We are far more sophisticated with regards to our expectations of what makes great website content, than we were 10-15 years ago when animated gifs and scrolling text bars were all the rage. Today’s surfers know what they like and if your site contains badly worded content, poorly optimised images or is difficult to navigate, they are more likely to press the back button than continue to read about what you have to offer.
Is your SEO up to speed?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital part of any website content. It is not just about using appropriate keywords but also the quality and length of content, properly completed meta descriptions, having a site map, ensuring images have appropriate alt text associated with them and a host of other adjustments that make your site more attractive to search engines.
Content is King
It’s all very well generating traffic to your website, but what happens when they get there? One mistake often made is not planning website content. Some will stuff keywords in every available place, hoping to improve their ranking on search engines. Others don’t take the time to ensure their content is appropriate or meaningful, going for quantity over quality.
Unique, well written content that engages users is vital if you want visitors to stay on your site:
• Keep your language as simple as possible. Easy to read content doesn’t have to be simplistic. Take a look at a news site like the BBC – the language isn’t over complicated but in-depth issues are covered comprehensively.
• Tell your visitor what they want to know. Avoid waffling and ask yourself questions: Does this need to exist? Is it adding value to my visitor’s experience?
• Make sure any calls to action are clear, dynamic and visible. If a call to action is camouflaged by too much text or imagery it can yield poor results.
• Decide between short copy and long copy. There is an oft quoted rule that short copy is better than long. This is not true. It depends on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to entice your visitors to sign up for a newsletter then short copy often works better. If, on the other hand, you want them to buy a camera then long copy, that cements your authority in recommending the product, is much better.
An image paints a thousand words
Not many sites have words and no images. Vibrant graphics and video add an extra dimension to any website, creating a more enjoyable user experience. Images can produce SEO value by adding alt text that uses your most valuable keywords. They can also help break up a page and make it look more attractive.
Give users the chance to share your website content
If your visitors like what they see they may want to share with their friends on Twitter or Facebook or any of the other social media platforms people use. Make it easy for people to pass on the word. Combined with a great looking website it is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your business arsenal.
Update your website content!
Many businesses are happy with a static website. They have said what they want to say and there is nothing more to be done. Search engines like Google love sites that regularly update. While it may not be appropriate to continually tweak your main site, adding a regular blog can help achieve Google’s desired constantly updated content.
There are now more ways for businesses to develop great website content, more so than in the past when they were often at the whim of a designer and reliant on them to make the sometimes costly updates to your website content. Most site Content Management Systems (CMS) are easy to use and manage so there really is no reason why you can’t achieve engaging, relevant up to date website content!
If you struggle to articulate your ideas, then engage a copywriter. We are all short of time and a professional copywriter will take your detailed brief and produce well written and engaging content. Don’t forget the more information you provide, the better the article results will be. I always give our copywriter the title and a brief of what I want the content to focus on, perhaps suggest some research sites and describe the direction the article should take. Once I receive the completed item it is very easy for me to tweak the content, add call to actions, stamp my own personality on the article and add any ‘nuggets’ if required.
So what’s stopping you from making your website content great?