Beware of the Content Bandwagon – [How to Write Effective Web Content]

blind leading the blind
I can’t go anywhere without hearing about how content is king and your content strategy is the future. With the content bandwagon moving at high speeds, it amazes me to see how little useful content is actually being produced. I currently work on sites with high bounce rates and very low time on site metrics. My issue is not with content in general but with the interpretation of content in the form of boring and less than insightful web articles, infographics, videos, and more. So what do I propose you ask? I propose all our content go through an quality control boot camp where we can surpass the threshold of being just “content” and into the realm of information.

content vs information definition

Content vs. Information

All information is content but not all content is information. In a practical phrase, content is really good at filling space but information will fill the mind. Information solves problems. Think of content as content candy and information as a steak. One provides the proper nourishment for sustainable life while the other, though one could argue does, does not.

Content Vs. Information Analogy:

Imagine you are a detective trying to solve a burglary. The better clues we have the better chance we are going to have at solving the mystery.

Here are some clues based on what we have learned about content and information.

Content Clues:

– The burglary happened on a sunny day.
– The burglary happened at a 149 west elm street.
– There is a fire hydrant in front of the burglary location.

Information Clues:

– A witness saw a heavy set man about 6ft tall leaving the building in a ski mask.
– The burglary happened at 5:49 p.m. according to the silent alarm.
– An unidentified fingerprint was recovered from the broken glass.

Which set of clues would you rather have as a detective. Technically both set of clues pertain to burglary however one set of clues moves myself, the detective, closer to solving the case.

Every visitor to your site in one way or another is trying to solve a case of their own. You should make sure the information you are providing is helping them do this. We do this with a proper evaluating criteria.

Content vs. Information Practical Example

The follow example is one I have seen many times. It involves pages on their site that deal with the cost of a product or service, mainly in the medical or law industries. If i click on the “cost of dental implants” link I want to see costs. It is not rocket science. I understand that some costs may vary but at least help me break it down. Is $1000 an average price for these services? What should I get for $500? What makes a cost higher? Lower? Give me substance! Teach me! If not, more than likely you have missed out on an opportunity to build a relationship with prospective customers. Good content builds trust with what I call actionable intelligence.

How to find good Information for your content

  • Make your claims concrete. We do x,y, and z.
  • Use real experiences that support your claims.
  • A new approach to solving a common problem using your services.
  • Review white papers and reports with factual data in enhance and support your position.
  • Answer specific questions in your content.

Now that you have added some substance lets find out if it worked.

How to check if you published information or just basic web content

check content with analytics report in 4 steps

Now that we have created some good information lets see if our audience feels the same way. Remember, the goal is to find content that resonates with your audience.

The simplest way to do this is to go to your analytics and check which pages resonate the most with people. The steps are a little out of order so pay close attention to the image.

After we know a little more about what are visitors are attracted to we can continue to develop more information based content to help resonate more and more with our audience.

Michael

When I am not reading and writing about search marketing you will find me in the boxing ring or watching a great tv show or two. How I got into search marketing can best be illustrated by this breadcrumb timeline representing a chronological journey of my education and employment responsibilities. Print>>Coding>>Web Design>>SEO>>PPC>>Conversion>>Content>>ALL

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