Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SEO Content: Keep It Real

The best web content is genuine, sincere, and either entertaining, informative, or both. Sometimes we engage in wishful thinking and imagine that other people are somehow easily fooled by marketing copy when we are not, and this is a mistake. Of course quality web content is going to make a case for the product it is promoting, but if you sound like the "Sham-Wow guy" in print, visitors to the site won't take any of the content seriously because it will sound so partisan and condescending. Content providers need to strike a balance between providing enticing product descriptions, features, and benefits without coming across like a disingenuous carnival barker that nobody could really trust.

Quality Internet content is going to, in the long run, speak for itself. Visitors to sites that are populated with good content are going to notice, and the sites will earn a modicum of respect for the content alone. Think of website content as analogous to the atmosphere in a restaurant. Indeed, the food is at the core of an eatery, and for a website, the products or services that are being offered are our menu. Web designers are the architects who create the overall layout of the restaurant space, leaving it sturdy, functional, attractive, and ready to decorate.

The content is the interior design, the mood of the place, the details that give you an idea of where the ownership is coming from. The more professional, real and sincere the content is, the more the visitor to the site can feel a personal connection and get the idea that these are the people that he or she would really like to do business with. It's like going to a locally owned Italian bistro that is built on age-old family recipes and genuine heartfelt hospitality as opposed to a cloned chain franchise in a strip mall.

There are virtually no businesses that have zero competition (there is mad collusion in some industries, like big oil, but work with me here). So, in the end, you have to set yourself apart from your competitors in some way if you are going to be successful. To use the restaurant analogy, the food is obviously important, but atmosphere, character, and friendly service can keep you coming back to a place because you also have an enjoyable consummate experience every time you go there.

If the people who are writing content for your website are strictly marketers, not writers, or if they have no ability to get a feel for what you are trying to convey as a company, your web presence will be sterile and stock. The best content involves developing a voice that you feel comfortable with as the expression of your business presence on the web. The way that you get that is to work with real people like us. Let us know what your philosophy is and how you would like to come across to your customers. If it has something to do with the Golden Rule, as it were, we'll be able to convey that message in a professional but down-to-earth manner and provide you with quality content that your visitors will respect.


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