Posts Tagged ‘Content’

10 Ideas For Website Content

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by

Let me give you ten fresh ideas for website content. We’ve talked about the importance of writing good, unique content for maximum search engine visibility. You need a strategy to build content for SEO. Plus, good content will improve your conversion rates. If you can grasp those ideas, you’re halfway there.

But some people get stuck at this point. You may look at your website and ask, “What else would I add? It seems like I’ve said everything that needs to be said.” Let me offer you some website content ideas.

  1. Expert reviews. You’re an expert on whatever your website is about. If you sell products, write some reviews about products you carry or on other products in your industry. Be careful, though–if someone gives you a product to review, you must write a disclaimer on your website.
  2. Social commentary. Is there anything going in current events that is relevant to your industry? Write some content about it. Write from your own unique angle.
  3. Event announcements. Tell about upcoming events in your company or industry. Keep in mind that people don’t just want to hear about you. Show them how the announcement is relevant to them or will benefit them.
  4. New products. Tell the world about your great new invention. Again, be sure to focus on how your product will help people. The goal is to talk about benefits, not features. There’s a place to talk about your services, but you need to make the explicit connection between your company and people’s needs.
  5. Solutions to problems. Are you trying to stop world hunger? Write about how you plan to do this. Do you sell a low-heat hairdryer? Write about how your product eliminates the problems high-heat hairdryers cause. Start with a problem people (or the world) have. Write about the solution.
  6. How-to articles. This is similar to #5. People are trying to do things. Give them a step-by-step guide. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found helpful information on a website like http://www.ehow.com. You can provide the same information for your niche. (You do have a niche you’re targeting, don’t you?)
  7. Start a blog. Be sure to keep it focused. Otherwise, this blogging poster will characterize you.
  8. History. Write about your company’s history. This helps people get to know you better. People like to do business with people, not cold companies. You could also write about the history of your industry or geographic location.
  9. Install a forum. This is particularly helpful if you want to increase your site visitors’ involvement on your site. It also provides a good way to help others.
  10. Create an expert Q&A section of your site. Answer real questions people have. It will help them, and you’ll increase your credibility.

As always, head on over to Robin Nobles’ Idea Motivator for more insights. Between her site and some of my ideas for website content, you should be well on your way to expanding your website. So, what are you waiting for?

Unique Web Content Is Important For SEO

Monday, July 20th, 2009 by

Good search-engine optimized content is unique web content. Awhile ago, I wrote about what makes a good website. This is partially a follow-up to that, with special consideration to the SEO value of writing articles that are different from anything else on the Internet.

Search engines follow links around the Web to find new pages. When a search engine finds a page, it compares that page to the other pages it has indexed. Why?

It is the search engine’s job to provide people with the most relevant results when they perform a search. There is no need to show two pages with nearly identical content in the search results. Think of it from the searcher’s perspective. Do you really want 5 out of the top 10 Google results to be the same content? Of course not. You’d get tired of clicking from one result to the next just to see the same stuff. Search engines do everything they can to keep that from happening.

If the wording on your page is nearly identical to someone else’s page, the search engine will have to decide which one to show when someone searches. It will probably not show both. Yes, I know—there are exceptions. But you risk keeping your page out of the search engines if your content is too close to someone else’s.

So, how do you come up with some ideas to write some unique pages? Here are some tips:

Here are ten more ideas for website content to get you going.

Here are some tools to measure the uniqueness of your page:

  • Similar Page Checker – compare the content on two pages. Just enter the URLs.
  • Duplicate Content Analysis – Like the Similar Page Checker, but a bit more advanced. Enter up to 10 URLs and check how unique the content is.
  • Yahoo! Uniqueness Test – Paste some text in a box and compare it with pages indexed in the Yahoo! search engine. This tool takes awhile to run.
  • Copyscape – See if anyone is plagiarizing your articles.

Visit the Idea Motivator blog for more ideas on how to write unique content for your website.

Spend the extra time to make sure your website articles are different from anyone else’s. The search engines will reward you.

What Makes A Good Website?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 by

The short answer is: great content, great design, and great organization.

When you’re thinking about what makes a good website, you first need to examine your goals. Do you want to sell something? Then including a safe checkout system is a must. Do you want to help people find things to do in your city? Having a good way to search restaurants, events, and historical sites is necessary. Your goals will determine what kinds of things you need to include on your website to bring it from being mediocre to being great.

Without a clear focus and particular goals, your site will never reach its full potential. You must do more than examine your goals, however. Let’s assume that your goals and focus are in place. You need to work on your content, design, and organization to produce a good website.

Content

You need good, quality content. Chances are, you need an abundance of it. The amount of content you need on your site will vary. You will need more if your site is primarily informational. All content should be well-written. It should also be original. Either produce something unique, or offer a unique perspective on something that is not unique. You can even bring resources together in a unique way. But, by all means, offer your site visitors some unique web content. Say something original. Say something meaningful. Say something helpful. Say it well. You will never have a good website without this. Chances are, you’ll also see your online conversion rates increase.

Visual Design

Professional website design can make your site stand out from the crowd. There is a big difference between a clean design like The New York Times from The International Ghost Hunters Society. The ghost site is somewhat entertaining. It even brings back some memories from the 90s. But it’s not good design. It is not clean. It is difficult to find information. For instance, try finding the site navigation. (Hint: it’s near the bottom of the page.) Everything screams that this is an amateur site. On the contrary, take a look at the list of nice site designs. I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed.

Would you go into an interview without dressing up? Would you invite dinner guests over without cleaning up the house some? Of course not. Why treat your website any differently? You’re presenting yourself or your company to the public. Give a good visual impression.

Organization

The technical name for this is “information architecture.” It has to do with how you arrange all the content on your site. In most cases, I would argue that a hierarchical structure is best. This is the arrangement of site material into sections, subsections, and so on. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Will you arrange material by audience? By topic? By price? Spend some time thinking through this.

Let’s revisit the ghost site. Why is the membership link lumped in with the jewelry links? Why are links to local sites interspersed with links to voices and lunar cycles? They have nothing in common.

Good website organization is much less tangible than the visual design. However, helping your site visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and easily can be more even more important than having a site that looks nice. If you’ve spent the money to get a great visual design, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by creating a poorly-organized website.

Conclusion

So what makes a good website?

  • Great content.
  • Great design.
  • Great organization.

These certainly aren’t the only elements to a great site, but you need to start with these. You’ll never have a good website without them.

For more information, check out a good article on what makes a great website. It’s a bit more thorough than the information I presented here. I think you’ll find it helpful.