Monday, April 9, 2007

Good Website Content-Why It's Your Most Valuable Asset

By Brian Cotsen

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How do website visitors see your content?
  • Visitors scan
  • Visitors use the 'F' movement
  • Visitors are impatient
  • Keyword = content!
  • One idea per page.
  • Give visitors eyes a rest - use white space
  • Build trust.
  • Content for search engines
  • Sum it up. -------------------------------------------------

What do you want to achieve?

  • Why does your business website exist?
  • What do you want visitors to do when they land on your website?

If you answered "to impress people" or "for fun" then you may have the wrong attitude towards your on line business website.

If you answered "to turn my visitors into customers" then you're spot on.

Good website content is all about turning those curious website visitors into feverish customers. Ones that buy, sign-up, click through your affiliate links/ adsense or what ever it is that you want them to do.

Good website content gets those visitors to TAKE ACTION

Getting visitors to your website is one problem... once they're there, getting them to 'take action' is quite another.

Website browsers read and react quite differently to written words presented to them on the screen to those in a brochure or magazine.

Good website content is created by understanding the way humans read off a computer screen. Understand this and you can win them over and achieve your goals...get them to take a desired action!

Visitors Scan - good website content writers know that visitors quickly scan the screen to find key bits of information. They don't read every word.

  • Use subheadings for impact, to draw attention to the main point of the following paragraph.
  • Use bulleted lists to deliver information in small chunks.
  • Avoid mixing figures and words e.g It was found that 357, 000, that's 78%, of all visitors to London said the Tower of London was the best attraction. Better to have said "Most visitors voted 'The Tower' their 'top' attraction" - See how much more punchy that was.

Visitors use the 'F' movement

  • Visitors scan the top & left column first, then move across to the right.
  • Most read or noticed - Top left section.
  • Least read or noticed - Bottom right.

Put important content or sign-ups 'top left' of the page.

Visitors are impatient - Good website content is:

  • Brief.... enough said?

Don't use long words, flowery language or rambling sentences - you'll loose your audience because they loose concentration.

Keyword Rich - Good website content is 'Keyword focussed' Every page of your website should be built using a keyword... right? Good website content starts with your keywords, the ones that those visitors used in the search to find you. Using those same keywords will help you to connect with those visitors - empathise with them.

  • Don't over use the keyword, it will disrupt the flow of your text.
  • Aim for a density of 3-5% use.
  • Find variations that use the keywords in different combinations.

Keep it focussed - One idea per page

  • Website visitors will only focus on one new idea per page - keep it focussed.

Good content is 'Empty'

Blank areas of a page? What nothing at all? Yes it's known as 'white space' though it doesn't have to be white. Remember that reading from a screen is tiring. Often those poor visitors are bombarded by busy, visually noisy screens with too much going on. This causes them to feel bamboozled and switch off from the information in front of them. Think how nice it is to visit 'Googles' home page. Just one thing right in the centre of all that white space.

  • Give the text or content room.
  • Give the visitors eye's a rest... they'll be able to focus on the information on screen.

Good website content builds trust:

  • Well researched.
  • Accurate in it's facts and information.
  • Deliver on their promises.

No readers are impressed by factual errors or poorly researched articles. If you want those first time website visitors to become regular visitors and customers... this should be your goal.

Think of Amazon, Google or Yahoo. Love them or loath them but they all deliver the goods that their users want.

Make sure you over deliver with your good website content.

So much for humans! Good website content pleases the search engines too.

  • Headlines and 'H' tags
  • Keywords/ keyword phrases
  • Title tags
  • Description tags
  • Keyword rich content
  • Relevant text rich links to other relevant pages

Don't forget those search engines that visit your website to read the content, they'll reward you and the website if the content is good (notice I used website, good and content in a different order).

So lets sum it all up - Good website content is:

  • Brief - Scanable
  • Positioned well - 'F' movement
  • Keyword rich
  • Focussed - One idea per page
  • Empty - white space
  • Accurate - Build trust
  • Tight & Neatly punctuated.
  • Crisp & punchy
  • Remember those search engines

When you've finished writing get someone, who doesn't know your subject, to read it through.

  • Does it make sense?
  • Did it hold their interest?

So no excuses - make sure every page has good website content to keep turn those website visitors into feverish customers.

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