This is the second in our series about building multi-million dollar web sites. In the first article we provided a general overview of the major elements of the process. In this article, we are going to take one of the concepts discussed, and expand upon it. Today, we talk about content.
Content for Users
Good content is at the heart of any commercially successful web site, even small ones. You need it to convince your visitors to do whatever it is you want them to do. Sometimes, this is a long process, where the user becomes used to coming to your site to get expert information on a topic, and after many visits, finally decides to buy something.
Effectively speaking, it’s brand building. They come to your site, they like the content, they leave. They come back another time, and still like the content (this time they read some different articles). Then they may come back again. By now, in their eyes you are a recognized authority on the topic. So who are they going to go to when they are ready to buy? You, of course.
Content for SEO
But if you are planning to build a brand new web site from scratch, and you want to make it worth millions of dollars, content means a lot more to you than this. Content will help you do two major things:
- Provide spider food for search engine crawlers. When a search engine responds to a search query, it attempts to match up the words in the search query with the content on your site. If the query is “rectangular blue widgets” and the word “rectangular” does not show up on your page, your chances for showing up for that query are smaller.For each popular search term, there are hundreds of additional modifiers (such as rectangular in our example) that get included in various search terms that people use. You can’t put them all in your title tag, or a couple of sentences at the top of the page. To go after them, you need content – ideally several paragraphs or more of it.
In addition, search engines attempt to evaluate the quality and depth of content on a site. Lots of pages with not much text does not communicate value to the search engine, and such pages may be seen as low quality pages. This is also something that can really hurt your rankings.
- Give people a reason to link to you. Buying links comes with risks, and even if it’s done really, really well, you will have difficulty in buying authoritative links. In addition, swapping links to advance search engine rankings is fundamentally a waste of time.So you need to get people to give you a link, without having to give anything in return. Does this sound like getting something for nothing? It does, but in fact you are giving the linker something in return – a good experience for the visitors they send to your site. There are people out there that care a lot about the quality of their user’s web experience, and who will link to great content or tools. In fact, the high quality authoritative sites (the ones whose links help you the most) are more often than not run by people like this.
This also includes the related notion of writing great articles and then publishing them on other (high authority) sites, in return for a link back to your site. Having great content makes this possible.
How Much Content?
In all probability, lots of it. If your strategy relies on winning on really competitive terms, you will need to persuade hordes of people with related sites to link to your site. Even if you use a brilliant social media strategy, and get Dugg on a regular basis, you will still need lots of content. Also, link baiting for social media sites is a powerful tool, but it’s not a cure all. In addition, many of the sites you want to target won’t be on those sites.
Either way, you need to be thinking about hundreds, or thousands, of quality articles. Remember, we are building a multi-million dollar web site here. There are few major ways we have seen for doing this:
- Leverage User Generated Content – If you can come up with a way to build a site that becomes a hot spot for people to provide you with content, you are in great shape.
- Write Them by Hand – This obviously requires a substantial investment of time and resources, but it works. You need to have a really clear content plan in mind if you are going to develop a large body of articles to ensure that you understand how to make each article unique and valuable.
- Create content by cross referencing large data bases – Simply publishing public domain databases of information would be a risky strategy, but taking a variety of databases and creating new content through analysis and cross referencing is cool stuff.
All three of these strategies can result in a large number of pages about a wide variety of topics. You may want to combine more than one of these strategies in your plan. Of course, they are all hard work. But, if you are an entrepreneur looking to make millions by building a web site, it can still be done.