It’s easy to see just how the digitization of basic functions has altered our existence. Instead of having to line up to deposit or withdraw funds from bank accounts, we can now do monetary transactions with just a few clicks on apps or on websites.
Buying and selling goods have also been revolutionized. Instead of actually going to stores to shop for items such as athletic shoes, TVs, and even supplements; there are now websites that conveniently offer online catalogues for various products and even services. We can choose the items that we like and have them delivered right at our doorstep.
Because of the ease of setting up an online business, more entrepreneurs are getting in the game. You might be one of them. But as you may have already realized, just like in the conventional offline world, there is a need to stand out in order to get customers to choose you. Simply put, it’s not enough to just have a nice website. Some say that there is a need to go beyond selling and start sharing content that is not necessarily commercial but highly informative. Is creating content really worth your time? Read on to find out.
Your website needs to show up near the top of search engine results in order to reach your target audience. Essentially, it has to appear on the search results reported by search engines to their users. Google, which is the most widely used search engine today, gives priority to websites that it perceives to have authority on a given topic. Now, how is authority assessed? Quite simple: a website has authority if other websites are referencing back to it or citing it in their content.
And quite frankly, there is no other way for other websites to cite you organically than to provide original, relevant information. Unless you pay them, commercial links rarely appear on other people’s pages. So you can consider your informational content as your investment to make your website more interesting and cite-worthy.
Your online shop obviously targets commercial keywords. In turn, you attract searchers with commercial intent (buying, checking reviews, etc.). This is all well and good.
However, if you want to broaden your reach, then you have to go beyond the obvious. Start talking about keywords that do not seem to benefit you directly. If you are in the business of selling basketball shoes, try writing about keywords such as basketball footwork and even individual basketball stars. These are keywords that Google interprets as highly informational rather than commercial, so it effectively widens the reach of your website.
Of course, you need to follow SEO writing conventions if you want your content to really be positioned favorably in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
A case study looked at the experiences of an online retailer that made the decision to remove all their informational content. Its administrators thought that they are streamlining their pages with this decision. However, this resulted in a 30% decrease in their overall visibility. It appears that their commercial pages gained traffic because the site had plenty of relevant content that Google used to give it a good ranking on search engine results.
Adding informational content is something that you shouldn’t skip. The visits that informational pages attract might not translate directly to sales, but they bring in value in other forms: authority, engagement, and better rankings!