Tag Archives: Web Content

Wondering what type of content you should publish on your website?

There is no dearth of content publishing ideas once you decide to use content marketing to promote your business, whether you want to publish content on your own website/blog or on third-party websites to gain more exposure (and high-quality incoming links).

As I have repeatedly mentioned on this blog, anything that manifests on the Internet can be termed as content. It’s another issue whether it is solving some purpose or not. An image, a link, a blog post, an articles, a social media update, a mindmap representation, your menubar, a video, a screen cast, a product description page, an FAQs page, everything that comes in front of you is content. So whenever you’re publishing something, you’re publishing content.

Many businesses desiring to use content marketing to promote themselves think that content marketing merely means publishing blog posts and articles and then submitting them to various directories (old world) and social networking websites (new world). Publishing blog posts and articles and submitting them everywhere is certainly one of the main parts of content marketing, it isn’t just blog posts and articles that make up your content. This Entrepreneur blog post lists 101 different types of web content that you can use to build your website.

What makes your web content successful?

Content marketing no longer remains at the fringes. There was a time when people thought content marketing merely meant stocking up your website (or, later on, blog) with lots of keyword-centric content to cover all possible keywords. Terms like “SEO content” and “search engine friendly content” were highly sort after. There was a complete, dedicated branch of SEO content writers who specifically created content for search engines (I am using the past tense just for the sake of writing, such writers still do brisk business).

Do such tactics work? In many cases, yes. Google and other search engines still show lots of preference for keyword-centric content. Actually, there is nothing fundamentally wrong in creating keyword-centric content. After all, what are keywords? They are the terms and expressions you use when you talk about your business. They are also terms and expressions your present and prospective customers and clients use when they talk about your products or services, or when they are trying to search for your products and services on search engines and social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.

The problem is, most SEO experts and website owners focus on just creating keyword-centric content. This may get you lots of traffic, but very little business. When you are doing business online, traffic isn’t everything, although it is a big part of your online marketing effort. More than traffic, what you need is a good conversion rate. When you have good conversion rate, your web content can be called successful.

Well-written web content achieves the following for your online business:

  • Get qualified search engine traffic for the right keywords and search terms
  • Provide timely information that assists your customers and clients complete the buying cycle
  • Constantly engage your visitors so that they develop a sense of familiarity with you or your brand

These are the basic traits that make your web content successful.

Difference between content writing and content curation

There are basically 2 ways you can generate quality content for your website or blog:

  • Content writing/generating fresh content
  • Curating quality content from other reliable sources

The benefits of creating new content

By constantly creating new content and publishing it on your website or blog you establish your authority on the subject. You get to share your own knowledge, your own experience and your own expertise. Writing and publishing your own content is a very good way of building online intellectual wealth that not only helps your visitors but also helps you.

It also makes you an independent knowledge resource. When you’re generating your own content you don’t need to depend on external links, and to be frank, external links cannot always be relied upon. I remember when there was a big earthquake in Japan a very prominent website published an info-graphic comprehensively explaining how to survive an earthquake. I had linked to that info-graphic from one of my blog posts. Recently when there was a big earthquake in north-eastern India I wanted to share the same link. But when I visited it, it directed me to another, irrelevant (full of affiliate links) URL. The original info-graphic has been removed. Had I had the same info-graphic on my own website at least it would have been still there.

Obviously, the search engines are constantly looking for original content to index and rank and the more original content you publish the more advantage you get in this arena.

Original content writing is also a showcase of your communication skill. You are not simply providing information to your visitors just to gain traffic; you are actually putting in effort to create quality content.

The benefits of content curation or curating quality content

The biggest benefit of content curation is you can share high-quality content with your visitors without having to create it. Normally what people do is, create a quick synopsis of the original link, publish it as a paragraph and in the end append the original link.

Does it help your search engine rankings? Surely it does, provided you stick to the core theme. Suppose I decide to create a blog post solely having quality links on content writing. If there are 10 links in my blog post it means I’m going to write 10-12 paragraphs on the topic of content writing in order to briefly explain every link. So targeted content plus high-quality outgoing links (and in the form of trackbacks you may also get some juicy incoming links) can do wonders to your search engine rankings.

Content curation is a great way to create link bait opportunities because often it is difficult to get high-value content at a single place. If all the 10 links on content writing I’m linking to have great value people are going to link to my blog post as a valuable resource and they are also going to share it using their social media profiles.

What is good, content writing or content curation?

Both are important, I would say. There can be no content curation without original content so somebody has to write and publish original content and only then it can be curated.

The Internet can be chaotic as well as intimidating with millions of webpages and blog posts vying for your attention at a particular instance. So if you can find a single webpage or a blog post that has lots of links collected from different reliable sources it can help you tremendously.

Does content curation help your business?

Whether content curation helps your business or not depends on your business model. There are lots of blogs that simply publish lists gathered from various other blogs and websites (for instance, a web design blog curating web design links from scores of blogs and websites, just dealing with designing the top navigation bar).

As a personal advise I would recommend a 70-30 ratio. If you publish 10 webpages or blog posts every month and you also want to curate content, you should try posting 7 original posts and 3 collected links.contact

How to fire up your web content strategy

Content StrategyWeb content strategy basically constitutes of publishing what your target audience is looking for, and then making it easily findable.

Are you publishing content on your website or blog for a particular reason? There are two ways of publishing it on your website and leveraging its potential:

  1. Publishing regularly hoping that it will generate enough buzz that will eventually turn into business
  2. Regularly publishing and streamlining it according to your business needs, continuously analyzing the performance of your content and taking follow-up steps

The second way of publishing is what you basically call “web content strategy”. You publish content with a certain intention and continuously try to make sure your web content strategy achieves what it is intended to achieve. Here are a few things you can do to fire up your web content strategy.

What do you want your web content strategy to achieve?

This is a very important question. Don’t simply publish content on your website just because your competitors are doing that. For an effective web content strategy you must need to know what you’re achieving and what are your long-term and short-term goals vis-à-vis publishing content on your website. Do you want to

  • Improve your search engine rankings by publishing keyword-rich content?
  • Make your prospective customers and clients more aware of your products and services?
  • Make your prospective and current customers and clients more aware of the overwhelming benefits of your products and services?
  • Want to keep your visitors engaged?
  • Strengthen your brand presence?
  • Rake up socially relevant issues?
  • Educate and inform your visitors so that they can make better decisions regarding what they should be buying and investing their money in?

Frankly, there can be 1000s of questions you can ask yourself before publishing content but the basic idea is, you should know precisely why you are publishing. The more clear you are, the better direction you will have.

What sort of audience you want to cater to through your web content strategy?

Last year I partnered with a client who wanted to address an audience who remains at the forefront of technology: people who would buy the first iPhone or the iPad or who would start using a pioneering service without waiting for someone else. For instance, people who started using Facebook and Twitter in their early years. The direction of the content was totally different.

So before going ahead with your web content strategy you must know who you’re talking to on a daily basis and then produce content accordingly.

What format of content your audience prefers?

I am a content writer but this doesn’t mean I always recommend text as the most preferred format of producing and publishing content. Different types of content formats can play a crucial role in your overall web content strategy such as video, audio-visual, audio, graphics, images, presentations, slideshows, and of course, text. The format of your content depends on your audience preference and the devices they use. If your audience prefers reading, by all means provide text. If they are more visual types then provide them images and graphics. If their devices can handle streaming video and they prefer that, then provide it.

Make sure that you stay away from the “me too” approach. Just because an XYZ website uses video doesn’t mean that you should use it too. Maybe it works for them, maybe it will, or maybe it won’t for you, or maybe it doesn’t even work for them but they still use it. It’s important to understand what format actually clicks for you and then produce plenty of it.

What channels you use to spread your content?

No matter how outstanding content you’re producing unless people know about it they are neither going to consume it nor promote it. You need to spread your content using proper channels. It can be your website/blog that enjoys lots of traffic. It can be your social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. It can be Youtube if video is your primary content format. Nurture different channels and then use them to engage your audience and distribute your content.

