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How to Create Great Content for Your Website

August 22, 2012
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223752

Provoke Me!In their book, "Million Dollar Web Presence," authors Chad Barr and Alan Weiss lay out tactical strategies for building a brand and business by leveraging the Internet. In the following excerpt, the authors describe tried-and-true methods to develop provocative, engaging content, as well as the essential elements of a successful website.

Content may be king, but provocative content is the ace.

Your website has only seconds to capture interest. Think about articles you’ve read, speeches you’ve heard, books you’ve begun. The initial exposure helps people determine whether they want to spend more time reading, listening or viewing. There is simply too much competition for time to expect that people will invest too much of theirs in trying to overcome a tepid introduction.

Provocative content for an accounting firm may include six reasons you’re paying too much in tax; why the top line is more important than the bottom line; and how to get your clients to offer to pay you more than you ask.

You have to be edgy, but not poke someone in the eye. You have to be willing to challenge and amuse, while not bragging or boasting. Your site, and particularly your homepage, should be provocative enough to be memorable and cause others to tell colleagues, “You ought to visit this site."

Related: Courting Bloggers to Tout Your Products? Get Ready for More Content Marketing Disclosures

Let's explore some of the best ways to get the provocative ideas you need:

Among our own content "musts" for your website are a homepage that includes typical client results, at least one video testimonial plus revolving text testimonials (at about seven-second intervals) and a dramatic and attractive value. Menus should include case studies, client list, position papers, biography, contact information, product and service offerings and video explanations of various offerings. Give every page a different look.

Related: Telling Your Story: 5 Rules for 'Content Marketing'

Upon review of probably thousands of websites over the years, we have come to the conclusion that in order for your organization to be successful on the Internet, three key elements must be accomplished:

Without all three, your site’s effectiveness is greatly diminished. For example, a site that is well-designed with great content but has no defined strategy and tactics is like driving a great car without a GPS system or an effective map. You’ll be wondering why you are not reaching your destination. If you’ve got great content and effective strategies and tactics, yet poor design and navigation, visitors will either close their browsers or press the back button to go to their previous site.

Don't attempt to tag, label, and identify every single item. Focus on those things that are most important for your credibility. If leadership is your strong suit, don’t worry about highlighting blog entries on your movie reviews. Use a device such as Google Alerts to let you know how you’re being perceived and detected. If your positioning is for issues that are only peripheral to your real value, then change what you’re emphasizing. 

Related: What's Hot and What's Not in Content Marketing for 2012