Why Your Best Content Should Be Free

I was recently talking with a local lawyer about optimizing his website.  He refused to make a blog with information because, in his mind, the information was too valuable to give away for free.

He’s got a point: Lawyers get paid hundreds of dollars per hour to give legal advice.  Why would they want to give it away for free?

More than Building Links

The obvious reason for giving away your best content for free is because it helps you get links.  Links are, and will continue to be, the foundation of good SEO.  If you don’t give away amazing content, you won’t get links and no one will be able to find you to pay for your services.

But link building isn’t the only reason you should give away your best content.

When you share valuable information with your website visitors, you are building trust with them.  And when someone trusts you, they are more likely to become a loyal paying customer.

 

Content Presells Your Services

This stingy lawyer isn’t the first lawyer I’ve worked with.  The other lawyer, by contrast, was all too eager to start blogging.  The reason?  Because he knew that well-informed leads are more likely to become clients, and they become clients faster.

The savvy lawyer, who’d been marketing his services online for 10+ years, had noticed a major shift when he started blogging.  The leads who contacted them already knew they needed a lawyer.  They had informed themselves about trial practices, likely outcomes of their case, lawyer’s role in the process, and etc.  Instead of having to explain everything to these leads in annoyingly-long and often-unfruitful consultations, clients were ready to sign the dotted line at their first consultation.

Even outside of the service industry, giving out free information is important.  A former client of mine sold cool handmade doll clothes.  Against what seems logical, she decided to make the patterns for the doll clothes available at her website for free.  This got her LOADS of backlinks.  But it also got her loads of paying customers too.  Seeing how difficult the clothes were to make, most of the visitors opted to buy instead of take the DIY route.

 

The Risks of Not Sharing Your Content

Now, there is some information that you shouldn’t share with your website visitors – like company secrets or strategies. However, I find that there is really little content which should be off limits.

If you are stingy with your content, then web users are just going to go elsewhere.  And they will find someone else giving out the content for free!  That means you miss out on the backlinks, reputation boost, and a chance to win paying customers.  It also means that you will have to work a lot harder to convert the few visitors who do remain interested.

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