There are a ton of publishers on the web competing for eyeballs, readers, and search engine rankings. And with Google Panda changing the landscape for driving organic search traffic to a given site, it is more important than ever to carve out a successful content strategy focused on quality. After selecting a
niche topic to focus on, publishers must decide between one of the two completely different types of online content.
While each type has its advantages and disadvantages, by not understanding the two types of content, publishers will have a more difficult time implementing a winning formula.
The first type of content I compare to Wikipedia content. It includes how to articles, advice, tutorials, information, and resources. The content is timeless in that it will benefit someone as much today as it will 2 months or even 2 years from now. This type of content could discuss when World War 2 ended, the moons of Saturn, or how to tie a tie. The fact that this content is timeless can be a huge plus. If you get ranked in the top 3 on Google, for How to Tie a Tie, that ranking will bring residual traffic for a long time because people are always going to be trying to figure out how to tie a tie. A disadvantage of this type of content is that you can’t make a huge impact. Say, for example you are ranked 5th on Google for Who Discovered Hawaii. While people may be searching for that term each day for the foreseeable future, there is not a lot of demand for that search so the traffic driven each month will be very minimal.
The other type of content I like to call “Real-time content”. This would include current events, breaking news, and stories which people are talking about right now.The advantage of this content is that it is popular at the moment it is published, so one story or article could attract a lot of attention. If you get ranked well or mentioned somewhere for a story that is trending, your traffic figures could see a tremendous boost. This disadvantage of this type of content is that it will die off quickly. Today, everyone may be talking about breaking news such as a celebrity altercation, natural disaster, or sporting event; but tomorrow, those stories will no longer be relevant. So while real time content has the chance to make an immediate impact, it has little or no value as time goes on.
It is important for publishers to identify the type of content they are publishing. Once this is done, they can better carve out a strategy, method of tracking, and online marketing plan. If you are focused on the Wikipedia type of content – you need to focus on organic SEO. You should read up on everything you can
about Google Panda along with the latest trends in organic search traffic. You should be keenly aware of your rankings so that you can identify the reasons why some content ranks better than other content. You also should worry less about your short term traffic statistics and instead pay attention to your month over month trends.
If you are focused on real time content – you must be aware of your day to day traffic figures. Remember, one article can be responsible for tons of visitors, so it is important for you to measure and analyse the factors which cause a given story to tip. You should be less concerned with organic Google rankings especially considering that people will probably only be searching the given topic today. However, you do want to try and get included in Google and Yahoo news as people are searching out those news sources and there of course is much less competition in those indexes when compared with the general web. You also want to be focused on social media. Remember, people share what interests and excites them, so Wikipedia content probably isn’t going to spread like wildfire through social media. Real time content, however, is made for social media so it is important that you have a Facebook and Twitter strategy which gives your news stories a solid chance to spread.
Another major decision is the layout. When you are writing about real time news, the blog format is best as you want to feature the most recent story on top. On the other hand, if you are writing Wikipedia style content – you instead want a directory based website. Each piece of content will have equal weight, so it is important to organise and categorize your site so that all of your articles can easily be accessed.
In summary, content publishing can be very lucrative however, it is a competitive game. It is important to identify the type of content you are publishing and then work hard to carve out a strategy that gives you the best chance for success.