How Does Web-Site Content Affect SEO?
The catch with web-site content is that is must be fresh and original to be most effective. If it’s not, the
content can do more harm than good. As you’ve already seen, content is the one element that can keep
customers coming back to your site time and again. When customers return often, your site ranking
improves, because the traffic registers the site with search crawlers as a valid and in-demand site.
When your content stinks, though, your site is headed in the opposite direction. If you have content
on your site that’s not professional, the search engine crawler will register this, and your ranking may
drop lower and lower and you could possibly be delisted altogether.
How do you know if your content stinks or not? It’s mostly a game of finding the right combination
of content types and consistent updates. But before you can even get to determining the right type of
content, you need to create a content strategy.
Your content strategy is the plan by which you’ll infuse your site with the right types of content at the
right times. It starts with determining how to reach your target audience. By now your target audi-
ence should be engraved on your forehead, but how you reach that audience is something entirely
different. If your audience is teens, the language and method with which you’ll reach them will be
different than if your audience is senior adults or stay-at-home moms, or even full-time professionals.
So what words and phrases will your target audience use to find your web site? Those are some of
the keywords that you’ll be using in your content. Additional keywords may be discovered using
some of the methods that have been covered in previous chapters.
Next, determine what users will benefit from visiting your site. Visitors click through a link looking
for something. If you don’t provide some benefit, the users will click away nearly as fast as they found
you. When determining what value you have to offer, don’t think in terms of your desire to bring
users to your site, think in terms of what those users are seeking. What do they want?
Along with determining users’ reasons for coming to your site, you should also be considering why
they might want to return to your site. Do you have regular sales? Is there some form of dynamic
content, like a blog or news page, that would draw them back? What other types of media might
you include on your site, and what value would that be to your visitors (for example, using videos
or podcasting to present training materials)?
Only when you’ve figured out what you can give your site visitors should you determine what you
want from them. If you want them to sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase, include a call to
action on your site and provide the tools they’ll need to complete the task that you want them to
complete. Every page on your web site should have a purpose. You have to determine, on every
page of your site, what it is you want from visitors.
One more consideration as you’re planning your content strategy: what do you do that’s different
from your competition? You should already have a good idea of what your competition does, and
how it seems to work for them. But what can you do differently? What sets you apart from all of
the other web sites out there that come up when a user searches for widgets?
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