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Internet Marketing: Give Me Good Content

Aug 17, 2007
If you peek into the esoteric world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you will be greeted with a vast array of speculations, rumors, and theories of how the major search engines determine which sites get included in their listings and how a site moves to the top of its category.

If you want to take ten years of your limited time on earth to truly understand this stuff, that's your prerogative. You can learn all about keyword selection and density, one way and reciprocal linking, anchor text, metatags, and fictional scenarios on how the algorithms work - until they are suddenly changed and a mad webmaster scramble ensues, trying to figure out what changed.

Beyond the debates on when and when not to link, and how frequently keywords should appear, there is always the age-old (in cyber years) adage that "Content is king."

What does that mean?

It means that I, like every other one of your customers, go on the Net looking for something. I want to find information that is helpful, interesting, entertaining, or illuminating. I don't care about keywords or page ranking or whether your site is cleverly optimized. I want meat!

We truly live in the information age. Everyone on the Internet is busy communicating with everyone else. It may be music or pictures or video although the written word still predominates. They are called browsers because that is exactly how we use them. Instead of walking down mainstreet or through the local mall, peeking into enticing windows or rummaging through the sale merchandise so prominently displayed, we meander through a world market, pausing as something catches our eye and then moving on in search of something new and different.

We want to be amused, enticed, rewarded, flattered, and entertained. We want to read articles that help us solve our problems or make us think about the world in a new way. We want opinions and challenges, and dialogs. Most of all, we don't want to be bored.

Have you ever considered how much boring, poorly written, superficial, and totally uninteresting stuff there is in those billions of web pages floating in the ether? Have you ever spent hours clicking your way through subterranean caverns of words to realize that your time was completely wasted because you found nothing of value? It is rather like the hundred plus television cable channels we now possess, filled with infomercials, endless reruns of syndicated shows, and sports videos of long-ago teams fighting to win a game that no longer matters.

So use your content wisely. Whether your goal is to instruct, inform, or amuse, make sure that it is interesting to me. No matter how extravagant your claims, nor how strident your demand for attention, I will click away faster than a speeding bullet if there is nothing worth my time. I don't want to slog my way through those ubiquitous links to emerge from the journey exhausted and frustrated with one lingering question: where's the beef?

Give me content that I can sink my teeth into. I want my brain and my senses and my emotions to be engaged and engrossed. Speak to me honestly and personally, like the better blogs that have risen to such prominence because they are written from the heart.

I'll be polite. I'll listen to your voice. I'll interact with you. And if you can really touch me, I'll even give you my e-mail address. But you have to earn my trust. Give me your knowledge, your opinions, the value of your experience. I may not always agree with you but if you deal with me honestly, I'll give you the courtesy of hearing you out.

Don't insult me or insult my intelligence. Don't try to impress me with name dropping or boasts of how much money you make from suckers like me. Don't try to flim-flam me with gifts "worth thousands of dollars" when I know the same freebies are available all over the Net, hoary with age and completely outdated, their relevance long dead.

I want to know what you've got that will do something for me. I'm pretty well open to anything. I relish new information: facts I don't know or things I've forgotten. I love new approaches to age-old problems and a personal perspective that will increase my understanding. I adore thought-provoking essays that expand my vision of the world and other people. Make me laugh, or cry, or feel something deeply. Give me the chance to reply, respond, or comment.

I will amply reward you with my interest, my trust, and a long lasting relationship. I'll even spend money to continue that relationship if I think you have my best interests in mind.
About the Author
Dr. Bola, a psychologist, sometime marketer, and always enthusiastic consumer offers complimentary copies of her book "Seven Super Simple Tips: I Am Your Customer" from which this article is taken. Enjoy!
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