How do you track the performance of your web content strategy?

Without tracking performance you are simply throwing darts in the darkness. You need to know whether your web content strategy is delivering or not. Although you won’t have enough data to analyze within a couple of weeks, and you need some ground for scientific analysis, once that initial hurdle is crossed, you need to constantly evaluate how your content performs with different parameters.

You can analyze individual webpages/blog posts in terms of

  • How much traffic they were able to generate
  • What important keywords and key phrases they were able to attract traffic for
  • How many people retweeted and shared them
  • How many people left comments
  • How many people explored further pages of your website after entering through those particular pages/blog posts
  • How many back links were they able to generate, etc.

Please note that these webpages and blog posts may also have indirect effects such as getting you more Twitter followers and Facebook likes and there are surely tools to measure even these indirect effects.

In the end, web content strategy is not your backyard activity. It requires lots of effort, understanding of your own market and figuring out a slew of different matrices.

Hiring a website content writing service

Hiring a website content writing service is one of the most critical decisions you ever make for your online business. It’s basically your content that gets — whether through search engines, directly, or through social media and networking websites — traffic to your website, and it’s your content that converts your visitors into paying customers and clients.

Rather than hiring full-time in-house content writers, most small and medium businesses prefer to hire a website content writing service because (read why you should outsource to a content writing service), aside from saving on time and effort, they can also avail world-class writers from across the globe without going through the pain of finding them, and then training them.

The Internet is a great tool, a gargantuan advantage. Just log on and you can find writing talent from every possible nook and corner of the world. This is also a disadvantage. Unlike in the brick-and-mortar business it takes less effort to get onto the Internet and start a business. No, I’m not saying it’s easier to do business on the Internet, just easier to start a business. Nonetheless, there are many businesses that somehow manage to get the initial push and somehow you happen to stumble upon them and end up doing business with them. But do they deliver? Only time, and their performance, can tell. The thing is, they might just be testing the waters, or playing around with a new “work from home” idea just in case it works, but you are into serious business. You have invested your sweat, money and talent into your business and a lot is at stake. You are not playing around with some idea or “this Internet thing”. You want real results.

That’s why it’s very important to hire your website content writing service with great care. But if you have never worked before with this service, how can you decide, how do you know doing business with this company can be a safe bet?

What to look for before hiring a content writing service

  • For how long has your content writing service been in the business: You can easily find the age of the domain. Check out their blog archives (they have a blog, right?). Go through their online portfolio. If possible, check out their client websites and see how old the content over there is.
  • How does the website look: Most of the established content writing services have well-designed websites. By well-designed I don’t mean they should have won awards for best layout and design, you can just feel it. If they take their business seriously, they should also take their website seriously, because they are supposed to be getting good business from the website.
  • Does your website content writing service have a social media presence: This is not necessary but a service that’s active on the social media has a reputation to maintain. It takes lots of effort to build a brand on social media and networking websites. If they take their social media seriously, there is a great chance that they take their business seriously too.
  • Do they have a blog: Now this is a must for a content writing service. Just imagine a service that offers blog content to you and does not publish a good-quality blog. A blog is not just a great communication and SEO tool it also manifests an open, progressive mentality. It shows you put in effort to regularly talk to your visitors and share with them your thoughts.
  • What’s their quality of writing: This should logically be the first thing to consider.
  • How many websites link back to your content writing service: Back links are not only good for SEO, they are also an indication of good quality. If their website enjoys lots of back links from other websites and blogs it means people like what they have on their website and also what they have been doing.
  • What sort of testimonials do they have: Remember that many websites have testimonials that don’t seem real so you need to take testimonials with a pinch of salt, but reputed testimonials do matter. Be wary of testimonials not accompanies by website links. If they display big brand names and they themselves are not a very well-known name feel free to ask for direct links where their content can be seen.

Do you have your own consideration for hiring a competent content writing service? If yes, please share it in the comment section.