All too often we have seen websites which have been created, filled with an initial amount of content, then just left alone by their owners – some for many years.
Whilst this is seen by many business owners as a ‘web presence’, it is not going to attract new (or more) potential customers, it is merely a website that tends to be used by existing customers, or those who are already aware of your existence and have searched specifically to find you.
Search Engines (like Google, Bing, etc.) use a very complicated algorithm to rank websites, and many SEO experts have their own take on what is best and in which situations. One thing they ALL agree on is that ‘content’ is very important (Content is King).
Search Engines love new, unique and relevant content and they tend to rank sites which provide this much higher. Some site owners add a ‘Blog’ section to their website, add a few initial articles, then never go back there again. These are not really ‘Blogs’ in the true sense, they are merely additional content pages on your static website, since a ‘Blog’ is really meant to be something that is continually added to, albeit at varying frequencies according to many factors.
It is important that you consider the content on your website very carefully, it is the key to the success or failure of your site. It can be the key to traffic numbers and converting this traffic into sales.
We would suggest that all site owners consider their initial page content. It is important to make the ‘text’ on your website pages informative, to explain to readers whatever message you are trying to get across, but to ensure you do not overpower them with too much jargonised text leading to them switching off and navigating away from your site. Nobody is going to read a novel when they just want some brief information most of the time.
Ensure that, if you have more information to give on a topic, the reader has the option to click (once is best) a clear option to read further if they so wish. That way you can give some brief information, ensuring the clarity, but lead the reader further into your site – if they wish to read further.
Your page content should be continually (whatever frequency suits yourself, but regularly is best) reviewed and updated or added to if needs be.
Ensure in any content you add to your website that you consider your important keywords (and phrases). When the Search Engines read your site, they are looking for key content that is relevant to search terms, so don’t overload your content with keywords so that it doesn’t read well, but ensure you keep it keyword rich.
Keyword-rich content, relevant to your website and your business, useful and informative to readers, will drive organic traffic to your website. It is this organic traffic that will result in your website adding to your client portfolio, generating sales, and giving potential customers the confidence in you and your business to want to do business with you.
Again, like all things web-related, some people overdo things. Don’t fall into the trap of adding so many keywords into your text that it becomes less useful to the reader – driving that traffic is one thing, but keeping the interest of it once arrived is more important. There is no point in driving masses of traffic to your website for them only to click away again because your content is a complete put-off.
Balance is key, consideration for your readers is important, and providing useful information that holds the interest of your reader will ultimately convert into additional business for you.
A Blog is a great method of providing more detailed information on a particular subject for your readers. You can provide a brief outline of your services in your page content, but a Blog allows you to delve into specific areas or topics in greater detail – picking out specific subject areas that you are experienced and proficient at, providing useful information on a topic for your readers, and giving your readers confidence in your knowledge and ability.
Blogs are a great source of regular, fresh content for your website, presented in an article format.
Blogs can (and probably should) contain:
- Specific informative articles on a relevant subject.
- News relevant to your industry sector.
- Specific product/service reviews and information.
- Tips or guides dealing with specific problems associated with your industry sector (type ‘How To’ into Google and see how many results it returns).
- Mistakes that may be inherent in your industry, and how to avoid them.
- Business expansion or prestigious contracts you are involved in.
Remember – your blog not only informs your readers about a particular subject, it also gives you credibility in their eyes, gaining their trust as someone who is knowledgeable about a particular subject and someone they can do business with.
Some Useful Content Pointers
We’ll cover some of these points in greater detail in other articles, but here are some pointers which really need your consideration when writing content for your website (page or blog content, the rules apply):
- Keep your paragraphs short, long blocks of text make readers switch off too easily.
- Break up your content with images, block quotes and even relevant videos (content need not always be text on the page, some business make great use of Video blogs).
- Write your content specifically for your readers. Remember you may indeed be an expert in your field, but your jargon can be a real turn-off for a layman who is trying to gain some basic information.
- Ensure your content is unique – do not plagiarise others content. Search Engines do not like duplicate content and if a reader catches on that your content is not actually yours at all, it dents your credibility.
- Use lists. Lists are quick and informative. They catch the attention of the reader and give information quickly, perfect for online content.
- Don’t be scared to link to others in your field who have something useful to say on a particular subject. Helping your readers, even if it is via someone else, is a way of stating that you don’t know absolutely everything and there is no point in ‘reinventing the wheel’ in every single blog post.
- Ensure you use internal links. If you make reference to something that you have a more detailed article about – link to it so the reader has the chance to read it. How often have you gone to a website to read about something, then clicked through a link, ending up somewhere completely different? If you mention a product you sell as a solution to a particular problem – link to it and watch the sales rack up.
- Keep it clean. I don’t mean in your content and language (although you should do that too), I mean that the page your reader is on at the time should not be cluttered. Keep the advertisements to a minimum, away from your important content. Don’t fill the sidebar with flashing adverts or overpowering subject matter and definitely don’t use anything that is too dark to read. Just let the reader get on with reading your blog
and make this as easy for them as you can.
- Separate your content into sub-headings, so the reader can scroll down easily to the portion most relevant to their needs. It also helps to make your article more readable.
- Be careful when allowing comments on your blog or articles. If these are not managed correctly, they can be harmful as the trolls and spammers turn them into nonsense. Allowing comments is a good thing, it makes your website interactive – but moderate these and limit links etc.
- Use Social Media links. Let readers like and share your articles on Social Media, it can really drive up those traffic figures.
- Make it easy to find relevant articles in your blog. If you are writing about a subject and you have other relevant articles – let the reader know and give them a simple link to carry on reading. Too often, when we write a load of blog articles, we allow older ones to be pushed down the list and these are not seen by as many people as they should be. Link to them in more recent articles, bringing them back into the spotlight.
- Do not add auto-loading music. This drives the vast majority of readers away from your site immediately, it is just downright annoying most of the time. One other thing – it hogs your bandwidth, slowing your website down.
- Quality is ALWAYS more important than Quantity. Period.