Stunting 101: Why Evel Knievel Could Teach a Class on Content Identity – SEO Monday

By Vladimir Shvorin

Ever wonder how Evel Knievel could teach a class on content identity?

Stunting 101: Why Evel Knievel Could Teach a Class on Content Identity

Following the trajectory set by my previous article on the importance of targeted content, I’m going to create a vision for what your targeted content should sound, look and feel like. The gestalt term I’ve elected to use for these qualities is “content identity.”

Content without an identity can often be traced back to websites that – to the chagrin of their owners – lack identity themselves. It’s an age-old story in the Book of Bad Content (a terrific read, by the way). Here’s a simple assessment that you can employ to see which camp your content belongs to. Do you think writing content for your website is enjoyable? If your answer is “yes,” then your website likely has an identity. If your answer is “no,” then you’re depleting your content of its conversion potential. In a world full of dynamite writing, generic content is a dud.

With well-written content as the foundation and an understanding of your content targets as the vehicle, content identity becomes the final piece in this triumvirate. The pyramid below will provide visual confirmation of this.

A simple-but-effective content pyramid

And now I would like to talk about a man that seemed to have been more imagination than reality. Could someone survive a month-long coma, 433 broken bones, bankruptcy, divorce and a number of additional horrors, all while receiving the constant support and applause of a nation?

I’m talking ‘bout Evel Knievel!

Mentioning his name alone will stir the memories of anybody who was fortunate enough to witness him in his heyday, whether in-person or on a low-definition television screen. He was an icon, if there ever was one. While you may not want to pattern yourself after Knievel too closely, you should understand how his identity correlated with his legacy. That unmistakable identity is what made him special; it was why he stood out.

An emblem of an era

People forget that content isn’t entirely graded analytically. Just 15 percent of Google’s search algorithm hinges on keyword usage according to SEOmoz survey data (outdated, but in all likelihood, still fairly accurate). Care to guess how important keyword usage is to a potential customer that arrives at your website, as compared the quality and identity of your content? Yes, you need to have SEO-ready copy in order to attract visitors, but only well-written content can turn them into customers. And content identity will keep them coming back.

Your website needs content identity because it’s indistinguishable without it. Evel Knievel’s legacy lives on because of his identity. He was memorable, just as the copy you create for your website should be. If any of your content pages can be seamlessly transposed to another website without alterations, your content lacks identity. Does that mean buttoned-up pharmaceutical companies should start rolling out over-the-top content? No, but that doesn’t mean that generic copy is the answer, either. Think of the top companies in this space: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, etc. Their identities are crystal clear. They care about their customers; they help people through their medicine; and they have a squeaky-clean image with a humanistic element. That’s what it means to have content identity.

Join me next time, when I may actually explore an SEO-centric content topic.


Image courtesy teadrinker