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4 Key Elements of Effective Website Content

July 17, 2012 - Posted by Amanda Norris

Merely having a website no longer sets you apart from the crowd. Today, almost everyone has a website, including your competitors. With the enormous volume of options available, you have to captivate your readers from the first few moments and convince them to read on instead of clicking elsewhere, and your website’s content can make all the difference. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you create effective website content that both keeps and attracts visitors.

1. Know Who You’re Writing For

One of the most essential keys to writing effective website content is knowing your audience. Think about who you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to tell them, and how you can relate to them in a way that will interest and engage them. Your target audience’s age, gender, profession, interests and education level are all factors that need to be considered. Content written to market enterprise-level technology to business professionals will be vastly different from content created to sell clothing to young adults.

2. Make it Compelling

The wrong content can make even the most exciting products in the world sound dull. On the other hand, boring industries can come to life with vibrant, compelling and engaging content. Strong, compelling content immediately gives the reader a sense of comfort and welcoming, and helps them feel that you can relate to their needs. It lends a feeling a trustworthiness and credibility to your website. It tells readers who you are and what you do, but more importantly it tells them why they should care about what you have to say, and how you will help improve their lives in some way. 

3. Give Readers What They’re Looking For

In your quest for interesting, unique and compelling content, don’t lose sight of what your website copy needs to provide: the information the reader is looking for. For example, homepage content that describes the partners you’ve worked with or history of your company is helpful, but not if it leaves readers scratching their heads as to what it is your company specializes in. Similarly, a beautifully written product description may perfectly describe the care and craftsmanship that went into the product, but it’s no help to the reader if it doesn’t tell them what the product actually does, or how they can buy it.

4. Don’t Forget Your SEO

Website content should be written with readers in mind, not search engines. However, keywords and search engine optimization are still crucial in content marketing. Take care not to over-optimize your content, as not only will it often come off as unnatural to readers, but can also get your website penalized by Google for “keyword stuffing”. By knowing the keywords that are right for your website and keeping them in mind as you craft your content, you can create high-quality, valuable content that will appeal to readers and search engines alike.

 

Photo via Flickr

3 Responses to 4 Key Elements of Effective Website Content

  1. Carol Merlo, M.Ed. says:

    Can you give me some examples of keyword stuffing?

  2. Nina says:

    Keyword stuffing is simply putting a specific phrase on the page in hopes that the search engines will find you. For example, if you were selling “red pumps” and you wanted that phrase to be optimized, you probably think that phrase should appear in every other sentence. By dilluting the page with the word “red pumps” you would be keyword stuffing

  3. Amanda Norris says:

    Great question, Carol – and thanks for the explanation, Nina. As it relates to website content, keyword stuffing can be just what Nina said, where a few keywords are used at an extremely high frequency that comes across as awkward and unnatural. Another form of keyword stuffing is filling your copy with popular keywords that are used solely to drive traffic, and may have nothing to do with the subject matter at all. Google engineer Matt Cutts posted a great example in a blog post a few months ago that you can see here. As you can see, the sample paragraph is filled with high traffic keywords (“pay day loan”) that aren’t even remotely related to the topic in the headline.
    Hope that helps!

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