So you’ve got this killer product. You’re selling toilet air freshener. However, you’ve put a twist on the original idea. Instead of trying to make the air a little fresher, your air freshener has such a putrid, repugnant smell, that it makes the actual odour fade into the background. It’s a psychological thing. You know it works. Your mom told you it’s the best thing she’s bought since she married your dad. Your granny can’t smell anymore, so she loves it either way.
You’ve built a wicked website for the product, with contact details and online ordering system and doodads and what nots, but you just can’t seem to generate the interest your mom and granny think it deserves. The traffic’s not streaming in; sales aren’t climbing; you’re ready to flush your idea down the toilet.
What’s the problem?
There could be a myriad of problems with your web presence. The site could be loading too slow. There could be too many indexed pages leading visitors to your error page, discouraging them to make use of the site any further. The site could be overloaded with data. The text may be upside down. Colours may be messing up the display. Aliens could have a hyper-drive 3000 redirect implanted on the server your site’s hosted on, and your traffic’s being rerouted to a site on Mars.
The list goes on and on. However, one thing that many people seem to overlook is the relevancy of their content. Now, relevancy can be seen as the relation between your content and what people are searching for, but it goes further than that.
Let’s break up the whole scenario into little pieces.
You’ve got a site. On this site you have a product. You have some text and pictures about the product, and maybe a video or 200. The content structure itself is made up of meta data and actual (for lack of a better word) data. Meta data is for robots (search crawlers, Chuck Norris, Edward Cullen and the Jonas Brothers), while actual data is for both robots and humans (the latter of which
should always take precedence when building a site). The actual data consists of a title, headings and text.
Is your content worth a look? Is it interesting? Don’t bore people to death with your site, and don’t have some obscure mission statement on your home page to try and impress visitors with. Forget the corporate crap (if you really like that type of thing, get it for free at http://www.atrixnet.com/bs-generator.html).
“The best stinky air freshener for your toilet”
“We aim to facilitate holistic methodologies to desensitise your senses, and in so doing create a healthier living environment for you and your family, enabling a morally defunct, odourless society, whereby we may implement user-centric supply-chains.”
Be original. One example comes to mind. John Garrett over at hypertransitory.com wrote an article about blogging lessons to be learnt from the Romans [http://hypertransitory.com/blog/2011/01/03/blogging-lessons-we-can-learn-from-the-romans/]. It’s a fantastic article. However, don’t go and copy his style, now. It’s relevant to his blog, because he specialises in comics and what not. It worked for him.
Don’t go and write an article called “Toiletry usage we can learn from the Romans”. That won’t necessarily work for your stinky air freshener.
If you struggle to come up with something original, look at your product from different perspectives, and see if you can’t create something in line with, but not necessarily directly related to, your product. For your stinky air freshener, why not create a fly that loves the smell so much that he blogs about it regularly? Just an idea.
The web’s boring enough as it is. It doesn’t need your help, too.
Editor’s Note: Holy cow the fly idea is awesome. I am going to steal it. Just kidding.
Do the elements on your web pages relate to each other? Do they edify each other? Can Text visit Title and have a lovely discussion about putrid air freshener without stinking up the air? Can Heading come over for a cup of tea and enjoy the company? Or are there three totally different elements arguing over your content?
This is a very important point! These elements should all sing together in unison. They should come together and be able to chant “Kumbayah” around a camp-fire with great ease and a corporate love for stinky air fresheners.
Don’t have a title reading “bathroom accessories,” a heading that says “coffee cups,” and text that extols the beauty of a house full of non-smelling zombies. Make them speak the same language.
Ok, that’s almost quite enough. One more rant: forget about Twitter! Seriously, if you’re gonna use Twitter to stink up the Twitterverse with the same old 140 calls to action, forget it. You’re wasting your own time.
I’ve made up my mind to use Twitter simply to post about my latest blog posts. You may choose to use Twitter to communicate with others. Whatever you do, don’t abuse it. And forget about those automated Twitter follower creation majiggers. You’ll end up posting tweets no one wants to read, and having to deal with a timeline filled with info you’re not interested in.
I hope this article inspired you to once more look at your web presence, and make the necessary changes.
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