The importance of captivating content in 2012

Content has always been important to digital marketing, even more so now with the recent Panda (duplicate content) and Penguin (webspam) updates from Google which focus on reducing the value of sites with low-quality content and 'spammy' links.

High-quality captivating content is the best way to drive traffic to your website, for one simple reason - it will be shared. If you write good content, the people will come. Sure, you can use other SEO techniques to help them along, but once they're there if it is good enough they'll share it and build links for you. Then more will come.

 

But How?

You might be asking how you'd go about doing such a thing? Your business might not be the most interesting in the world and selling cleaning supplies might be really difficult to jazz up, but you'd be surprised how many different ways you could generate link worthy content both directly and indirectly.

Here are some examples to get you started:

 

  • Blog articles with bonkers titles - if you can write well or know someone that can, then you produce some pretty interesting blog articles about even the most dry and mundane subjects. Sure, 'ride-on floor polishers' might be interesting to you, but it's doubtful to attract attention from the masses. But if you use a tool like Linkbaitgenerator, you could come up with some rather interesting articles which might generate some natural links or even go 'viral' on the world wide web. How about these for article titles:
    • 8 reasons to fear ride-on floor polishers
    • The 10 commandments of ride-on floor polishers
    • Why ride-on floor polishers should scare you more than Osama Bin Laden
    • 7 bizarre ways ride-on floor polishers can kill you suddenly
  • User-generated content - this is something which scares most business owners - giving the user the ability to leave comments and reviews of their products. Of course, un-moderated and unmonitored reviews could be dangerous, but giving people the chance to leave feedback is an excellent way to add extra content to your site that search engines will love. If you're lucky, you might get a few good reviews and (combined with microdata) which could help both your search engine rankings and click through rates. If you're really lucky you might get one person write a particularly captivating review that others are willing to share without encouragement from you. A perfect example is this not particularly safe for work review of 'Veet for men hair removal gel' on Amazon (Warning: contains strong content) that was passed virally around the web and not doubt has acquired Amazon plenty of extra inbound links (note at the time of writing 19,622 people found the review helpful!). We can happily recommend good review services or show you ways to incorporate user-generated content into your website.
  • Video based content - in 2012, video is almost as important as social. People love video and are shown to be far more likely to click a link in the search results that has video in it, watch video on websites and be more likely to make a purchase after watching a product video than on sites that have no video. Clever video often goes viral, resulting in thousands or millions of views, links and, as a result, an extension of the brand reach and the revenue generated by the company. Of course coming up with content for a video might seem a bit more difficult, but even something as simple as a product video can make a world of difference to click through rates, conversion rates and natural links to your site.
  • Cats - everyone loves cats. If you can find a way to incorporate cats into your site, you're far more likely to make a sale. Well, this might not necessarily be true, but who's going to deny they're cute?
  • Competitions - people love the chance to win something for nothing. This is not necessarily a content thing, but it could still be on your site. If you can afford to do it, find something relevant to your business and offer a competition. Like, Tweet and share competitions are especially popular at the moment and if they do nothing other than get you some extra links, they've done their job. Do it right and you'll have more followers and customers who are enticed by the landing page on your site to buy something else from you, even if they don't win.
  • Other Captivating Content - there are other sorts of content you can focus on to help build links through what is known as 'link bait' - that is writing content that so fantastic people just want to share it These are examples of things that are always popular:
    • Top 10 lists - people love a good list. So if you can think about 10 things that are great about something (relevant to your business/product/service) then you're on to a winner. Especially if you can make it interesting.
    • Advantages and disadvantages - people like to weigh up the pros and cons of things. Why not help them decide.
    • Hints and tips - if you can teach someone something they didn't know without patronising them, they'll love you for it. Especially if it's interesting and/or amusing.
    • Infographics - these are particularly popular at the moment. Statistics and information in visual form. It makes things far more interesting and easily digestible. People love them.
    • 'Secrets' - certain words naturally entice people in. Sex, money and death are popular, but people also love a good 'secret'. If you can write an article or page sharing secrets with them, they'll naturally be drawn in.
  • Images - whether simply informative and just pleasing on the eye, a good image can make all the difference to a website. This has been proven by the popularity of Pinterest, where users are avidly sharing and re-sharing photos from around the web in their droves. Just remember to keep the image optimised so it doesn't slow the site down on loading.

Standing Out From The Crowd

Of course, if you have an excellent, ground-breaking product, it should sell itself. But not everyone is that lucky.

If you're an e-commerce website selling the same (or similar) products to your competitors and you got the content on your product pages directly from the manufacturer's website, how can you hope to stand out in the search engines? Price? Customer service? No one will know about those unless you get found first. So standing out can mean something as simple as writing snappy copy for your products, even if the basic specifications are the same. It will appeal to Google - because it'll be different, but it will also appeal to the user, because it makes you unique!

Discover more about the importance of content in 2012 by talking to us and seeing what we can do for you.