myths and
misperceptions about the service or do-it-yourself tips for
situations where a professional is not needed.
For affiliate or advertising sites, complementary pages are the
key element that will set your site apart from the competition.
What will attract people to your site instead of the others? Is
it a community, more detailed information, news or freebies?
Complementary pages can offer additional information about your
company such as how long you've been in business, details of the
clients you handle, industry recognition and awards or even
statements of your total commitment to customer service.
pages aren't critical to the operation of your site like the Core
Site Pages are, but they help differentiate your site from others
in the field and give visitors a reason to choose to do business
People love the real person touch - if you don't believe that,
watch a little "reality TV"! People just like to learn about
other people. How can you relate that "real people" fascination
to your website?
How do people USE what you sell? How do your services improve
A travel service isn't selling a hotel, it's
selling fun in the sun or amenities that make your time away from
Accounting software isn't just about the numbers;
it's about getting tasks done faster and more accurately with
A sporting goods site isn't just selling fishing
gear; it's selling relaxation. When you think about the benefits,
about WHY people want what you sell, it's a lot easier to
brainstorm creative content ideas.
A large plastics manufacturer created a section in their site
where people could send in amazing stories about how their
rubbish bins had survived falling trees and hurricanes.
product site set up a photo gallery where customers could send in
their cutest pictures of their baby using the company's products.
A men's tie manufacturer invited customers to send in a picture
of their ugliest tie along with a few sentences about it - and
featured an ugly tie next to each wonderful new tie!
In all the examples above, the "human interest" content
reinforces the brand - strong, durable rubbish bins, products babies
love, ties that look great - while adding a little emotion and
interest. By focusing on the people and using the product as a
backdrop, you subtly reinforce the credibility of your brand.
Establish credibility and authority by including information that
spans your industry.
Write articles about your industry - this is a great idea. Try not to simply parrot back what you've heard and read from others, but add your own opinion to the article. Yes, people are interested in your point of view!
Articles can often be submitted to other information sites in your industry, which is a great way to get
incoming links to your site.
Other author's industry articles are a great and fast way to
build content on your site. If you aren't much of a writer or
feel you have nothing to add to the information already
published, collect the best articles from your industry and (with
permission) reprint them on your site or link to them. While they
are not unique content, they can add value to your site if you
select them carefully. Don't reprint anything and everything
available - be selective and only reprint content that you agree
with and is helpful to your visitors. You want people to trust in
the information that you are recommending they read.
More to Come!
In Part 2 of "Website Content?" we will look at ways to continue
to add fresh content that will draw traffic to your site.