Most people who work in search engine optimisation are also avid internet users. We are the early adopters, the relentless bloggers and the people who conduct 90 per cent of our shopping online. We are – or am I about to be buried under a tirade of denial? – geeks.
So when we work to optimise a website’s content, we know what it is consumers want because we are those consumers. I have listed just a few of the qualities I enjoy seeing in a website’s content, what others do you think matter?
When marketers slip adverts in around TV programmes or into daily newspapers, the consumer is rewarded by the valuable content they have sought out and the adverts are something on the side. This means consumers have very little time for online marketing messages which deliver nothing else. People need a hook to snag their interest – offer a discount, a piece of industry news or an amusing article. Just do not expect them to patiently swallow your marketing messages with no sweetener.
It is not necessary for all content to feel passionate but when someone writes a blog, it is important to feel they care about the subject. There should be a person behind the text with whom the reader can feel engaged, even if they disagree with the opinion or assertion being put forward.
It can be fun to visit a firm’s blog and see an odd quirky article like their wine of the month. Such posts can show the person behind the product and help develop consumer loyalty and industry recognition. However, the majority of news or opinion should be related to the website’s purpose. With a world of web content available on almost every aspect of every subject, if a blog offers nothing but quirky articles it can be a real turn-off for the reader. A corporate publication which only offers information on the owner’s ‘humorous’ love life and the company team-building trip to Devon starts to smack of desperation and is unlikely to receive many repeat visits.