Once you’ve determined what is most interesting to your target audience, it’s time to get down to
the task of actually writing the content. You can either write the content yourself, or hire someone
to write it for you. And of course, there are the services that provide content to you, as noted earlier
in this chapter. Assuming you’re writing your own copy, you should be aware that some elements of
web-site content are more effective than others.
First, certain types of copy both draw more return visitors and please search engines. The most
important of those types is the content that updates and changes frequently. It’s one of the reasons
blogs have become such an overwhelming phenomenon. People like content that changes. We get
caught in the daily stories of people’s lives, of business operations, and of useful information. And
if your content changes daily, we’re more likely to visit your web site.
Update your content as often as is appropriate. It’s always a bad idea just to create content for con-
tent’s sake. Keep an eye to adding at least one page of new content each week. You could go to a
monthly schedule, but doing so would make it very difficult for people to remember you except
for that one time per month when they’re notified that your content has changed (assuming you
have a notification system). And if they receive no notification, the chance of their remembering
your site is even smaller.
As a general rule, people today are so busy they can’t keep things in their minds for more than a
few hours. If you have a site that updates monthly, and tell customers or subscribers that you’ll
have a sale the next month, it’s unlikely that many of them will remember. Some will, but most
won’t. You lose the effectiveness of regularly updated content when you update only once a
month or less.
When you’re writing your content, there are some rules about how the content is best written for
the Web. Words on a screen are viewed much differently from words on a page. Where possible,
your customers should be able to interact with your words. So include links and other interactive
features in your text.
Here are some additional guidelines to follow when creating your web-site content:
Make sure any content that you include on your site is contextually relevant. People
and search engine crawlers will be looking at the relevance of content to your site
and to any advertisements that led them to the site. Make sure everything you include
is relevant in some way. It also helps if the content addresses a need the customer
Use original content whenever possible. Original content is much more valuable than arti-
cles that have been distributed to you and all of your competitors. Why should visitors
come to your site if they can find the same information somewhere else?
Be sure that all of your content uses proper spelling and grammar. Nothing looks more
unprofessional than web-site content that looks as though the writer flunked English 101.
And it does happen, so if you’re not an editor, find someone who is and ask that person to
check your content before it’s posted to your web site.
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