Developing new content is hard work, but critical to growing your presence online. Often there are missed opportunities that are overlooked, particularly within larger organisations to build great content using the resources, which are often unused, or gathering dust in your filing cabinet. This post summarises just some of the things you could be adding to the web, that could end up benefiting your website.
Many of you will may already be using email marketing to promote your business. You’ve probably worked long and hard at creating these from scratch, included really great content, formatted them as HTML, and sent them to prospective customers. Due to the fact that email is a behind closed doors, and largely private, there’s no way for the search engines to reward that hard work. Instead, why not send the newsletter, and maintain a copy of that email somewhere else on your website in an archive. The benefits of this are twofold, firstly, you’ll be providing a searchable archive for your visitors, who may want to find content they’ve since deleted, and secondly, you’ve give Googlebot access to content you’d have otherwise lost.
Source code can be a great way to gain recognition on-line. As well as that, if your business relies heavily on it already, you might be missing a trick by not either – A) open sourcing existing parts of your product / website, or b) simply using code as inspiration for a new post or section on your site. There are numerous places online that you can use for hosting open source projects, and get additional exposure through.
Sharing what you are working on with the community, or giving it away for free, is a great way to build back links, it also exposes you to other developers who may provide alternative solutions which you hadn’t already thought of. Win. Win.
If you are working in a corporate environment, you’ll without a doubt have had to create pretty presentations at some stage. End of year summaries, and marketing reports may actually be a great fit for your website.
There are a number of online presentation tools where you can host and syndicate this information, with the added benefit of their being multiple audiences at each site. Plus -all that brand exposure – is available for the grand total of zero expenditure.
Audio can be a great source of content for your site, and there are a number of occasions when it is every bit as useful for your audience as the written word. The following examples of audible content that might be a good fit for the web.
1) Recordings of talks that you’ve given, or indeed heard others give.
2) Interviews with others
One of the quickest, and often overlooked ways to benefit from this sort of thing is to transcribing the audio. Simply giving a written account of what is going on in the recording, (obviously) provides additional content for the search engines.
Syndicating audio elsewhere online is also not a bad plan. This massive list of websites which accept podcasting feeds includes the popular Podcasting Station and PodcastBunker. LibSyn also offer syndication and hosting (although not free).
You can also take your existing content in its written format, and convert it to audio by using tools such as ReadSpeaker, – then syndicating this content elsewhere (in its new format) for additional links.
Video content that you have on your website, whilst usually developed with the web in mind, can sometimes be poorly marketed. Services such as TubeMogul can easily syndicate content around multiple video outlets on the web for free, giving you maximum bang for buck, especially if there is strong brand presence within the video. You may also find that video’s that you’ve recorded from conferences, talks or business meetups, are sitting around on your desktop or mobile phone unused. Obviously, respect the subject in these cases, and obtain permission before firing their mug around the web, but you get the picture.
Tutorial content does really well online for a number of reasons. Firstly, its a step by step process that make the content by nature easily consumable. Second of all, it teaches the reader something they didn’t already know, improving their skills in a particular field, and last but not least, it encourages people to bookmark and return to it, especially if it is long form. I like to call this – “the might be useful later effect”.
Screencasts, are a fantastic way to improve tutorial content significantly, as video often explains things much clearer. You can also market screencasts in addition to your content, in the same way you can with video. Often, visitors will either type in the domain they see on the video directly, or better again, follow the link which sits alongside your content to get to the website. If you aren’t already listing your website at the start or end of the video – you should be!
One of the more recognised screencasting software applications is Camstudio – an open source application which outputs screencasts to both AVI and SWF formats. For a commercial alternative, Camtasia Studio is a pretty mean bit of kit as well, with many more options for output qualities etc.
Twitter is a great place to grab back the content you’ve been diligently providing to them, there are no end of startups built on the premise that their data is open, and if they add value to what is already there, then Google juice will flow, and advertisers will follow. The latest incarnation of this model can be seen with curated.by – a service which allows people to swarm around a particular topic of interest, and follow the conversation more easily.
So how do you take the content you’ve created, and take it back under your control again?
This post at Stop Design highlights a step by step process to create a browsable, searchable archive of tweets. How wonderful. Stick that on a subdomain, and you at least stand half a chance that Google will index the content you’ve created and give you some recognition. If nothing else, it certainly makes up for the shortcomings in Twitter’s existing search experience.