When It Comes to Websites, Content Is King… But Only Once Earned

Content Is KingEverywhere you turn, there’s another individual that’s touting the same old expression “Content is King”.  If you’re in an industry that works with publishing in one way or another, you probably hear this almost as many times each day than the number of spam messages you receive!  But what does it really mean?

I’ve witnessed hundreds of companies massaging this expression to fit whatever message they’re trying to convey.  The term is used so frequently because it creates a sense of authenticity for whatever words follow.  The fact of the matter however is that the words itself means very little without further explanation.

According to Dictionary.com, content is something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts”.  Well if content is king then does that mean that anything communicated automatically becomes preeminent in its class… both authoritative and influential?  Of course not!  So then, when is content king?  When it is communicated efficiently, leveraging the appropriate formats, to maximize audience engagement!  Simply put, it has to be earned!

How does content earn the prestigious rank whereby it can truly be classified as king?  There are a number of criteria which must be met.  Content must be:

  • Communicated efficiently

I know you want to tell everyone how awesome you are and include that 1,000-word bio, but nobody is going to read it!  A bio should be no more than 300 words and include bullet points for accomplishments if they are relevant (e.g. degrees, awards, etc.)

  • Easy to use

It’s vital that your content is organized so that it’s easy for your visitors to find the information they are seeking.  If they can’t find it within a few seconds, there’s a significant chance they’ll leave your site and move onto your competitors.

  • Visual appealing

No matter what anyone tells you, first impressions are alive now more than ever.  Because there are so many resources available online, just like yourself, visitors will open up the first 4-5 websites and narrow it down to 1-2 potential companies that they will do business with in the first 60 seconds.  If your site is not visually appealing and matching the branding of your company, you’ve likely already lost the sale before you even had the chance to make the pitch!

  • Interesting

It’s absolutely critical to communicate your message by leveraging multiple formats.  A careful mixture of text, photos and video will help keep your audience engaged.  Remember the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words?  Well… a video is worth a thousand pictures.  YouTube has become one of the most powerful marketing channels online today!  The facts are staggering!  800 million users, 4 billion page views a day, 3 billion hours of video watched a month with an average viewing session being 15 minutes!  Now that’s engagement! (reference: Time Magazine).  I know… I know… it takes time to get great photos and video is outside of your comfort zone… if you want to take your business to the next level, suck it up Princess!  It always amazes me how many business owners have taken so many risks to date to get to where they are but still find boundaries that they’re not comfortable to overcome.  You’re simply limiting the potential of your own success.

  • Niche-sites Require User Content Prior to Launch

How many times have you visited a website with an intended purpose that resembles a barren desert?  Dating sites without profiles, business directories without companies, classified ads sites without listings, forum sites without users, and the list goes on!  Creating user-generated content that fulfills the goals of a targeted niche prior to launch is absolutely critical.  If you are building a site that’s intended to compete in a specific industry, for heaven’s sakes, take the time to ensure that there is valuable content that will actually provide an inkling of incentive for visitors arriving at your site to sign up and stick around!  Ever heard the saying “If you build it, they will come”?  It’s false… that only works if individuals have no other option and believe me, with the Internet there’s always another option.  Don’t launch until you’ve tackled this task or you’ll be wasting your marketing dollars.

Many companies make their websites text-heavy in an attempt to communicate every little detail about their products and services, at the expense of providing their visitors with an experience that is overwhelming, lacks engagement and counter-productive to the goal of increasing interest and closing more deals.

Your website is the most powerful salesperson on your team.  It has the potential to bring in thousands of leads that are interested in your products and services.  If you don’t take the time to prepare quality, credible content that is both informative and interesting, you’ve lost 4 out of 5 leads before they even really gave your company any consideration.

Doubt the accuracy of my claim?  It’s time to take a look at your web statistics and assess the drop-offs on each page.  I use Google AnalyticsVisitors Flow feature, if you don’t have any useful stats you should have your web professional set this up for you today!  You’ll quickly find out which page(s) your website visitors start on, navigate through and finally when they abandon your site.  It’s an important tool to measure the effectiveness of your marketing content and to hold your site accountable for its primary responsibility of generating more leads.

Brent Mondoux
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive
brent@betterwebsites.ca

Ottawa web design

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2 comments on “When It Comes to Websites, Content Is King… But Only Once Earned

  1. I think the word you’re looking for is credibility. A fat trainer can’t be giving advice on losing weight, a single person can’t be giving advice on relationships, etc. You must have proof to back-up your advice, and that’s what makes you credible.

  2. You’re bang on with everything really. This is an important message imo and what my focus has been on for a year now.

    HTML/CSS (yes I’m not including XML on purpose) technology has given so much power to content management and presentation it’s an amazing time in this world. We haven’t even begun to scratch the service either.

    HTML5/CSS3 makes it even more exciting….it’s terrible that a single browser has managed to delay this movement but there’s so much time to make sure we know what we have and to use it properly.

    Knowledge is power, and we have the ability to find, share and distribute it beyond past imaginations.

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