‘Content is King’ – I wonder if Bill Gates ever realised how much that phrase would be quoted when he first wrote it back in 1996? Even now over 20 years later the phrase is still much talked about and brings up a variety of articles when typed in a search engine (trust me I checked!) all stating the importance of content and why it is so vital in today’s business landscape.
But what does it really mean when you break it down and what are the most crucial parts of good content and how much does it really contribute to the way we do business these days?
Original content is a must
Most people might already realise that having someone else’s content on their site is plagiarism. This is not only bad form but also is strictly frowned upon in terms of search engine algorithms. Google among others will punish sites that have copied content by ranking them poorly which generally means your site won’t be that visible in search terms.
Not only that but who really wants to buy from a company that pinches content from somewhere else. Taking the credit for someone else’s work doesn’t build trust with customers and does very little in terms of establishing a good reputation.
Creative, engaging and unique content is worth its weight in gold and will be far more effective for companies than anything that has been rehashed or lifted from elsewhere.
Nailing the headline
Creating great content is all about the headline and setting your stall out right from the outset with a title that draws the reader in. The majority of info hungry internet readers will only read the title and opening paragraph of an article so that is where the magic needs to happen. Bland and uninspiring article openers are not likely to gain any traction with readers.
Having a great title that really nails a burning question or wows the audience to know more is really what we’re looking for here. Any content producer worth their salt can help you to generate topical and inspiring content by analysing your market and putting together a list of common themes.
Give the reader results
People are curious and for the most part want to learn which why they might look for information online in the first place. By providing this information by way of an entertaining and engaging article then it leaves the audience wanting more from you. Writing good content that strikes a balance between educating and challenging the reader in equal measure develops you as an authority. Links are important too without overdoing it – include references and source to other useful articles or authority pieces and you will develop credibility in this area.
Keep updating regularly and don’t be afraid to outsource
Maintaining a website and writing blog content can easily become a full-time job which for many business owners isn’t that practical. Anyone looking for a business online tends to look for their online presence first and foremost and an outdated site or blog can be off-putting. Regular updates can depend on the company and industry but at least once a week is the optimum for many.
Using a content writing company can be an attractive alternative as long as you know what you are looking for (hence the reason for this article!). Even with the most basic of briefs an experienced content writer should be able to deliver a high-quality piece that they can prove is entirely original. This way you can still get your website updated regularly and yet you don’t have to invest significant amounts of time to it. Outsourcing your content requirements to an external writer can ensure you get content that customers want to see and yet it is still written from a company perspective. Developing blog or website content over a period of time helps to create your company’s voice which is now a big factor in online brand development.