It's a universally accepted tenet of online marketing that content is king. High-quality content builds value for your users, and there's no doubt that search engines love to devour fresh material whenever they can. However, this doesn't mean all content is good content, and many less-savvy marketers fall into the trap of churning out content for the sake of it, with little more than a vague hope that this will be a fast track to success.
Of course, producing hundreds of pages of filler content is unlikely to do much more than waste your time and resources, along with adding to the terabytes of useless material that bloats today's web. For your content to assume its rightful regal position, it needs to perform one or more of the following functions.
Increase Search Engine Visibility
One of the primary criteria on which to judge a piece of content is how well it can serve to improve your search engine visibility. Wth textual content, this means covering a range of keywords related to your page's topic, although it's essential to do this in a natural, unforced way. Producing well-rounded content with search engine optimization in mind can solidify your existing rankings and position you for new terms, both of which can have an extremely healthy effect on your traffic and profits.
Benefit the User
Of course, few websites are successful unless they please their visitors, no matter how much traffic the search engines send their way. Your content should inform, entertain, or help your users in a genuine way, or else it's a waste of time and bandwidth. Not every page needs to be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, or to solve the problems of humanity, but if it doesn't provide at least some benefit for a reader, then what's it there for? Regularly publishing high-quality content is perhaps the best way of building a loyal user base, whichever sector of business you operate in.
Boost Your Marketing
Providing benefit for the reader isn't a one-way street. Even while educating or entertaining, your content can be performing a sales or marketing function - either overtly or as a side benefit. Most content can be tweaked to reflect well on your primary business, or even to actively promote a desired action such as a membership subscription or product purchase.
Content can also take a much more assertive promotional role. Rather than tweaking your pages to add a little marketing spice, you can, of course, build content with an avowedly commercial purpose such as lead generation. Short pieces of content which spark interest can be used to lure the reader deeper into your marketing efforts, whether this is by encouraging them to submit their contact details in exchange for more information, or by simply making an excellent job of aggressively selling your products or services.
All marketers recognize the importance of high-quality links when it comes to search engine ranking. If you have no outstanding content, how are you going to attract natural links, especially if you're in a crowded commercial field?
Even if your content serves no primary commercial purpose, if it results in other quality sites linking to yours, then that's a powerful benefit which can pull your more lucrative sales pages higher up the rankings.
Today's online landscape is increasingly dominated by social media, and this can be a hugely valuable source of traffic. Facebook advertising is the immediately obvious way of tapping into the flow, but that's also a fast way of burning through a budget if results don't go to plan. High-quality content, however, is an excellent way of beefing up your social media marketing strategy. Content can be developed in such a way as to encourage sharing, leading to increased and ongoing exposure for relatively little expense.
Build Trust and Reputation
The final main use of content is to build a sense of credibility for your organization. High-quality content which clearly has real resources behind it develops a sense that your business is trustworthy, which is a vital first step toward convincing visitors to take the leap into becoming customers. Also, it can help establish your brand as an expert in its niche, boosting your website's reputation, visibility, and ultimately traffic. Any website can stand or fall based on the caliber of its content. However, this doesn't just relate to the technical quality or the volume of material that's published. If your content isn't written with a focused aim, it can quickly become a drain on resources rather than a driver of business.
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