Every website needs content, no argument. Many businesses are aware of this, so content pours onto the Web in an ever-increasing stream.
Here’s why. Back in 2009, in this article, Marketing Power: Grow Your Website With Great Web Content | Angela Booth’s Creativity Factory, I said:
“Adding content to your website is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to promote your business. The more content your site contains, the more visitors you will get.”
That was then. This is now. Google uncaged Panda, then Penguin… Heaven help us all when Google unleashes Hawke, or Gorilla, or whichever zoological update is next.
Nowadays there’s SO MUCH content on the Web that generic content has little chance of getting attention.
I love my Web content clients, all of them: they believe that “content is king”.
That’s true, but only when it supports YOUR marketing goals. Gratuitous content is just a waste of time and energy, not to mention money.
Here’s how a conversation with a Web content client often goes:
Client: “I need ten articles on _______ (whatever.)”
Me: “Sure, love to do it. What’s your target market? What response do you want?”
Client: “I want to get traffic.”
Me: “Let’s look at what you’re currently doing, so that your content can support your marketing goals.”
Content for content’s sake is dead. It was always (after 2004) a waste of time. You need a reason to create content, and you need to track that content, so that you know what you have.
Track your content
I have lots of sites and blogs. Here’s my blog for freelance writers, for example. Sadly, I’ve never paid much attention to tracking my content. My bad, so don’t do what I did — I’m changing my ways.
I started my blog for freelance writers way back in 2006. The Web was different in those days. You could still do well with the judicious use of keywords. In 2012, and going forward, you need more than keywords.
I’m tracking my content so that I can update it, and also so that I can repurpose it, for sites like Amazon. Here’s why: that’s where the buyers are, so you should be there too.
In this interview, Aaron Wall of SEO Book suggested “selling your products on the broad sites Google has promoted (like Amazon and eBay)” if ” if Google becomes a non-opportunity due to their Wal-Martization of the search results”.
You can’t rely on Google. You can however, still rely on content.
In a nutshell: these days, you can’t rely on Google to send you “traffic” because you have content. You need content, yes, but for your customers and business goals, NOT for the search engines. So, create goals before you create content, and then track your content, both so that you know what you have, and so that you can make it work for you.