For Driving Traffic to Your Site, Content Is King

by Jesse from HEROweb on February 23, 2009

Anyone who has read my Web Development Team bio knows that when I’m not busy keeping hundreds of websites running smoothly behind the scenes, I’m on the quest for rock stardom. This endeavor recently led me to research purchasing a microphone for my makeshift home studio. Of course, this meant some sleuthing on the Internet to find what was right for my needs.

After a bit of research, I narrowed my possible options and began looking for people’s opinions on what would end up being my final decision. Like any good consumer, I popped over to my favorite search engine and started searching for reviews of this mic.

I clicked on one of the first results that popped up, and began reading the reviews. I read at least one before I realized something: This wasn’t just a site for music gear enthusiasts, it was an online store selling the mic I was researching! Well played, music gear website.

This website was successfully using what is becoming ever more necessary in an increasingly crowded marketplace: useful, relevant content! What’s more, they didn’t even have to expend the time and energy to produce it themselves. Passionate consumers were willing to take their time to express their experiences with the product, and share it for free with this company, which was then kind enough to share it with me. Providing a mechanism for submitting reviews got them content, which in turn got their site near the top of Google, without any cost or effort beyond the initial setup!

There are steps you can take to achieve the same goals. Think about what you offer, and what your target audience would likely be interested to read about. If you sell art supplies, provide some craft ideas (or elicit your visitors to send some in!). Sell Kitchen supplies? Why not ask customers to submit their favorite seasonal recipes?

Some of our most successful sites are those that are actively providing content. Mechanic equipment supplier DenLors Tools posts articles on automotive repair. Dog treat retailer Best Bully Sticks provides Dog Care Tips, as well as asks customers to submit photos of dogs using their products. Search engines are much bigger fans of sites that continue to gradually add content as opposed to being completely static.

You could also try what started this topic off in the first place: Add the ability for customers to submit product reviews (This feature is now available for MightyMerchant sites).

Using Google Analytics, you can then track what is drawing people to your site. The Content section will allow you to view what landing pages people are entering your site from, as well as what keywords led people to those pages, showing you what content might be good to focus on. You can even discover what other sites are linking to your content, which can give you a better idea of how traffic is finding it’s way to your site. This is just scratching the surface of how Google Analytics can help you determine what works and what doesn’t.

Any way you dice it, appropriate content is one of the most crucial components to draw traffic to your site. It’s beneficial to you as a site owner, and gives your visitors more reasons to find and stay on your pages.

Partially due to those reviews, I ended up buying that microphone. Although keeping a big chunk of the World Wide Web ticking along is a bigger priority these days than rock stardom, I don’t regret my purchase one bit.

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