The internet can sometimes seem like a bit of a jungle – how do you get to be at the top of the tree? What part does original content play in that? And what is original content?
Everyone remembers that scene from Jungle Book where King Louie wants to get the secret of fire from Mowgli – he wants that power. Louie wants to walk and talk like the guy who is making it happen. When you see someone who has a great website that is doing what it is meant to be doing, don’t you want that too? Are you tired of monkeying around with a website that does nothing for you?
When you look at a site that is doing it right, it has great flows, and high traffic, good hit rates, and a lot of interaction with the people who are landing on the site. You want some of that magic for yourself. How do you go about getting it?
Everyone is looking to drive people to their website, but not everyone knows how to make that happen. It isn’t just a case of copy and paste and change the names; parroting what you read on another site and just changing the window dressing so that it looks like something you created. No, you want to be giving the person who comes to your site something original and interesting. If you are going to stand out from the crowd and be a Jungle VIP, then you need to be talking about the things which truly mark you out as different, and you need to be doing it an interesting way.
Blogging gave us press button publishing and made it easy for people to put their thoughts together and get them out there to the world in an easy to digest format; it leveled the playing field as far as distribution. There was a trend towards blog posts getting shorter and shorter, which culminated in the 140 character Twitter standard and the birth of micro-blogging. Then following it through to its logical conclusion, for those who didn’t have the time for even that, link-blogging became the thing and, instead of original content, a lot of people were just posting links to other people’s articles and things which they had read but not created. So, when everyone is just archiving links, like a return to the old practice of scrapbooking, where does the generation of interest in your site and the ability to stand out from the crowd derive from? Well, it has to come back to original content.
Original content is copy that you write, about things that matter to you and your industry. Original content is also unique photos, like pictures of your store, the products you sell and occasionally the events that you hold at your business. These are all things that are considered original content and are beneficial to helping you become king of your little sphere of the Internet Jungle.
What do you care about? What is it that your company offers to its customers that no one else offers? You probably have some interesting stories about the time you went above and beyond and really gave someone more than they were expecting and they were so bowled over that they couldn’t stop telling people what a great company you were. You gave someone the dream kitchen that they always wanted and made their house feel like a home to them. You spent a little extra time on the legal case you were working on and the attention you paid your client changed their whole perspective on lawyers. You built someone a website that communicated their goals and purposes so well that their client base is still expanding exponentially, and they can now choose to work with people who really further the aims of what they want to do as a company. These stories are gold – this is the secret of fire that King Louie was after, and what you, as a person with a website are looking for.
Your site can be as anonymous as you want, or it can be really plugged into the vision you have for your company. Original content that shows how you are different and talks about the successes that you have had, both personal, and those of the customers you have worked with, is going to communicate to new people who happen across your site. If you are browsing, clicking through sites that all look the same, and instead of reading the same old same old about product A and product B, or how you are great at customer service or offer the lowest prices, which is what everyone says, and instead there is something there talking about a real person and their experience with you, which one do you think is going to generate interest?
A small owner operated company, or a larger concern, with a personal touch and a real investment in their customers shouldn’t have content cribbed from other sources. If they really are what they say they are they will have those stories. Those stories will communicate and they have great SEO value too. You can optimize your listings, you can talk about the unique selling points of your company, and you can be a Jungle VIP.