Content is what drives the internet, users search for information or products, follow links from one piece of content to another, or share content on social media sites. WordPress alone currently hosts an estimated 70 million blogs, so it’s easy for users to find content, but in such a competitive enviroment it becomes increasingly difficult for publishers and online marketers to make their own content stand out.
In addition to the vast competition out there, there are three other factors to add into the mix.
1. The effect of recent search engine algorithm updates which reduce the search rank of poor quality content.
2. Facebook’s ranking process which prioritises content with higher activity (likes and comments).
3. The upcoming changes that Google has on the horizon regarding so called ‘Author Authority Rank’ which is expected to boost the rank of pages that comes from sites and bloggers who consistently put out high quality content.
The result is that producing good content has become a necessity. Long gone are the days of using article marketing alone to drive up search traffic.
The main question is what constitutes good content. Below are six ways alternative of displaying content online – the statistics show that these methods consistently outperform the standard blog post:
– Interactive information
– Graphs & charts
There are two things that all six of these types of content have in common. Firstly they are all visual. This makes information easier to digest, more engaging, and more enjoyable, even if the topic being discussed is relatively dull. Information therefore becomes interesting. The result is that bounce rates drop, time spent on the page goes up, click through rates and conversion rates increase and most importantly, social sharing and natural links will jump.
Since Google’s Penguin update earlier this year, this last point has become even more important. Search engines are always seeking to penalise poor quality links and raise the presence of content that people want to read. Marketers need to think of their content from a user’s perspective, if content is not providing any value than people will not stop to read it, and they certainly won’t link to it or share it. Good content is worth the time it takes to produce, and every business has information that they can give to their customers or their industry that can be provided in a way that engages with visitors and gets people excited.
However, this doesn’t mean that the traditional blog post has no place. Visual content gives very little information to search engine crawlers and even if it did, it’s nearly impossible to produce this kind of visual content on a regular basis. A good content strategy will use a mix of information types, with the blog post guiding crawlers and visual content acting as linkbait. Sitting back and relying on a blog to do the hard work will only go so far, it’s important to take time to think from your visitors’ perspective and then provide them with content that they will want to view.