Free Website Content
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/
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
Ex. - NotePage - http://www.notepage.net/forum
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
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 /
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
a wireless text messaging software company.
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