When it comes to boosting your website for search, content is king. The more frequently you publish (good) content the more frequently search engines will visit and index your website. The more your website is indexed the more likely it will appear on the results page of a search: therefore creating more awareness of your website.
Search engines strive to provide users with the ‘best’ possible results. While the definition of ‘best’ can be debated, it is generally acknowledged as sites that:
- Linked to by other related websites
- Easy to use, navigate and understand
- Provide information that is relevant to the search
- Deliver high quality and credible content.
8 Tips of How to Improve your Website’s Content
- Create Content for its Intended Purpose. Your clients will read different content types in different ways. So decide first what you are creating the content for, whether print, standard web screen, mobile devices or notepads. Then plan, create and publish the content with those forms in mind.
- Content is Non-Linear. It’s worth remembering, that if you write your content well and it appears in search results, people visiting your site will not necessarily land on your home page. It is therefore important to have a strong menu structure and text links on the page, relating to other content on your site. This will help readers better understand how that one article relates to your overall business.
- Content is Consumable. Although content does not expire, it does have a limited shelf life. With so much content discovered through social media, articles are now quickly discovered, consumed (if you’re lucky shared) and then forgotten.
- Content must be Shareable. Encourage your clients to share your content with buttons to make it easy for readers to tweet, email or share your pages on Facebook. By displaying these shares on your website, it will add credibility to your content, as something worth sharing.
- Use Plain Language. Remember that English may not be the first language of all your clients, so write clearly, concisely and use plain language. Refrain from using jargon and acronyms and explain things clearly. Plain language is also easier for search engines to understand, which increases the odds that your page will be indexed.
- Content is a line item, not a one-time expense. The content on your website requires ongoing monitoring, editing, revision and testing to ensure that it is up to date and continues to meet your needs. If you cannot allocate your own time to do this, then budget to employ someone else to do it. There are many freelance writers who can fit any budget.
- Don’t Leave Content ’til Last. The design of your site should reflect the way you want users to interact with your content; it is not just something that gets poured into a template at the end of the process. You can’t just fill in the blanks and expect to end up with content that people will want to read. Good content is a valuable business asset if it’s properly maintained.
- Content Should Exceed Expectations. It can be a challenge to balance the need to convey an organization’s message while addressing the needs of the potential audience. As the devices used to access content are rapidly evolving, so are the ways in which we consume content. By keeping your content useful, relevant, clear and accurate you are taking one step forward to making it user and search engine friendly.
This article is from Business in Vancouver Nov 15-21, 2011; issue 1151