This guest post is by Norman Morrison of GetCalhoun.com, a local community website.
Content curation is the cornerstone of your local community website.
A community website, besides business advertising pages hosts a collection of interesting local articles. These articles add SEO juice in the eyes of Google and value in the eyes of the community. For the owner/webmaster/ content editor this translates to using completely white hat, dirt simple, basic SEO’ing to get all your pages to land on page one of Google which impresses the business people you are selling your advertising pages to.
Besides whatever other community articles you have, I urge my users to develop a “news page,” because news actually sells. Local folks will come to your well done news page and while they are on your site, they may visit your client pages. This is a fantastic selling point on your sales calls. Beyond all of that, Google will also visit your news pages, love them, and confer more page rank to your for real, community website.
Now, a news page takes time. One thing I have done in the past is to cut a deal with a local radio station to advertise them in exchange for their local news copy once they are done with it. This is a dynamite way to get free news for your community website. However, like as not, you may only get a blank stare when you present your proposal. Worse, your local stations may not even have local news.
Since your main priority is selling and making business pages, you can’t be spending all your time running around being a one man news room. That’s a sure way to doom and failure for your local community website aspirations. I have seen it done! More than once!
Realizing this, after my news sharing bit ran out with the radio station, I turned to Google News. Guess what? That also takes lots of time, doing all that searching, copying and pasting. That scheme didn’t last. Way too costly in time. .
Then I ran across something called “content curation.”
I had already been attempting to do news curation with Google News feeds, but either didn’t know the term, or the term content curation had not been invented yet. Either way, the Google News route was a time waster. I got bored and quit.
Time passed, and I still yearned for a news source for my site, but there was none, and I could not justify the time necessary to do it all myself. You see, my community website is a one man operation.
Then I ran across a certain automated content curation program. I got the free version and played around with it. It was without a doubt the answer to the maiden’s prayer.
I got the earliest version, I suppose. It was little a buggy, and crash prone. However, using their guidelines, I found that I could throw up a curated article in jiffy quick time. Having to reboot once in awhile was definitely overshadowed by the power of the little program. I was envious of the creators and wished I was smart enough to come up with a no-brainer application like this so I also could make a million bucks.
Over time, the product has added, I’d say, about 400% more value than my first version, and the first one was pretty spectacular and solved my local news problem.
For your local community website, local news is the best, naturally. But, since you probably won’t have much news in smaller communities, it is well to branch out into the rest of the state. A good curation content gathering program will make this a snap for you.
For my news page experiment I chose to make my page emulate the Drudge website. Drudge is a study in utter simplicity, and has no competition. It is one of the primo news sites on the net and so simple granny could program it.
Now, here is the interesting part. For my test news page using curated content I purposely did not go to much trouble to add unique content to the curated content. Most of the news entries are the straight blurbs produced by the software. I did, however add in a great mix of videos, and also articles not related to my local area. A well balanced page of useful content! My goal was to see what would be the least amount of unique content I would have to write to still have the page achieve rank.
I love to write, as you can well see, but the point of a community site is to write and sell business pages…not to get bogged down tricking out the very important news page. Keeping it interesting to the community and Google at the same time is the combination that works.
The result was that my news page quickly attained a page rank of 2 on a page rank 3 website. This proved conclusively to me that content curation was not only safe to use, but effective as well.
A big secret to success with a local community website is that Google loves them and will reward them with page rank and excellent placement, IF the pages are done well. Only minimal attention needs to be paid to the SEO elements. And guess what? That’s what Google craves these days. Great content with no obvious SEO tricks.
Because your local pages have little or no competition, they are going to the top of the search engines where local folks can find them who are looking for local products.
In my community website course, I go into depth about the whys and wherefores of how to build your site for success, more easily, and with better use of your time. I also show how archived news content is the bedrock of your SEO efforts.
The wise use of news content curation goes hand in hand with whatever else you are trying to accomplish with your local website, and using good, professional content gathering software is always best. You are, after all, a local professional!
I’d like to show you the news content curation page on my website. Go here and study the design: News Curation Example Page .
The page has been up for months. I only updated it a few times at the start and STILL it maintains a page rank of 2. This is nothing to sneeze at. The center portion of the page takes a half hour to forty five minutes to completely update with fresh material using my software to locate and prepare an update. After transfer to the page, only minimal tweaking is necessary. Thanks to content curation!
Were I working vigorously on my website (as I ought to!) a couple of updates a week would be all that is necessary. While the page sits there humming and generating good karma with Google the rest of my day would be devoted to selling and building business pages.
Norman Morrison is a recovering Internet Marketer who now spends most of his time writing books, which is what he always wanted to do. For frustrated IM’ers, Norm recommends focusing on a single, community website for a change that can, if built properly, and worked make your family a living. He put everything he knows about building a successful local community website into his course: http://workathomegc.com/community-page-for-fun-and-profit-in-your-local-community-or-town .
Categories: Content Curation, SEO
Tags: community website, SEO, content curation, local community website, local seo