We all know that writing website content is not an easy task. Writing good website content is even harder. Writing GREAT content? Yes. It can be done. You'll see from the completely made-up chart on the right, that great content makes up only 1% of all content on the web. With actual stats, it may be even less.
Let's start with the basics and explain to you why content is important to the success of your website.
- It provides a good user experience. When someone is on a website they are looking for something. It doesn't have to be something earth shattering, but they are looking for something even if it is just to waste time at work. If you fail to provide the content that the user is looking for (in relation to your website) then you have failed that user.
- It is what a search engine can read and "understand". If you have a website that contains 10 pages and each page contains 30 words of content, but great graphics a search engine might have an idea of what your site is about, but there is not enough supporting content there to justify it. Also refer to number 1...if you aren't going to provide the search engine user with a good user experience, why should a search engine direct them there?
Now that you understand why you should have content, let's explore the differences of good content vs. great content. The video below an interview with Dusty Henry of Kitterman Marketing Group and Rand Fishkin of MOZ. Rand does an awesome job explaining the differences between good and great content. After you watch the video, I'll sum it up for you and try and convince you to work harder to get that great content.
Ultimately what Rand says is that good content will fulfill the need of the reader. The will read it and probably have the answer that they are looking for. Great content takes it a bit further. Great content will answer the question, but will also make the reader want someone else to read it. This can be a variety of things from humor to actually providing a good solution to something. A recent study by the NY Times determined what type of content is shared the most:
- 49% of respondents said that sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.
- 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
- 73% share information because it helps them connect with others who share their interests.
- 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about.
Really what it comes down to is, will this content be valuable to others, does this content somehow support my opinions or beliefs, or can I be the person that makes someone aware of a brand/product/service? Need a few ideas:
- Use images...people are very visual.
- Be knowledgeable. Don't write about how to build an aircraft carrier if you only know how to build a canoe.
- Use humor. Who doesn't want to cheer someone else up?
- Sometimes it doesn't hurt to ask for a share.
- Be personable. If someone can relate to your content, they might be more willing to share.
While the actual content of your content is incredibly important, you're writing this so it can be found by others. Make sure that you take that into consideration as well. Pay attention to what keywords you want to page to rank for. Make sure the content is specifically about that and uses the term(s) in the copy.
Make sure your content is unique, copy and paste content isn't going to get you shares and search engines want unique content!
Don't forget to have buttons that allow someone to share the content easily...generally the easier something is, the more it will happen.
Are You Convinced?
You probably are...it doesn't take much to convince someone to want great content. The hard part is actually getting it done. Everything you write isn't going to be a homerun, but if you are enjoying the process and you are providing value to someone, that should be enough to stick with it! You'll be a champion in no time.
Now please share away!