Ten Top Tips: Protect your online content
By Sham Hussain Friday, 22 June 2012
For better or worse, the content that your business puts on the internet can take on a life of its own. Yell's Sham Hussain has these tips to protect your investment, while maximising views and viral spread.
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1. Don’t be too precious
Good content will take time and effort, so some businesses choose to put it behind a login screen or pay-wall to protect it. But unless your content is your product, such as with photographers or academic journals, it might be worth thinking differently. Content sharing represents an opportunity to engage with customers, so don't guard it too jealously.
2. But don’t give thieves a free ride
Sharing is one thing, but passing others’ content off as your own is quite another. Don’t make it easy for those who would rather steal content than create it. Embed your company name and website address in infographics and PDFs and, if appropriate, consider using digital watermarks on images to make ‘copy and paste’ jobs trickier.
3. Recognise the value of your expertise
Customers can find basic information about your company in any number of places online, so there’s little point in simply replicating this. Your website must offer the visitor something more – expertise. This is your greatest asset and is worth showing off!
4. Establish content objectives
Set up some content objectives for your site to ensure that you are producing regular posts (this will help with SEO, raising your Google ranking) and make sure that all the content you produce is aligned to the business and meets your customers’ needs.
Every piece of content you post should tick one of the following boxes: improve or enhance SEO; collect data; encourage sales; or build relationships.
5. Another thing about search...
SEO is an important part of running a website. It might sound technical but fundamentally it comes down to having good content.
Ensure the text on your website is updated regularly, has correct spelling and grammar and is formatted properly. This means using contextually relevant short paragraphs and sentences rather than long blocks of text. But, if you overdo the keywords, search engines will penalise you with poor rankings.
6. Get an outside perspective
Never assume you know what your website visitors want. Staff input can be useful in determining what’s relevant, but there’s no substitute for asking your customers directly.
Short polls are a quick and easy way to get feedback. Combine this with your web traffic stats to identify the best content tactics for you.
7. A picture’s worth a thousand words
Similarly, if you’re concerned about maintaining control over images you own, add a logo to the image or request a source credit to ensure people know where it came from. But don’t be afraid of going viral. Image sharing sites like Pinterest are growing in popularity and can drastically increase traffic back to the source of a picture.
8. Make sharing easy
With this in mind, add 'share' buttons to your blog or news feed to encourages click-throughs to your site. These buttons also make it easier for you to track who’s shared your content and where.
Some link shortening services offer analytics, so consider using these to keep a close eye on where your content is going.
9. Don’t lose track
Keep track of who picks up your content and monitor how the conversation progresses.
Don't be afraid to ask for link-backs to your website or make comments if your content is used. This will improve SEO and make it easier for customers to find you.
10. Don't just rely on the grunt work of others
Great infographics and blog posts can spread like wildfire on social media but you should start the process internally. Make sure you share content across the social networks, including Twitter, Reddit and Digg for maximum impact.
Great content will build your credibility, drive traffic to your site, help develop relationships and increase customer loyalty. What are you waiting for?