Your web site content helps you get in search engines, speak to visitors, and ultimately get visitors to buy, contact you, or follow a link. Meanwhile, your content has to be updated at least once a month if you want to get return visitors and search engine traffic. To be successful, you need to have a web content strategy.
Web Content Strategy: Sources of Content
There are four basic ways you can get content for your site:
1. Licensed content that you can publish on your site for a one-time or recurring subscription fee, or in exchange for putting a link to author's site under article. The main benefit of this kind of content is that you can build up your site quickly. The drawback is that hundreds if not thousands of other sites will be publishing same content, which means you will get little search engine traffic from it. Also, within a few years, subscription fees or value of visitors who leave via required link to author's site will amount to more than you would have paid to have original content professionally written.
2. Original content contributed freely by your visitors, such as message boards and guestbook-style comments. The main advantage of this content is that it costs nothing and gives you insight into your visitors. The disadvantages are (usually) low quality and constant vigilance needed to police it for misbehavior.
3. Original written content that you allow other sites to republish in exchange for a link to your site. This content is usually informational articles, whitepapers, and sometimes, press releases. Distributing content is an essential component of getting links to your site.
4. Original, well-written content that's exclusive to your site. You should have some content that you hold back from republication, to avoid giving visitors or search engines idea all your content can be had somewhere else. This can include FAQs, "about us" pages, case studies, testimonials, and other content that other sites would not want to reprint anyway.
What Kind of Content to Use
So, which of four kinds of content should you use on your site? Ideally, all four. That way you'll maximize amount of quality content your site can have.
But, precise ratio of four kinds of content you end up using will depend on goals of your site. Some examples:
* Licensed content: If you have a content-based website that draws revenue from advertising, a large amount of licensed content can be useful. However, if your site's primary goal is to collect leads, too much licensed content might risk distracting visitors from contacting you, without benefit of bringing in significant search engine traffic.