One of the most important things business owners often fail to do is to make their website remarkable. It really doesn't matter what industry you're in or how many other websites you're competing against, making your site stand out from the pack is absolutely essential.
Take the movie Avatar.
Story: Been there, done that.
Acting and directing: Nothing special.
Special effects: Absolutely outstanding.
Worthy of a "Best Picture" nomination: Not by a long shot.
Worthy of a "Best Special Affects" Oscar: Without a doubt.
So, how is it that a story we have all seen played out in 100 different movies and "message" Star Trek episodes turns into one of the most popular movies of all time? It's because James Cameron took a great heaping pile of "Meh.", and made it all, "Oooh, shiny!". It's uniqueness overshadowed the complete and total hollowness of everything else on the screen.
A lot of business owners out there feel that their business is just the same old, same old. Nothing special there. But in reality, they can take what they are doing and turn it into something remarkable. And the easiest way to do that is through the content.
A vast majority of internet searches are informational. That means people are not looking for your products or services, they are looking for information about them. They want to learn something new. And, you can be the one to give it to them.
The key to creating unique content that searchers are looking for is keyword research. Let your keyword research become your idea generator for blog posts, articles, e-books, and whatever else strikes your fancy.
When perusing your keyword research here are a few things to look for:
Easy to Rank Phrases: When looking for good traffic, you can always start with phrases that have little or no competition. Find queries that match what you provide that others have not yet optimized for. This gives you a chance to build up some rankings and traffic for good (yet lower traffic) phrases. You can immediately start siphoning off traffic from your competitors and start building a loyal audience that will keep coming back.
Niche Areas: Look for an area within your industry that your competitors are not covering or not covering very well. Find obscure topics that people are interested in, but, after conducting a few searches of your own, show that the available content on the web isn't sufficient. This creates an opportunity for you to fill in the gaps and create authoritative information of your own.
Highly Targeted Phrases: These are long-tail phrases that are very targeted for your audience, addressing specific areas of interest. Highly targeted phrases are generally pretty easy to get ranked but they also bring in an audience that has a very specific need. Write information that targets these searchers by providing new information, a new spin, a new take on, or a new way of looking at things.
Info Queries: These often fit into the categories above, but are queries performed by people looking for information and nothing else. They are typically the queries with a question that answers questions, such as "how to..." or "what is...". These queries provide a great opportunity to provide content beyond simple text. "How to" videos, diagrams, flash animations, and podcasts are all great ways to provide this type of content in a way that people find valuable. Telling someone how to do something is great, but showing them how to do it is even better.
Just because you are providing a product or service that someone else is, that doesn't mean you have to provide content that someone else has. There are plenty of ways to step outside of the box and provide valuable information that nobody else is providing. Look for these opportunities, and take advantage of them . . . before someone else does.
This post was inspired from The Princess Bride themed presentation I gave in early 2010 at SEMpdx's Searchfest titled Inconceivable Content: The Dread Pirate Robert's Guide to Creating Swashbuckling Content, Pillaging the Search Engines, and Commandeering a Treasure Trove of Conversions. If you enjoyed this post you also might enjoy other posts inspired from the same. Search for "inconceivable content" on this blog to find them all.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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