Quite often companies have websites built and don’t understand why they’re not receiving traffic. The design is attractive and standards compliant, the user interface has been tested, and the content has been added. Everything is set up and ready for success. However, a lot of the time, a company’s web presence ends there. No afterthought is given to who will maintain the website, who updates the blog, or who adds any content.
Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.
A website that doesn’t engage or interact with its users is an empty shell that has passed up a huge opportunity. Quite simply put, a website needs to do more than just exist – it needs to be a virtual representation of the company for which it was set up to function. So, unless you’re a company who wants to be represented as wannabe’s, underachievers and unprofessional, here are five content essentials to keep both users and search engine bots happy:
No-brainer alert: Search engines like content. However, they love relevant content. Staying on top of the current relevancy trends and constructing your articles or blog posts around them attracts search engine bots and traffic simultaneously.
High-quality content is arguably the single most important thing that needs to occur on your website for you to rank well in the SERPs and gain a high amount of traffic. Unless you’re going for the next I Can Has Cheezburger site, your content should be grammatically correct – use spellcheck, people.
Your content is the priority for engaging the reader. Be passionate about what you write about, and your users will respond; lose their attention, and you’ve lost a potential customer. Focus solely on attracting the search engine bots, and your website loses appeal. Target the user, give them something to be engaged by, and you’ve accomplished two goals: sustainable traffic and search-engine-friendly content.
A lot of bloggers take to writing controversial blog posts as a way to garner some traffic and attention. It’s not a new idea. Traditional media has often utilized the controversy method as a way of getting their moment in the limelight. However, think carefully before you decide to take the plunge with a controversial blog post. Make sure that you’re not writing something solely for the purpose of being controversial; this can and will burn bridges that you may regret sometime in the future.
Being opinionated is another matter entirely. Many TV personalities have developed a very good following from being outspoken. Don’t be so opinionated, however, that you don’t have an open mind and aren’t prepared to rescind any comment that you’ve made. A well-thought-out article or post with evidence to substantiate your opinion will earn you respect among your peers; inane drivel, on the other hand, could do just the opposite..
Creating a blog post just as a filler update when you’ve got nothing useful to say could do you more harm than good. One or two useful posts regarding your website or blog topic per month will serve you far more than daily posts about what you’ve had for dinner. RSS subscriptions are numerous; stand out from the crowd by writing concisely, clearly, and with content that your readers will find useful – for example, ‘how to’s’, ‘best ofs’, ‘top 10 lists’ and software installation guides.
Frequently Updated Content
Once you’ve established yourself with quality posts or articles, you need to maintain that status and update on a consistent basis. Users of the web are creatures of habit. Establish a routine that works for you and stick to it.
Consistent posting not only pleases the website users, but the search engine spiders, too. Search engine bots eat up new content like it’s going out of fashion. Give them a reason to return, and you’ll see the benefits with an increased presence in the SERPs.