Bloggers Remorse - The Endless Rabbit Trail

Last night I was reading a fantastic article by Tim Hickle called "7 REASONS MIMICKING BUZZFEED WILL DESTROY YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY (NUMBER 4 WILL SHOCK YOU!!)," feel free to read that one after you finish up here. While his article mainly focused on why you shouldn't model your content strategy after click baiting sites such as BuzzFeed, it got me thinking about content as a whole and its true purpose on a website.

Purpose

The sole purpose of content on a website is to convey a message. Now that message can come in a variety of different shapes and forms, but content is always telling us something, otherwise what's the point? Meaningful content informs us. It teaches us who you are and why we should trust you. It begins to form a bond between the reader/listener/watcher/etc and your message. Meaningful content stirs an emotional response, be it good, bad or ugly. Meaningless content, however, is similar to man standing in the street yelling garbled words but never actually saying anything at all. Yes, it's probably going to hold the attention of everyone around him, but not for very long and it definitely wont have any lasting effect on the people around him.

Retention

This seems to be the ultimate goal of a lot of websites out there today. We want site visitors. No one wants to check their analytics to see that only 10 people visited their site last week. We want the big numbers. This, however, begs the question, if none of these visitors become customers, then why does it matter? Say you're running a plumbing business. Every day you post some cheap, click baiting content. Your news feed becomes full of lists, jokes, GIF's and cats. BOOM, your site traffic explodes. It's easy to fool yourself into believing that this is somehow a good thing. Many people believe, as Hickle put it best, that:

Site Traffic x Conversion Rate = $$$

This however, is far from the truth. To put it plainly, most of these visitors could care less about your product, service or message. Their here for the cats. Their here for the two seconds of instant mind numbing gratification that your site is offering them. Then, as fast as they clicked in, poof, their gone.

Conversion

The real goal of almost every site out there today is conversion. If we're selling something, we want people to buy. If we're supporting a cause, we want people to join us in our efforts. Cats and useless lists don't create conversions, meaningful content can. Meaningful content connects you with the people who matter most, the people who are searching for exactly what you are offering. People looking to kill time following the rabbit trail are typically not interested in anything else you have to offer, but when my pipes burst and I need a plumber, will I be able to find you? Or have you filled your feed with everything else except what matters. Don't get me wrong here, retention is important, but retention without conversion is useless.

Let me finish up here by asking a simple question. Do you want more site visitors so that your numbers look good? Or do you want more meaningful connections that produce life long customers and supporters? The choice is yours.