On our travels around the country demonstrating the Quotall insurance software for brokers one of the key topics of discussion has been the consumer website trading facilities that Quotall provides as part of its service. One of the questions raised by brokers looking to build their insurance e-commerce capabilities through their existing website, or through the Quotall consumer website service, is ‘what content do I need for my website’.
In this, the first of two posts on the subject, we will look at why good website content is so important, and in the follow up post we will talk about what makes great content.
Before we get started, there is one question to address…
Essentially there are two types of website content – text and multimedia.
- Text content, as the name suggests, is the written element of a website which also includes text used in relation to images and other multimedia elements.
- Multimedia web content refers broadly to any content on your website which is not in the form of text. This includes things like videos, podcasts, flash animation, images, sound and so on.
Why do people use the internet?
In considering why your website content is so important, a good starting point is to ask yourself why people use the internet. The answer is, of course, to look for information. People looking for insurance on the internet will be gathering information on products, related services, insurance guides, insurance providers, broking companies, contact details and so on. Some will be looking for basic information, other will be looking for much more detail.
Whatever it is they are searching for, by providing useful and informative content your website will become a valuable resource for potential and existing customers .
Great content is also important for Google
Google’s primary objective, like any business, is to make money. Their mission is to ‘ organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. Their business model relies on doing this better than any other search engine to ensure that Google is the search engine of choice – for users and advertisers.
Today, 83% of global searches are done on Google and in 2012 Google handled 1.2 trillion searches. The majority of the world’s 2.4 billion internet users clearly trust Google to provide them with the most relevant search results. For Google to continue to grow in popularity, it must continue to deliver the highest quality and targeted results consistently to those users.
Right now there are 644 million active websites on the Internet according to UK research firm Netcraft. Importantly, if you want to your website to be found on the search engines and thus attract new visitors, its content must be great.
The websites that Google ranks on page one of its search results for any given search term are the ones that they consider to be the most relevant and useful. Google determines which sites are most relevant and useful using a complex algorithm which takes into account over 200 different criteria.
The full list of criteria, and how Google treats them, are a closely guarded secret. Through a combination of research, testing and experience, those involved in the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have a good idea what the most important factors are.
The infographic below by Martin Missfeldt is a great visual guide, because it clusters and weights the key ranking factors into major topics: Social, Backlinks, Author/Brand and Onpage.
The important point to note from this is that content lies behind three quarters of the ranking factors. Content has to be well written and optimised to satisfy the Onpage criteria, to attract Social Media followers and likes, and to encourage other websites to link to yours.
Content is not the only thing that Google looks at when determining the relevance and importance of your website for ranking purposes, but its obviously a major factor. Content though is ultimately what every user is searching for. It may be video, articles, wikis, blogs, or social media, but it is all content, and the more of it you have, the more highly Google is likely to regard your website.
For help and advice on content and building your own content marketing strategy, please contact Greg Roche the head of our Marketing Services team.