The main thing I've always heard (and believed) when it comes to websites is that content is king. It's SO true! It always has been and always will be.
Think about it... why do you watch a certain TV show? You do it because you like the show - you like the content. So why is a website any different?
People always ask us how to get their website to rank higher or how to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The answer is simple... publish some awesome content. You want to put out content that does one or all of these things:
When people are searching, they're in "search mode," right? You do it. You search. You've been in that mode. You have a question or something you're searching for and you want to find the answer. It might take you a little while but you usually find the answer. Usually it comes by doing a search on a search engine. What you want is for your website to be the best search result for what people are looking for - or in other words, to solve someone's problem or give them the answer that they want.
To get into that position (and rank high), you need to publish awesome content - content that's "bookmark worthy" or something people would want to share with their friends - something that will "wow" them! Does that mean you just copy something off some other website or spend just 10 minutes on something (virtually using a web page as a barf bag)? Heck no! Either put lots of time into your website articles or hire someone to do that for you.
And, the first step you want to take before you head out onto that journey, is topic research. You want to make sure you take the right heading on your virtual map of content development or you're not going to end where you need to be. I've exhausted this topic on this blog, so I'm not going to get into it in this post but it's super important.
I found a few, great articles about this topic recently. Here's a good one:
How to Get Over the One Hurdle Keeping You From Creating Awesome Content (searchenginewatch.com)
Content is now the foundation of SEO and social – the bread to SEO's peanut butter and social's jelly, if you will.
Content has become so central for the online marketer that improving on their content development strategy is their number one goal in the next 12 months.
What does it really take for a brand to transition into a successful publisher?
"Provide value to your customers. Be helpful," according to Mike Volpe, the CMO of HubSpot. "Become the best publication and information source in your industry. This is the core of inbound marketing."
In other words, the question the modern brand owner must have an answer to is: How are you adding genuine value to your audience?
Let's face it, if you don't publish great content or decide to not do it, then what's stopping your competition from doing it? What if they step up their game? Results on the web (rankings) don't happen overnight. They take time. By the time you realize your competition has been publishing awesome content, it's kind of too late. You're way behind!
Here's another great article where a guy I know, Court Tuttle, is interviewed and his great knowledge oozes out:
9 Pro Tips of a Professional Blogger – Court Tuttle (thecontentauthority.com)
Q: One of the best parts about blogging is generating a conversation among a community of people. What are the most effective ways to go about engaging people with my blog post?
A: There are a lot of ways to engage people. The most effective way that I’ve seen is through controversy. Since controversy doesn’t fit well with my personality, I choose to engage people through original instruction. I cut my own path and tell people about it. Some of the things I try work and others don’t. I think that people appreciate that I’m willing to do the experimentation so that they don’t have to.
Q: How long should my post be?
A: To be 100% honest, I believe that this is a question that you shouldn’t even ask yourself. I’ve seen effective posts that are 100 words and I’ve seen other effective posts that are massive. Right now I’m working on a post that should end up having over 5,000 words plus four hours of video. For it to be the best post out there on that subject, I think that’s what it’s going to take.
Should every post be like that one? Definitely not! I do other posts that are just audio interviews with a really short write up.
I think that your focus should be 100% on making each post as good as you possibly can. Length isn’t always a factor in that.
Q: How do I make my post interesting?
A: I think that my posts are interesting because they are useful. I like to give people takeaways – things that they can implement right after they read the post. If I gave people things that didn’t work, my posts wouldn’t be that interesting. So, I give people ideas that work.
To be the most effective, you kind of have to stop seeing yourself as a blogger that ‘writes’. You instead need to see yourself as a leader that tests, studies and reveals.
Here are some minimal guidelines to help you get started - each new article you write should be:
Bonus! Aim for an article like this if you want to publish awesome content:
If you want to get comments on your blog, make your topic a little controversial... meaning, make sure there are two sides to it and invite opinions.
Look at web pages you've bookmarked yourself and figure out why you did that. 🙂
So there you go. The first thing you need to do is keyword research. Next, write some awesome content. Once that's going, get social! Link a company Google+ account with your website and publish your articles on Facebook and Twitter. Get the word out and show Google that you're there and that people are noticing.
If you walk away from reading this post and the two articles I've referenced and think that you'll crank out an awesome post in about 20 minutes, then maybe you're not getting it. I'm not saying that's not possible because you're reading this one and that's how long it took me to write this, but I've been at this a while. If you're just starting out, you're going to need to get your feet wet and that's going to take some work and some time. Get going now though! Again, if this isn't your bag, baby (Austin Powers reference, sorry), then hire a good copywriter. You might even have one at your company, ask around.