This article addresses the question: “What is website content and why is it so important?”
Website content is everything that appears publicly on your website pages. This can include:
- Textual content including that which is on static pages and blog or news posts
- Images, videos, video links, graphics
- Reviews, testimonials, comments, feedback
- Press releases and related news
- Links to other related external resources
- Even the look and feel of your website and the way your visitors find their way around forms part of that website content.
Why is website content so important?
Many small business owners manage their own websites but underestimate the importance of quality content. This leads to poor performance in the search engines and a lack of user ‘engagement’. They’ll very quickly leave and pursue the next link in the results page. In turn, this leads to disappointment when all the hard work doesn’t return the desired customer enquiries.
And of course, anyone can write text but those who don’t like the task tend to neglect it. This leads to the website becoming stagnant and boring to the would-be customer.
Good, new content must be added frequently as this keeps the website interesting to both search engines and readers.
So really there are two primary objectives for website content: The first is to ensure that your prospective customer can find your website at all. The solution to this problem is generally know as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. Secondly, once you’ve got your prospect to your website, you want to retain their interest and probably create a ‘call to action’. This ensures that they engage with you and, hopefully, they get in touch.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short, is all about gaining the interest of the search engines so that your website appears higher in the massive list of search results. Th first thing to focus on is the website content. This involves paying attention to the text, grammar and writing style. It is also important to keep content fresh with new articles and posts added frequently. This ensures that the search engines keep coming back to see what’s new on your site. It is also essential to determine a key phrase focus. You should ensure that you repeat your key phrase throughout the site content and at appropriate times. Make sure that you have included images and/or video that is relevant to the key phrase and content. It’s also important to ensure that you complete the ‘alt text’ field and the image description for any images you have used.
Keeping the Reader’s Attention
You’re over the first hurdle, the search engine’s love your website. A link to your page appears at the top of the results when searching for your key phrase.
Now you have to ‘engage’ your reader. This engagement starts with the meta description. This is a short summary of your page content that encourages your reader to click through to your website.
So, you have begun to engage – now you must keep their interest. But words are just part of it. Grammar and writing style are key to ensuring you don’t lose your reader’s interest in the first paragraph. Think about your audience. It is ok to use relevant technical jargon If your target audience consists of accountants or engineers for example. In fact, they will probably appreciate it. But be careful if you’re aiming your website to those looking for general information. A lot of readers may be put off or lose interest if you use too much jargon or too many three letter acronyms.
Whilst keeping a focus on your key phrases you should now begin to give some value to your text. Your reader will continue to read if they find the style appropriate and the content interesting and useful. Furthermore, if there is some value to the content, they are more likely to share it and/or link back to it creating more interest in your page.
Call to Action
Finally, we come to your ‘call to action’. This is the means by which you encourage your reader to engage further. Maybe they will call you or complete your enquiry form; or maybe they want to share the information with their associates and friends. Make sure that you deliver the call to action in the right way and at the right time. It’s very easy to annoy your reader if you bombard them with pop-ups to contact, chat, join a mailing list, fill a form etc. So experiment with different methods, monitor the responses and adapt until you find what works best for you.
Quality content is how the search engines determine where in the results list your page will land. Ideally, you want to be on the first page. Anything after page 3 or 4 is highly unlikely to gain clicks. If your content is aimed at a specific niche, it may have fewer searches but also fewer competitors. Therefore you may find that more of those searchers will click through to your page. But be careful if your key phrase is very common or popular. In this case, you’ll be competing with some very established and proficient contenders.
Having gained the click through to your page, make sure that the user is engaged by the first paragraph. Keep your writing style and key-word focus at a level appropriate to your target audience. Break the content with sub-headings, images, videos and links to other resources.
Have timely calls to action. In the simplest form, this could be just links to your contact page. A more advanced way is to create pop-up dialogue boxes at an appropriate time to attract your reader’s attention and encourage them to engage. Encourage sharing too. A reader is far more likely to click on a link provided by a respected friend or associate than one that randomly appears in search results.
So here is my call to action (I generally choose the subtle approach). If you would like to know more about the services that I provide or if you need help with your SEO, please respond below or click on this link to contact me.
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