Many business owners recognize that quality website content is valuable, but the scope of this value is not always obvious. 2014 may be the year of content marketing, but there are still many business owners and bloggers who aren’t quite sure how to create truly valuable and engaging content for their website. Here are seven reasons why quality website content is so valuable and what distinguishes it from ineffective content.
What is Content?
To begin this look at the value of quality content let’s start by clarifying the term “content.” In the digital world content is a mixture of the written, graphical, video and audio information that you have on your site and the packaging that presents that information.
The content you have may vary by topic or type but the ultimate goal of that content is to promote brand awareness, brand loyalty, and reader engagement. Good blog content can be incredibly valuable: an estimated 57% of marketers have acquired new customers through their blogs and 92% of marketers believe that good content is effective for SEO. In addition, great website content boasts long shelf life, an enhanced user experience, usability and visitor value, and is crucial for sales generation, product differentiation, shareability and, of course, SEO.
Great website content boasts long shelf life, an enhanced user experience, usability and visitor value.”
Content Shelf Life – Value Reason #1
If you’re working in the technology niche and you write an article about a new laptop that just hit the market, that article has a shelf life of only a few weeks before it’s too dated to be relevant. Quality website content can survive the test of time and remain useful for your site for months—or even years—into the future.
The most important element of long shelf life is keeping with forward-thinking SEO practices. To extend the shelf life of your existing content, consider repurposing it, updating older content, writing about broader issues and debates in your industry, or composing “evergreen” how-to’s and reader tips (rather than time-sensitive topics). This isn’t to say quality, well written content such as reviews aren’t useful or important for readership, but maintaining balance on your website or blog is important.
Usability – Value Reason #2
In terms of content, usability is a broad term that can be applied to everything from the navigation of your site to the accessibility of your content. The content you have on your site should be relevant and make the purpose of your company obvious. Quality website content makes navigation easier, and if your work is clear and concise, readers should be able to navigate easily through your website.
Usability can also effect content sharing. If you haven’t already done so, consider looking at mobile options for your web design. Visitors should be able to share and access your content quickly and easily from their tablet, smartphone or PC. The percent of website visitors coming from mobile devices continues to grow each year. Not addressing or planning for this will directly impact your website performance, i.e. conversions and sales.
Visitor Value – Value Reason #3
Even if your business is part of a relatively remote niche, you’re still engaged in a fierce competition for visitors and readers. However, you can engage and retain those readers with good content. You may be asking yourself, “How can good content keep visitors on my site?” As it turns out, the most obvious answer is also the truest: people are more likely to read and share your content if it provides real value to them. In other words, you need to find out what your visitors want.
People are more likely to read and share your content if it provides real value to them.”
While your content can—and should—promote ideas, discussion and interest in your industry, blog, or business, it should also answer questions readers may have and offer them information they may find useful. Visitor value alone can bring people back to your site, get your content shared, improve your engagement metrics and potentially drive website conversions and sales.
Sales Generation – Value Reason #4
Building trust is a vital part of sales generation for any business or blog, and you can build that trust by establishing yourself as an authority figure in your industry through the content you produce. In terms of sales generation, good content can be especially useful if you know how to key in on your target demographics. For instance, an estimated 78% of women read about products before buying. This means companies that market to women are focusing more on content marketing and content production.
Things like FAQs, reviews and other forms of quality content can help stimulate sales as well—especially when coming from a trusted source. Finally, good content can also be an effective call to action that drives visitors to purchase and, hopefully, to revisit your site in the future.
Product Differentiation – Value Reason #5
If your business is part of a highly competitive industry, you’re probably no stranger to the concept of product differentiation. Thankfully, good content can help your company stand out. Oftentimes, this means adding unique posts, like humorous blogs or informative videos—both of which are useful tools that can help visitors separate your brand from competitors. This has been an incredibly effective approach for Zappos: when the company began to supplement their product pages with content videos, their sales rose by as much as 30%.
SEO – Value Reason #6
For your content to be effective, people need to read it. You may be a clever or quick writer, but ultimately the greatest content in the world isn’t going to help your business unless it can be found. Well written, quality content makes use of appropriate keyword density, inbound links, and other elements of search engine optimization that make your site more visible on search engines.
As SEO continues to evolve, social media has become in important facet of any well design SEO effort. The sharing of website content on different social media platforms helps drive content, website and business visibility, increases visitor traffic to the business website, and builds additional, quality links your business website.
Share Worthy Content – Value Reason #7
From the earliest days of online music piracy to the latest additions to the armada of social networking websites, the sharing of quality content is a key factor driving the Internet. Good content is valuable because it’s precisely the type of content that’s worth sharing—it’s informative, engaging, funny, controversial, educational, or insightful. And with the rise of social media sites and mobile browsing, shared content doesn’t just boost brand awareness; it’s also a significant part of making your brand visible online.
Good content is valuable because it’s precisely the type of content that’s worth sharing.”
The types of content that are shared is growing and evolving. From the more text-based content of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, to the video content of YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, Vines and others, to the graphical content of Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+, social media continues to morph at a breakneck pace. Providing a host of expanding opportunities for sharing content that is worth sharing.
Think Long Term, Think Quality
Quality website content shouldn’t trick people into viewing it because of misleading headlines or questionable SEO techniques. Content that builds trust, and authority with visitors will have lasting value. Truly effective website content—content that brings value to visitors, utilizes keywords appropriately, promotes visitor engagement and drives sales—will provide a strong continuing boost for your company and will be crucial in your online business success.