How do you catch a unique rabbit? You place a carrot on the ground then shoot it with a tranquillizer dart when it gets close.
Many SEO companies have conducted hundred, if not thousands, of tests, formulas, and ideas on how Google and other search engines rank websites. And even more, SEOs have written posts on how this is done, or rather how they believe it’s been done. Ladi frickin da right? Some think this is crucial for SEO companies; the more you understand about the system, the easier it is to beat it. Wrong.
When you try to “beat the system,” you end up running in circles regurgitating the same information to every client you have. But unless you have clients all in the same niche, why are you telling them all the same thing? How is that even unique? “Uhh, you need to create content and promote it.” (Honestly? All this does is buy you time until the next pay cycle rolls through then you need to bring something more concrete to the table.)
Through all of this many have concluded that content is one of the most important factors for a website. The phrase “Content is King” was born. (From here on out when you read the phrase content is king, take a shot … SEJ does not endorse drinking on the job, what you choose to drink is up or you. Coffee is preferred, though. Coffee can make you jittery.)
I have no qualms with having good and relevant content for your audience; my disagreement comes from the phrase itself. I consider content to be the black knight or queen at best. No, not that black knight, this one.
The community is your king!
You must appeal to them, make them love you/adore you/dare I say … promote you. They are your readers, followers, and fellow bloggers. You are a humble servant to them. You are obligated to do everything within your power to appease them. In return you are rewarded loved lusted after shared or liked on FB.
To maintain your minions peasants voters kings’ (audience’s) interest, you must be eye-catching, fun, and creative … unique even? (*cough* Content is King! *cough)
Think of your website as a court jester, we all know what happens to jesters who did not appease their king. Your client’s site (or your own site), just like the jester, will be cut off and forgotten.
This is where being unique trumps content. No one will read your five-page article about, well, anything unless you have found a way to catch and hold their attention. Interesting facts, different perspectives, or playing devil’s advocate works great. This all boils down to being a unique site that pulls in your reader. Then and only then will great content have its effect: Keeping the reader interested and informed.
By no means can you be slow to do this. This is where the race begins. Don’t believe me? Go take peek at the front page of Reddit and check out StumbleUpon. (*cough* Content is King! *cough*) If you are not first, you’re last.
Most great ideas spread like wildfire throughout the Internet. One simple mention on any of these communities can rocket your popularity. This does not come without risk, a double-edged sword if you will. Whatever you put forward will be judged and then you’ll have to deal with what the response is, any waver in quality will be ridiculed and any attempt to copy will be mocked endlessly. The Internet can be an unforgiving place, but at the same time it’s also forgiving.
Instead of trying to make a funny video, or an infographic, or even a great post on the top ten something (*cough* Content is King! *cough*), you should be focusing on providing your audience with what they want. If you’ve done the research to know who your target audience is, then you should know the kind of stuff that will appease them. Quit trying to be the next viral sensation and start focusing on being the next company that gives their audience what they want.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexroz