Content is the Key to a Successful Website
Website content is all the written, visual and audio information that tells your story.
It drives traffic to your site and encourages visitors to act when they’re there.
The easier they can find and navigate your site, the more likely they are to buy, donate, subscribe, follow or share with friends.
How well you present and organize this information will determine how well your site performs.
Writing Website Content for SEO and Humans
When you produce content, you are producing it for two audiences: Internet search engines and human beings. Search engine friendly content helps boost your ranking in search queries. Useful, well-written content pleases humans and prompts them to act.
Fortunately, search engines and humans react positively to many of the same things. They both like it when you:
- Use keywords and keyword phrases that summarize in a few words your page content.
- Update your site with original blog posts and user comments.
- Link to other sites that contain relevant information.
Fresh Content Drives Traffic
You can think of your website as a retail store. The first day you pass the store, you may notice the window display, particularly if it’s showing something new. The next day you’ll notice less. After a few days you’ll hardly notice at all until the window changes.
Likewise, a static site – even a well-designed one — draws little attention from the search engine bots, which crawl the internet and index websites. But when you post new content, they take a fresh look and may even improve your site’s search ranking.
Traffic Drives Traffic
Crowds also attract attention. The bigger the crowd, the stronger the pull. If one person stops to look at something, you may or may not look too. But if everyone stops, so will you. Guaranteed. (This is why traffic backs up on both sides of the expressway when there’s an accident on just one side. Gapers in the oncoming lanes slow down to stare.)
When more people visit your site (from external links to other sites), the search engine bots notice and reward the jump in activity with a higher ranking. The assumption is that good content attracts more users. If you’re drawing more traffic, you probably have content which could be of interest or value to other Internet users. So improving your ranking makes it easier for them to find your site (and great content.)
Keywords Drive Traffic
Keywords and keyword phrases describe key attributes about you, your business and offer.
Are you a non-profit organization seeking to “end world hunger,” a financial advisor offering a path to “a financially secure future” or “residential painter in Chicago?”
When you effectively incorporate these words and phrases into your website, search engines will reward your diligence with a higher ranking.
Both compter and human audiences read keywords that appear in headlines and body copy. The same keywords can be embedded in the backend code of your website to further opimize search results.
If you’re relying on a designer or programmer to build your site, make sure they place keywords and phrases in your page URLs and titles, as well as meta description and alt image tags. (Don’t worry if you don’t understand these terms; they will.)
You can optimize search engine results by:
- Frequently updating your website with fresh content,
- Creating internal links to various content on your website,
- Building external links to other sites, and
- Strategically placing keywords.
When you do these things, your site will move closer and closer to first page ranking.
In the next post, I’ll talk more about writing for your human audience.