In the first part of this series on ranking at the top of the search engines, we discussed diversifying your Internet marketing efforts. We introduced several methods including RSS feeds, Link Popularity, Article Marketing, Blogs, and physically altering your pages to make them more target-able for select keywords. All of these share the key of great content in order to unlock success.
Think of each method as a vehicle that carries the greatest cargo in the world. That cargo is your business, your product, and the word you want to get out.
So you’re thinking, “show me how to set up these things and get traffic coming in!” We’ll get to that, but imagine if you go to all the trouble of rewriting ten of your web pages, setting up a blog, writing some articles, buying some text links, syndicating your site over RSS, and you flip the switch and everyone hears you…
But then surprise! Your audience feels like they’re watching an old, dubbed Karate movie… the words come in English three seconds after the guy moves his mouth…in Chinese. Your new parade of eager visitors turns away and never comes back.
Then you’d hate me, the Internet, your old first grade teacher… and we don’t want that! So before we start adding marketing bells and whistles to your site, lets focus on the secret ingredient they all share, the solid foundation… super, juicy, colossal content! And, you can start drafting that immediately.
Great Content- What Makes It?
Is there a site you visit nearly every day? Why do you go there? Do you learn something or take back some knowledge? Guess what… the site has “good” content.
In terms of business, you’re probably on the web researching, buying, or selling something. The Internet is all about information exchange. In whatever vehicle it’s delivered to you, if the information is simple to find and well packaged in easy to understand, bite size pieces, you’re happy. And you’ll probably go back to the same place when you need more of that information.
In your case, content is information about/promoting/creating awareness about your business. To turn a new visitor into a new client or customer, you want to convey that information in a genuine, honest, no strings, down and dirty package.
So then, on the surface, your packaging should be:
Let’s take this article… the layout, wording, sentence structure, and my personality package the content. The content is the underlying message I want to share with you– that all of the latest e-marketing techniques won’t help you one bit if you don’t understand the ideology behind them first, how they work, and how to adapt them to attract people to your own, unique piece of the Internet.
Great Content- How to write it
That’s going to vary depending upon your audience. So let’s start there! First, know who your audience is. Be yourself. If you are dishonest and pretend to be something you’re not, it will show in time and you’ll lose all the work you put in.
Which brings me to another important point. Write with confidence. If you are confident in what you are writing and you aren’t attempting to deceive anyone (i.e. you are not selling seeds to an audience of botanists when your only skill is brick laying), you will earn people’s respect.
Trust goes a long way. You don’t have the luxury of delivering your content in person. You have a very short time to convince people you are not the latest scam, you have something to offer that will help them, and they can feel safe doing business with you or at least willing to learn more.
That’s a pretty tall order! But you can do it. Let’s start with some guidelines for writing your content. Remember… a web page, an RSS feed or a news article will all share these commonalities.
Great Content- Thematic Essentials
-Be informal, but structured
-Know your audience. Pretend you’re talking to them. If you wouldn’t say something in person, don’t say it online.
-Don’t be boring. Would you read what you’ve written?
-Do NOT lie
-Writing for the Net is not the same as writing for print
-Keep it simple- one idea at a time, don’t overwhelm
-Inform, educate and show the reader what’s in it for them.
-Do not saturate your content with sales hype. You are slowly building trust, making a name for yourself, and not producing an infomercial.
Great Content- Mechanical Essentials
-Divide your document into headings and sub points. People scan a page until something catches their eye, they don’t read.
-Make your titles and headings catchy, yet poignant.
-Do not try to incorporate a keyword in every sentence. Be natural, your keywords and synonyms will enter themselves.
-When finished, put your document down and go do something else. Come back later and revise. Repeat, rinse.
How to keep it fresh and keep your audience
-Earn their trust by being honest
-Identify with a common problem or solution to which all can relate
-Don’t shove your product or service in their face
-Show them something cool
-Give them something they can try immediately
-Leave them wanting to come back
Internet marketing takes time, perseverance, and practice. A ton of all three. If you are swamped with work and honestly can’t commit, hire someone to help you or do it for you.
You wouldn’t allow a brochure to be printed with spelling errors and bad photos. Your online presence is no different.
Now that you’re working on writing, next time we’ll learn how to encase your content in some of the latest Internet marketing methods. I’ll show you how they really can increase links and get traffic flowing. In this series we’ll delve into details about the pros and cons of each method, and how you can start using each right away to increase traffic and links. Start writing and revise, revise, revise! See ya soon!
About the author:
John Krycek is the owner and creative director of http://www.themouseworks.ca.Learn more about search engine marketing and web design and development in easy, non-technical, up front English at http://www.themouseworks.ca/html/website_articles_indx.html