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What exactly is quality content?

need some help here

8:38 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I've been lurking here for some time, and I keep reading that CONTENT IS KING. As a newbie to Emarketing I'm not sure I understand what that means. How would you define "quality content"?

For instance I have a commercial website that I just finished designing. Can the commercial part of my site (products' info etc) be considered quality content? Or is quality content only about interesting and useful articles that are not about selling sth?

Thank you all and also thank you Brett and everybody posting such valuable information here.


8:43 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The commercial portion of your site with product info, descriptions, instructions, etc. can be great content. If you have 100 products and write a 100-200 word blurb about each you quickly have 100 pages of content that will be relevant to the users searching for that prouduct.
9:11 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Make sure you have more information on the site than your competitors. Use as much product info as possible. If you have diagrams, specs, weights, heights, dimensions of all types...put it up on the site. Quality is relative to the industry you are in. Just make sure you have the best.
9:18 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm used to writing pages that are on the lengthy side. Have not much experience with content in regards to displaying product info but the "content is king" issue for me is a 2 pronged thing

1. You want content because its "spider food", meaning spiders are happy to swallow up text by the load, especially when it coincidentally contains all the keywords for your site

2. Content for your users. Some people want a "sticky site", and want visitors to come back. Content is king here because new, fresh content will reach the goal of keeping visitors around.

Either way, you always have to bear in mind robots and humans will be reading it, so you need a balance, but IMO, the main thing here is that you need text on your page, and lots of it (or lots of it across the site). Without content, your site is sorta 'faceless' to the spiders. My 0.02

7:23 pm on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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"the main thing here is that you need text on your page, and lots of it"

I'll have to fix that. I've been trying to avoid building
pages with a lot of text, but I realize now that too little text is not good either.

Thanks, now I know what to do next.

7:26 pm on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If you are using your title, description and <h1> tag effectively, then two or three well written paragraphs on those pages will suffice and probably work wonders in the long run.

Too much content can dilute the overall King factor and have a reverse effect. As mentioned already, its all about balance. Its also all about knowing what your audience is searching (scanning) for. That is the part that really makes it whole!

7:47 am on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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For technical/commercial sites its always a balance of giving away just enough propietary information that will raise the interest of the visitor beyond and above the competition, without giving away all your trade secrets.

My guess is that you can give away more "so called confidential" information than you think will harm you.

Every page should ideally be constructed in a way of looking like an autority/information center. Every page should ideally earn its own incoming links for that specific information.

If content is king, presentation, structure and promotion are all eager crown-prince's. With the PPC's lurking as ugly nouveaux riches.

Maybe we should rename the nobility of WMW member rankings to Knight/Baron/Count/Duke/Prince. When you eventually reach Kingdom, you do not need these forums anymore - as you have found out that, in the final event, content is King ;).

4:04 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The value of content depends on the purpose of the site. I personally like sites which have lots of useful information.

When I am shopping, I want descriptions, pictures, uses for products, visitor comments and reviews, warranty information and so on. I want to get the idea of confidence - the vendor is so confident of his products and his company that I would be silly not to purchase from them.

My sites are all content. They are intended to amuse or educate people, and thus content is not only king, it is everything.

The idea is really simple. A web site is simply a way to communicate. You add as much content as you need to communicate whatever message you want to get across. If the message is "we sell the best candy and we guarantee it and other people like it as well", then your content should push that concept.

A web site is successful if it communicates well. It is a failure if it does not.

Sites that don't have any concent simply do not communicate. Sites that have lots of unrelated content tend to communicate a fuzzy message and thus don't communicate well either. Sites which have tightly focused content communicate very well.

Richard Lowe

4:10 pm on June 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

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After five years of professional web publishing, I tend to take a very pragmatic view and say that quality content is simply "proven content that drives sales".

By sales I DON'T just mean the selling of actual products: I mean anything that "sells" your site's message.

By "proven content" I mean content from which you can see interactivity happening, or the results you desire.

You can determine a lot of this by looking in depth at your web site statistics. Some pages, for example, will drive more customer contacts than others. Some content might convince more people to signup to your newsletter. Other pages high in traffic are simply "selling" your knowledge, increasing your brand awareness.

In your circumstance, you want to very carefully watch your commercial pages, and question whether each and every one is doing its job of bringing in either direct online sales or contacts.

Let's say you have a page with high traffic, but no sales. Let's say you have another with low traffic but high sales: obviously, the page with low traffic is the "quality page" - you want to go through it and determine what about it makes it more successful than the other... and then you want to revamp the other page to attempt to increase that page's sales (and you will also want to focus on driving even more traffic to the successful page.)

Quality content is content that drives results.

4:43 pm on June 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Dan_popescu I agree with all of the above and especially ranger, if in fact your web site's primary goal is to "induce the need to buy".

Robots and spiders don't particularly care for dynamic content (Shockwave, Flash, Audiovisual content, but people do (It help's them understand the point of why "they need you, your products, or services").

On the other hand, Robots and Spiders love text but people don't necessarily read "word for word verbatim" like spiders so the more "text" the more chance the visitor will leave to find a better illustration and then buy from them.

Quality content is a find balance and almost always takes on the dialogue with a client for the first time.

How much? Well that depends on how much do you have to spend?

The balance is different in every industry and with every market?

Example - a web designer attempting to attract tons of clients through search engines using only a ton of text.

Example - same thing for a Cartographer or Photographer.

On the other side:

The same examples but rarely will you ever be found if completely designed in Flash, Shockwave or completely out of imagery.

May the force be with you!

[edited by: fathom at 5:02 pm (utc) on June 3, 2002]

8:07 pm on June 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

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To me it's sometimes incredible to see so much quality content:)) posted here at no cost to those that need it. Thank you all so much, you have been of great help since the first day I found this forum.



12:44 am on June 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'd use the following as an example of non-quality content:

"The Wonder Widget will make your life incredibly simple and pay for itself over and over. It's a miraculous achievement of science. If you've been waiting for a Wonder, this is it. It's utterly fantastic! Get yours today!!!"

The same as quality content:

"The Wonder Widget is a 1 pound, 4-inch square cube that draws power from the atmosphere. It has 2 120 volt outlets, breaker protected, and supports a current load of 15 amps. It is safe and built using non-flammable, non-explosive components, and can be used at altitudes as high as 15,000 feet. At only $299, This product can pay for itself within 6 months of 8-hour per day use."

Anyhow, that's my take on the difference betwixt the two.

9:50 pm on June 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Ah content! One of my favourite parts of building a website.

Some of you guys/gals may have commented on these but here's 2 things that makes for quality content in my eyes.

1: Usefulness -Content must be useful, it must serve a purpose and allow the visitor to be able to use it.

2: Presentation -Content must be presented in the right manner, it's no good having useful content if it's hard to read, too close together and not in a formatted way, paragraphically speaking. It's no good to no one unless it's presented right.

I could go on all day about what I think makes for quality content but the 2 things that I mentioned are paramount when creating content.