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Content Rich

Content Rich
By S. Housley

We have all heard the term content-rich, but what does content rich really mean?

Content rich means different things for different individuals, because what one person finds useful, another may not. Content rich is all about providing information that is considered valuable to your target audience. Information that visitors might find useful could consist of product or industry facts, statistics, reviews, tutorials, or educational information related to a specific industry.

How to Make Your Website Content Rich
When creating a content rich website, do not be afraid to think outside of the box. Unique ideas will generally garner more attention than the mundane and more common content concepts. Over the years the unique content that has garnered the most attention, the Subservient Chicken and JibJab, may not be appropriate for a business website, there are still lots of out of the box things that you can do.

Here are some ideas on how you can build content for your website that will attract website visitors.

Calendar of Events
If you website appeals to a specific audience manage and maintain a calendar of events. The events should relate to a specific region or topic.

ex. Hawaii Local Events - http://calendar.gohawaii.com/ (regional)
or
ex. Librarian Events - http://www.infotoday.com/calendar.shtml (topic specific events)

Sponsorships and Contests
Conducting a contest is a great way to generate interest and incoming links, everyone wants to win and in order to garner votes many competitors will tell their audience about contests and voting options.

Example: Software Marketing Resource targets software developers and software marketers. They recently held 'Software Vendor Awards'. Software developers and marketers were invited to nominate the companies they felt were worthy. The same audience was then given the opportunity to vote on the top nominees, and finally, winners were announced. Each stage of the contest resulted in buzz and increased web traffic.

Ex. - Software Marketing Resource - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/winners.htm

Product Reviews and Testimonials
Consumers will often refer to product reviews to discern what product they should purchase. A number of websites have capitalized on this by providing independent product reviews and or independent consumer reviews.

Manufacturers can provide product reviews for related or complimentary products. Product reviews with candid the reviews are most credible if both the product negatives and positives are illustrated.

Ex. - epinions - http://www.epinions.com

Forums / newsgroups
User generated content is a great way to capture the keyword long tail. There is no easier way to facilitate user generated content than through the use of forums and newsgroups.

Ex. - NotePage - http://www.notepage.net/forum

Blogs
Blogs are search engine spider food. Why? Because they can provide relevant related content that is updated regularly. Use blogs to communicate with your audience.

Ex. - Security Blog - http://www.security-port.com/blog.htm

Maps
If your website is regional or local, provide tie ins to Mapquest or Google to show visitors a visual representation or directions to surrounding communities or local events.

Ex. Marriott - http://marriott.com/property/mapandnearbyairports/default.mi?marshaCode=dentc

Photo Contests / Art Contests
Everyone loves to win. If your website targets a consumer audience, contests can be a great way to interact with your audience. Contests also make a website sticky, because contestants will frequently revisit the website to check their standing, or determine if they are an actual contender. Many contestants will link to the content from blogs encouraging their readers to vote. All in all, contests can result in extra attention.

Ex. - Dog Photo Contest - http://www.pamperedpuppy.com/contest/index.php
Videos ex. - Dog Breed Videos - http://www.dog-pound.net/videos.htm

Stump the Expert / Knowledgebase / Q&As
Frequently asked questions have been dropped for a more modern approach to question and answers. Post stump the expert questions or construct a comprehensive knowledgebase of related information.

Ex. - RSS Knowledgebase - http://www.feedforall.com/knowledgebase.htm

Writing Articles / How to Guides
When writing your articles, think about what your website visitors want to know, not what you want to tell them. In other words write for your audience not for yourself. Not only does an article archive gradually expand a site, it gives webmasters the opportunity to optimize for a variety of phrases and to educate their audience. How to articles are always a great website addition.

Ex. - Small Business - http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

Niche Directories / Lists
Topical portals have long been a popular on the web. Authority sites that focus on niche markets generate interest. Niche sites can be comprised of lists of helpful tools, the best niche blogs, popular news stories, industry specific terminology, and industry resources.

ex. - Podcasting Tools - http://www.podcasting-tools.com

Copying or replicating a service or information on another website, while possibly still of value, will not usually generate as much interest as a new concept. Do not be afraid to reach outside the boundaries of your website to provide quality content.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

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This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to sharon@notepage.net .

Additional articles available for publication available at http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

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