The Importance Of Content And How To Find It
by Ryan Allis
I cannot underscore enough the importance of having quality content on your website. For small and medium-sized businesses, having plenty of well-written, informative, related content is a prerequisite to extraordinary success. For example, if you are selling pearls over the Internet, you could have articles such as "Evaluating Pearls," "The origins of pearls", "Understanding Lacre", and "The Different Types of Pearls". Having plenty of good content on your site will benefit you in a number of ways. The benefits of having quality content are:
1. Your site stickiness will increase. This simply means that visitors will stay on your site longer and return more often.
2. By writing informative articles you will be seen as an expert. This will increase your credibility, build your rapport, and raise the likelihood the visitor will become a customer.
3. Having quality content may also place you as an expert in the eye of the media. With proper PR you may be able to offer yourself as a resource to the media, build key relationships, and at the same time plugging your product, service, or business.
4. The quality content will make it much more likely that websites will link to you.
5. The quality content will make it more likely that human-edited directories such as Yahoo!, Open Directory, and About.com will list your website.
6. Each additional page of content (with proper meta-tags, title, optimization, and submission) will be indexed by the search engines, increasing your keyword coverage.
7. The extra links coming to your site will improve your position in the search engines.
8. You can offer your articles to other sites. Article syndication is a very effective way at getting free exposure to the exact market demographic you are targeting.
So if you just have a few pages of company and product information on your website you need to get some quality related content uploaded as soon as you can.
So how do you find content?
Well, the first option is to write it. If you do not know enough about your industry, product, or service to write an article on it then you likely should not be in that business. You may have to spend a few hours going to the library or bookstore to research a few articles. However, this will be time well spent. This is generally the best option as it will build your credibility and rapport. If you do not wish to write articles yourself, there are thousands of writers that will write the articles for you. Most will even ghost-write, allowing you to put your name on something they've written. You can find qualified writers at websites such as Guru.com, smarterwork.com, and Elance Online. Finally, you can always search related websites for content that you would like to syndicate. Never just copy other site's content to yours, however. This is a violation of copyright laws. Many sites will allow you to publish some or all of their content on your website as long as you link to their site and give a description of where the article comes from. If the site you contact is unwilling, be sure you emphasize that this will give them great exposure and additional traffic from the very demographic they are targeting.
Ryan P. Allis is the author of Zero To One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales. He is the founder of zeromillion.com. Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based e-mail marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar.
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