Why High Quality Web Content Matters
There’s an old saying, “Content is King”. But what does this really mean? And is this still true, given most content is now written for online consumption? Does high quality web content really matter anymore?
Let’s investigate further.
Tricks and Deception
No doubt you’ve encountered clickbait. Tabloid magazines have been using clickbait forever. You know, those headlines like “My head was abducted by aliens” or something even more bizarre. You start reading the article and then realise it’s completely unrelated to the headline. Most likely you’ll be reading an advertorial.
Of course, this technique has been refined and perfected online. “How your 7 favourite actors really look without makeup” or infinite variants of this theme.
You click through to discover that not only is the article completely unrelated to the headline, the website is basically one long ad. Even more annoying, the page is broken into multiple pages… and each page has a tiny section of the main “article” interwoven with a tsunami of ads.
What’s your reaction here? Clearly you’ve been tricked and deceived. Not only is the headline deceptive, the content is rubbish. You’ll most likely leave the site and never return.
At the other end of the spectrum you’ll find high quality content.
How Can We Help You… Genuinely?
Imagine one of your prospective customers has a problem they need solved (for more on solving your site visitors’ problems, go here). They search for “the best 4×4 portable air compressor”. Now you just happen to have an excellent article on your website covering this topic.
The prospect clicks through to your article and finds an excellent comparison of 10 portable air compressors for 4x4s. You’ve told the prospect everything they need to know, all clearly laid out for easy comparison. You’ve even listed your Top 3 and explained why they are the best of the bunch.
At the end of your amazingly useful article, you have links to sales pages. The links are not presented as in-your-face “Buy Now!” hype. You’ve taken the low key approach, eg “Find out more. Click on one of the images below”.
Each link takes you to a separate sales page, focussing on that particular brand of compressor… giving even more information and a clear and consistent way to buy.
You’ve provided loads of useful information to your prospect in a conversational way. No hard sell, no hype. Just loads of useful information, written persuasively… to gently lead your prospect to the sale.
So why is the second approach so successful?
The Benefits of High Quality Web Content
There are several reasons why high quality web content is such a successful approach:
- It benefits your prospects. You’re helping them, not trying to get them to click on ads or pressure them into buying something. Think of those clickbait sites. They are all about pressure, pressure, pressure… and deception.
- You’re solving their problem, answering their question. Unlike clickbait, quality content is tied implicitly into the headline. The headline promises your article will address a topic and the content delivers on this promise.
- If you give away lots of useful information, your prospect will likely remember this and reward you. Your website becomes the go-to site for them, so they’ll likely return and maybe even share your site with friends or on social media.
- If the content is written well, your prospect won’t feel like they are being sold to. No one likes being sold to. Think of used car salesmen if you aren’t convinced.
- Well-written web content generates empathy and trust with the prospect. It’s subtly saying, “we understand your needs, we can help you”. People respond to this approach. Next time they need information, they’ll likely return to your website because they trust you.
- Persuasive content needn’t be full of hype and bluster. A better approach is a conversational tone, like two friends having a yarn at a coffee shop. Think about it. Which do you prefer, talking to a salesman who is pressuring you to buy or talking to a friend?
- Persuasive content is written with a light touch. Think of the article gently taking the prospect’s hand and then gently guiding them towards a sale or other action. No pressure, no hype.
So What’s in Between?
We’ve covered two extreme ends of the spectrum. At one end is clickbait. At the other is high quality web content, genuinely written to help the prospect and gently guide them through the sales process.
So what’s in between?
Well, the content on most websites lies somewhere between these two extremes. Many businesses understand the dangers of being pushy or overbearing. So they write a quality, informative article… then lose their nerve.
Somewhere near the end they might add a call to action that is bordering on hype. Or they have a conversational article, then decide it needs to be peppered with “Buy Now” buttons.
Occasionally this works, but most of the time it doesn’t. It simply triggers a negative response in the reader, “oh man, they’re just trying to sell me something”. Chances are, you lose this prospect… you’ve just reminded them that yes, you are actually trying to sell something.
Resist the urge to go down this path. Hold your nerve and be prepared to give away lots of really useful information for free.
More than ever before, Content is King. Or more to the point, high quality web content is king. With massive volumes of content being added online every day, high quality content will help your website to stand out from the crowd.
And just as importantly, Google rewards high quality content by ranking your site more highly. I’ll cover this in a future article.
Delight your prospective customers, give them more free information than they expect… and speak to them in a friendly, conversational tone.
If you think your web content could be revised or updated, I can help you. Go here to contact me about reviewing your website.