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25 Ways to Add Quality Content to Your Web Site (Part 1)

. . . Using ideas that cover at least 25 different industries! By Robin Nobles

We've known for a long time that quality matters to Google. Quality matters when it comes to content, and it matters when it comes to links. However, building content and links doesn't have to be painful. Web site owners tend to think of content in a very limited way.

So, let's open up our creative minds and think of all sorts of ways of adding quality content to a Web site.

A few things to remember:

  • You're only confined by the boundaries you set for yourself and your Web site. Allow yourself to think in a totally different way than you've thought before.
  • Your Web site content should be written for your buying customers . . . not for you. Your Web site content should not be written for the search engines. The search engines are not your target audience.
  • Think of the overall picture of your site, as if it were a living, breathing entity. After all, Web sites should continue to grow on a constant basis and never be stale or stagnant.

Let's Get into the Fun Stuff: Quality Content for Your Target Audience

1. A calendar of events. This is ideal for sites like real estate sites to show upcoming open houses; book stores to promote upcoming book signings or writers' meetings; collectors' sites to show meetings across the country, etc. Be sure to allow visitors to send in their own event to be posted to the calendar.

2. Maps. Consider real estate sites, hunting or fishing sites, camping sites, hotels, or any outdoor recreational sites for maps. Be sure to add content at the bottom of the map that describes the map and outlines its purpose as it relates to your site.

3. Before/after experiences. This is perfect for products or services you're selling where customers can write in and discuss how this particular product or service helped them. These could turn out to be mini articles, or use them as testimonials.

4. Pictures from your customers. You could set up a special place where past customers could post their pictures and journal entries on your site. This is ideal for vacation sites, recreational sites, wedding sites, baby sites, photography studios, etc. How could you use this idea on a Halloween site? On a flower site?

5. Online coloring sheets. Use your imagination here. If you set up some coloring sheets about your vacation property, kids could color those sheets and post them online before their trip in their own special online area. After the trip, their parents could post pictures and a journal of their trip. This is their "Web site" about their trip, all hosted on your site as a perk for booking through your vacation site. What are they going to do with this information? They're going to tell their friends, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Edna, etc. They're going to link to it. You can use this perk as part of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) when differentiating yourself from your competition. You'll be building one-way links from your past customers, plus visibility for future customers. Win/win situation. You'll think of many ways of adding coloring sheets (or similar creative activities for kids) to your site, if your site is the type that would work for kids.

6. Blogs or forums certainly add fresh content to a site.

7. Articles or new pages of interest to your target audience. Write new content on a regular basis – once or twice a week should be your goal.

8. An expert Q&A on the main page of your site. Get an expert to answer questions, and post one question/answer a week (or a day – whatever you can handle) on the main page of your site. Have past Q&A's in a searchable archive on your site.

9. Product reviews. If your industry has products or software to review, consider writing candid reviews of those products. Publish the reviews on your Web site as well as publish them in a few of the online publications. Readers are always interested in totally candid reviews, where the writer lists the positive as well as the negative aspects of a product. If you have a landscaping business, how could you use this idea? What products do you, as an expert, prefer to use, and why?

10. Short tips. If your product or service lends itself to short tips, write up a series and publish them on your Web site. Send them out in your newsletter. Get your readers to send in tips as they use the product. Offer a discount off additional products if they submit tips.

11. FAQ's. FAQ's are content – content that your target audience wants to know. As you get questions from your readers, add additional Q&A's to your FAQ's to keep them current.

12. How-to guides. People love "how to" guides. If you sell online plumbing parts, why not have a "how to" guide on installing a new toilet? Make it easy on your customers, and they'll come back to you again and again. Create a series of "how to" guides. Be The Toilet Guy on the Net. May not sound too glamorous, but if you're highly visible on the Net and are converting traffic to sales, you can afford to be glamorous OFF the Net!

(Continued in Part 2)

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