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10 reasons you should invest in good content

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
4 April 2012

With all the recent talk of changes in Google algorithms, sites being penalised for “unnatural” link profiles and the ongoing importance of good content, I wanted to share a short summary of some of the reasons why you need to invest in great content for your site – and I’d love it if you shared your own reasons in the comments!

By “invest” I don’t necessarily mean in the traditional “buy it” form – though of course there are ways of doing that. But whether you choose to invest time, energy, money or just focus on your content, it’s something that you’ve got to do – not just for your SEO (though that’s the main angle I’m focusing on here) but also for your customers and users.

So, with that in mind, here’s 10 reasons for you – not all of them will apply to everyone, but if you’re working for/with a brand right now, I guarantee that at least 5 of them will be relevant to you…

1. Good content converts

Investing in great content about your products or services will naturally help to sell them – unless you’re selling Coca Cola or something REALLY obvious, people will want to know more about what your product involves. Well-written content can help them to understand this, without the need for them to look elsewhere – or worse, go to your competitors. The more you can help them to understand at the touch of a button, the less research they’ll need to do. Of course, good onsite usability and conversion is crucial here too, but we’ll save that for another post.

2. Content conveys professionalism

There’s nothing worse than getting to a website you think is “the one for you” and finding their content is sloppy, unprofessional or riddled with errors. Or worse still – they don’t have any at all! Content helps to convey how professional and up-standing your brand is, so unless that’s not a priority for you, you need to make sure your content is up-to-scratch.

3. Good content rewards customers

As well as conveying your professionalism, good content acts as a reward to your customers and potential customers, telling them that you value their time and their business. Unless you’re in the “Use them and lose them” category of products, you’ll most likely have repeat business in the back of your mind at all times – good content is crucial if you want people to come back to your site time and again.

4. Good content encourages engagement

As the worlds of social media and search become ever-more intertwined, the need to engage your users onsite has become a must. Well-produced and interesting content encourages engagement – though obviously there are techniques within the content that help this even further. But as a rule, the better your content (and cues), the more people will want to engage with you. Whether that engagement is through conversation, or a social “follow”, or even just a “Like”, almost all engagement ultimately helps with your other aims in the long run.

5. Intelligent content attracts customers

A lot of websites seem to take the (short-sighted) view that using content is all about getting people to your site, and forget that it’s actually your greatest sales tool once you have them their. Creating spammy or poor-quality content for SEO is ultimately cutting off your nose to spite your face – nobody is going to buy your quality product if you’ve got them their through underhand techniques, particularly if they’re faced with a page of rubbish when they get there.

6. Great content attracts search engines

Whilst I didn’t want to make the focus of this post overall “Great content is great for SEO”, the two are quite clearly intrinsically linked – now more-so than ever. With Google’s Panda updates making that very obvious, the need to produce well-written and well-optimised content should be one of your highest priorities in SEO – though my rule of thumb with “SEO Content” has always been “put the user first” – and it’s worked out well for us so far.

7. Well-written content increases time-on-site

Producing content that people actually want to READ (or watch, or use) as opposed to just using it as a “trick” to get them to your site is crucial if you want people to spend TIME on your site. Site “stickiness” naturally increases the amount of time you have to sell to your customers – whether that’s increasing their understanding of your products, of your brand/ethos or just tell them more about your range, keeping them on site for longer will inevitably lead to better interactions in the long run.

8. Content increases your authority

As with my SEO comments above, Google are clearly keen to reward sites’ “Authority” on topics – and what better way to demonstrate that you’re an authority on a subject or topic. Utilise your content to demonstrate this authority and you’ll not only being increasing Google’s opinion of you, it’ll also carry across to your customers too.

9. Content doesn’t just mean WORDS

I’ve tried to avoid focusing too much on “content” which is specifically WORD based (most of the above applies across all content types) but it’s worth stressing that point here: Great content doesn’t just mean text – it can very imagery, videos, audio, discussions, data or any number of other types of media. As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” – though I can’t guarantee they were talking about SEO when they said that…!

10. Content shouldn’t be hard to produce

If you find yourself struggling to produce content, you’re probably not doing it right – or at least not thinking laterally about what you could say. You know your brand and products best, so if you don’t know what to say about them, who will? Having said that, there are always ways to get round a bit of “Writer’s block” – a simple search on your competitors is always useful for a bit of inspiration, as is a trawl of relevant industry blogs or forums. And if all else fails, why not utilise your customers to help you product good content? You never know, they might even enjoy it…!

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