‘Build it and they will come’ may be dead, but make sure you build it before they come

If everyone else has been informed as many times as I have about the sad demise of the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy in the online world, it is safe to say it is becoming a bit clichéd. To be honest, I’m not entirely convinced the age of build and they will come ever really existed, but as long as we’re agreed that it doesn’t exist at the moment then everyone is happy.

But with people being told that having your online presence is not enough, you ought to be doing x, y and z to promote it, my concern is that the building process is a bit shoddy.

My particular interest in this field is online content and it is this aspect that is often lacking in the ‘build’ process. There is a temptation to start encouraging people to visit your site before there is anything worth visiting.

You might have a very good piece of written content for your blog or news feed, but on its own the long-term benefits will be minimal. Before you begin the full onslaught of social media, SEO, pay-per-click and whatever else you might be planning to promote your post, spend time producing a solid core of content.

This foundation of your ‘build’ means that people enticed to the website by your content can see what else you have got to say. It also makes your site a more useful source of information because visitors will be more likely to check back if they can see you are regularly updating your content. Assuming they enjoyed what you had to say, of course.

At first this will feel a bit like the Chinese proverb quoted even more freely than the death of build it and they will come, and that your tree is falling in the forest and making no sound. But it is important that you build up a credible amount of content before driving traffic to your site. And your patience will pay off if it is matched by your perseverance.

That is not to say that this initial batch of content should go to waste. Aim to write items that are not time sensitive and on topics that are key to your business. That way you can promote each post individually at a later date and, by basing them around your core business, you can increase the possibility of Google traffic to the post in the future.

If you are particularly concerned about a great piece of content slipping through the net, you could even save all your core content and publish it in one go on a particular ‘launch’ day.

Whatever approach you take, the end result remains the same: more value for your visitors when they first land on your pages.


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