What comes to your mind when you hear the term “online content?” You might think of anything from the content populating your website and blog to social media presence, and you would be right. Online content is basically everything you put online. It can include your website, blog, social media posts and shares, and even e-commerce. It’s everything floating around cyberspace with your name on it. So if online content were to rule the (online) world, how lofty would your throne be?
A New King Ascended the SEO Throne In 2014
If you’ve asked why it’s important to publish content online, you’re not alone. Many business and brand owners have posed this question. Isn’t it enough to create eye-catching graphics, slap those puppies onto your website and social channels, and let them do the selling? After all, good marketing happens when the product or service sells itself, right?
If this were 2010, and if Google were still supporting old SEO tactics, you’d have a winning strategy. But it’s not. It’s 2014. Google’s beastly search algorithms are poised to shred online presences clinging to old habits while increasing rankings for those that play by the rules. The new rule is that content is king.
5 Types of Content You Can’t Do Without
Content comes in all sorts of flavors. It can be short or long. It can be black and white, gray, or colorful. It can take on whatever shape you need. It is 100 percent customizable and capable of achieving whatever you need, if it’s crafted with skill and care. Although the current content menu on display at copywriting agencies all over the net is sizeable, there are five types of content you simply cannot do without:
- Blog posts: Blogs are super important to businesses and brands. Your goal should be to blog at least a few times per week or month. Each topic should be relevant to your specific products or services. Be educational and informative versus sales oriented when blogging, but don’t be afraid to subtly point out the benefits or value your product or service brings to the table. A meaty blog packed full of solid material hands your audience the ability to be well informed and educated. They are much more likely to buy from an industry expert versus a company that focuses solely on conversion.
- News: Your business is constantly growing. Show your growth by creating and sharing interesting news content. Press releases are a great way to tackle newsworthy topics. Don’t shy away from posting news from your industry as well. News content has the ability to position your business as a subject matter expert that is in the know and in touch with current news and trends.
- Timely: It’s vital to ensure your content is timely and properly positioned. For example, displaying outdated news or information on your site’s main page will give the impression that you’re not prioritizing. In fact, the audience might conclude you are outdated and unworthy of attention in the now. Take the time to inventory your content. Either ensure it is timely and that old information is positioned in older, dated content for those conducting research (recommended), or weed it out completely.
- Products and services: The goal of your online content is no doubt to develop interest in your business and compel the audience to take action. Therefore, your copy should include enough of an explanation about your products and/or services to generate audience appeal. They should know enough to either want to research more (via your online presence) or contact you. Always take care in deciding how much information you will present about your products and/or services. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with so much info that they lose sight of the value you’re offering.
- Social media: It’s the “in” thing of 2014. Social media and search engine rankings go hand-in-hand because the strength of your social media will affect the strength of your overall rankings. Building this type of content is an absolute must. The key to creating killer social media is in crafting the sort of content people simply must share. This requires interesting and fresh content. Variety is vital. Give your audience a generous mix of both serious and entertaining material while keeping self-promotion to a minimum.
6 Tips for Writing Killer Online Content
According to Social Media Today, we’ve reached a point in the content marketing industry where “the line between writing [killer] SEO copy for search engines and engaging copy for humans has all but disappeared.” It sounds silly, but writing for humans means you’re writing for search engines and writing for search engines means you’re writing for humans. Confused? Don’t be! It all boils down to the basic ingredients of killer content:
- Get to the point. Don’t beat around the bush. People don’t have time for that. They want value, and they want it now. They are inundated with information at an alarming rate. Get to the point quickly or risk losing their attention.
- Keep it tight. The majority of your audiences are likely using mobile devices, which means they’re viewing your content on a compact screen. Make your copy user friendly by keeping it tight. Sentences and paragraphs should be short and concise. Headings and subheadings should be easily visible and contain the main point of the text beneath them.
- Don’t be shy. You must compel your audience to take action. Don’t be shy! Tell them what to do. Make each call to action logical and blunt. Ensure copywriting from one web page to the next transitions smoothly.
- Be professional. There’s nothing wrong with a little entertainment value, but your copy should reflect your professionalism. Tap into personal stories, funny anecdotes, and peppy wording, but don’t go overboard. Oh, and don’t misspell words either. A typo or two is understandable, but if you display a pattern of misspelling, people won’t take you seriously.
- Stay active. What’s the old adage? “A body in motion stays in motion.” The same is true of copy. Active writing engages the audience; it keeps them motivated to move through your content. Lose the active voice, risk losing that important movement.
- Choose audience friendly topics. Unless your topics are of interest to your audience, all of these tips will be for not. The best way to brainstorm is to find out what works. Invest in learning how to use a good analytics tool. Business2Community recommends researching the topics people are looking for through your website search tool or search engine referrals and cater to them.
5 Industry Standards To Remember
The best strategy for creating online content is incorporating tactics that have a proven success rate. The tactics with proven worth all have a simple quality in common: they revolve around your online content. For example, you should consider:
- Always striving to create FRESH content: Business2Community points out that when search engines determine ranking, they factor in a website’s size. More pages equates to more credibility. One of the best ways to achieve this is by constantly brainstorming, crafting, and publishing fresh content. Staying fresh also means following and using the current trends, problems, and solution in your industry to keep your audience happy and stay relevant.
- Invest in content: The truth is not everyone is gifted in the writing department. Some of us can weave words and craft a 1,000 plus word piece at lightning speed, while others struggle to craft a single paragraph. If you are the latter, don’t feel iffy about investing in a strong copywriter. It’ll likely be the best content investment you make.
- Think outside the box: Online content isn’t just written copy. Get creative with your content. Consider using infographics, podcasts, videos, and SlideShares.
- Consider syndication: According to Business2Community, search engines index content from multiple sources. Therefore, syndicating your content is something to consider. It can significantly increase visibility and ranking.
- Create and publish regularly: Business2Community points out that Google author rankings inherently favor authors who publish valuable content on a regular and frequent basis. Not only that, but Google also favors content pushed through Google Plus. Credibility and a boost in search engine rankings can be quickly earned through content that bears a combo of code markup and +1 sharing.
Online content is rapidly evolving into the foundational aspect of online presence. It really does rule the online world. It’s present in everything we publish, no matter how major or minor. It’s the biggest factor in SEO today, and it doesn’t look like this “trend” will be trending down anytime soon.
How decked out is your content throne? Are you a shining spectacle folks can’t take their eyes off of and want to exam in detail? When they pull out the magnifying glass, what will they find? If your online content isn’t ready for close inspection, then it’s time to take an inventory and apply the tips we’ve discussed. Online content is king. Don’t be caught without it!