Have you ever heard the expression “Content is King”? I’ve been working in the web industry for more than 13 years now, in roles as varied as customer service, online sales, and marketing. And one thing has always held true: the right content is key. For me, there is no doubt that content is king, especially when it comes to local online advertising.
To better understand the value of content, it is important to first define what it is. Simply put, content is all of the information on your site—from words and images to videos and reviews. And good content is information that your visitors will find useful, that answers their needs and drives action.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say I am a potential customer searching online for a service technician, and I come across several options. How do I choose? The technicians I will actually contact will be a) those referred or rated by others (a form of content in itself) and b) those who describe their services in detail—the kind of appliances they can repair, whether they accept cash, whether they are licensed, etc.
It is absolutely imperative that this kind of content be displayed for customers. Most search result pages feature a host of different options and in order for customers to decide which to choose, they need the right information.
It amazes me that there are advertisers out there who work so hard to ensure their company features at the top of a search result page, but who then fail to include the information their customers are looking for.
Placement is important, but a combination of placement and content is key. There are some exceptions to this rule—national advertisers seeking branding opportunities, for example. But in almost all cases, placement and content should go hand in hand.
Yellowpages.ca has conducted studies that consistently show the importance of comprehensive content. We have found that merchants with complete online profiles—i.e. profile pages with company details, images/icons and videos—receive significantly more leads that their competitors that offer no content upfront.
Icons on a search result page let customers know there is more information available. And the more keywords appear on a profile page, the better. SEO/keywords are essential in attracting customers, not only on yp.ca but on external search engines that drive traffic to your site, like Yahoo!, Google and Bing.
Content that is engaging, relevant, fresh, meaningful and well executed is the ultimate weapon on the web. Good content offers users all the information they need to make a buying decision, and greatly improves leads for an advertiser. Good content engages the reader, increases search engine rankings and traffic, and promotes the likelihood of attracting quality links from other sites. When it comes to building a successful site and marketing your company, good content definitely wears the crown.