Content: The Backbone of your SEO and Engagement Strategies.

Content: The Backbone of your SEO and Engagement Strategies ...

Give users what they want and keep them coming back for more.

You’ve probably heard SEO’s chanting to themselves “Content, Content, Content” and wondered if they are obsessed, well in answer to this question yes we are, and I hold my hands up and confess I am obsessed by content both as a user and an SEO and if there were a “content anonymous” meeting I would be in regular attendance, ranting about low content websites.

If you have already read some of my previous blogs “content” and building sites for users are subjects that I am passionate about. I want (or is that need?) the websites that I visit (and those of my clients) to have as much information as possible on the subject/product that I and other users are interested in, to reduce the amount of effort and time I have to spend to obtain that information.

I want accurate information and I want it now!  Google knows this and aims to show websites with great quality content highly in the search results (SERP’s) and the algorithmic updates (AKA Google Panda) targeting low quality sites, have helped to do this but if your website doesn’t meet the content quality requirements then users are disappointed and Google won’t rank it well.

Content for E-commerce

The content on your e-shop is extremely important if you want users to return to your site in future and become engaged with your brand, even if you sell big ticket items that may only be purchased once in a lifetime, if users are impressed with your site and your product they will become loyal customers and recommend your product/brand to others.

I am a prolific online shopper and never make a purchase without fully researching first.  I’m currently in the market for a juicer, having never owned one before, I am completely in the dark when it comes to the pros and cons of specific types and brands;  what on earth is a masticating juicer?  And why is it better or worse than its centrifugal counterpart?

Doing a quick search for Juicers in Google shows a blend of shopping and basic web results.

Diving straight into the shopping results I find some product information, USP’s from the manufacturer (that will inevitably be duplicated across the web) and a comparison of prices and local stockists and if I click through, some product reviews but I still don’t know which product will make the most of my expensive fruits and vegetables.  Therefore content on typical e-commerce sites just doesn’t meet my needs.

The site at the top of the results however, UKJuicers.com looks like a good bet, and once I clicked through I found lots of information to help me choose the right juicer for my needs and some other useful items in the form of:

  • Guides
  • Product information
  • Faq’s
  • Customer Reviews
  • Recipes
  • Articles
  • Related products

Objective met, right? Well not exactly

Google did a good job at picking a good site for my very general search query but I’m a content addict remember and I need more, so I had to check out the other option offered in the SERP’s which was Juicemaster.com and found the holy grail of juicing.

The content on this site includes so much more, with news, blogs, testimonials, downloads, juice programmes, apps and links to social media channels. 

One of the best sections of content are the A-Z’s where you can find juice solutions for specific conditions and informative how-to videos.

All this content was tantalisingly quick and easy to access in top, side and bottom navigation menus and I’m won over immediately.


 
What could UKJuicers.com do to improve their content?

Firstly I would suggest splitting some of the pages into separate pages, as they can be quite lengthy, which is great in the terms of volume of content, but to improve usability I think some separation would help.

How to videos:  Some videos on how to use the product would be much appreciated, along with some tips on caring for this shiny new juicer.  Video is the most engaging content you can create.

User generated content recipes: The ability to upload a recipe for example; if a user has a great juice combination they created they might want to share with all the juice-a-holics and find out if others like it too, or can improve upon it.

User generated content case studies: Asking customers to write a case study on how juicing has changed their lives for the better would be a way to engage with current and prospective customers. Case studies could be in the form of video or text and images.

Product descriptions: Adding some additional images here would be really useful, especially on multipurpose products and linking the machines to specific recipes would also help.  Ensure your product descriptions are completely unique to your site.

Blog: This is great way to comment on topics related to this site and its community, from organic farming legislation changes to health and nutrition research and reports, there is so much to talk about in this niche and it’s a great freshness signal to search engines.

Summary
The moral of the story is that the site with better content won, it had great content for users and therefore it ranks well in the SERP’s so will achieve higher volumes of traffic but MOST importantly as a user I found everything I needed in one site and was engaged enough to make a purchase and will revisit in the future, to not only make use of the information they provide but to also make additional purchases.  I am likely to share the content using social media and recommend the site to my friends.
The best tip I can offer is to keep building on the content and use keyword research to help this process, find out what your users are searching for and provide that content.  Look at your site from a users’ perspective, what would you want to see? Does the site meet that expectation?  And finally don’t be afraid to ask your users what content they want to see on your site.
Happy Content Developing!

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