Develop Content that Delights
This may sound simplistic — but as a content developer you need to follow the ‘Golden Rule’. Give your visitors the information you would expect to find, be delighted to find if you were looking for information about your product or service. Fill you site with not only text, but with images, videos, and other resource information that will support your site visitor’s need to find out more.
Write Easy to Read Text
The most important thing to know about developing web content is that you must write for people first and search engines second. On-page optimization is “a” tool, not ‘the’ tool for SEO.
If your site’s pages don’t read well, any traffic you drive to them will quickly ‘bounce’ off. Successful content developers know that it is better to write relevant, compelling copy to convince one person to take action than to draw thousands of people from search results who click onto the site only to leave after a few seconds scanning copy that does not answer their query. Write copy for the people who buy your products and services, sign up to be on your mailing list, and recommend you to their friends, family, and associates.
Writing pages that answer the queries of real folks is your primary goal as a content developer, however, you should optimize your pages were it makes sense to do so. How you fit in competitive phrases and few keywords in the appropriate places may make a difference in ranking well within your business category.
Tips for staying on topic
Nothing has changed since English Composition Class
- Make an outline (Using your keywords and phrases.)
- Convert the high-level outline to your category list
- STICK TO IT
Why you need fresh unique content
Because Google will penalize you if you don’t!
Creating content with the end user in mind
Let’s start with the basics — the most basic principle of usability is that it is much harder to read the screen than to read print. By the end of the day, your eyes are tired and your neck is sore. Most site visitors just want to get in, find what they are looking for, take whatever action necessary to complete their task, get out, and on with the rest of their lives.
As the site owner or manager, learn to control the ‘Creatives’ working on your site. Designers may like small typefaces, weird page layouts and odd color schemes, but they are bad for your online business.
Readers like short paragraphs
No more than four to five lines in a paragraph is best. Read My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Advertising Age Classics Library) to learn just how little the rules have changed since the old print days.
Folks like short lines
Reading onscreen is hard. The typical person can best read 10-20 words per line. No more. If you’re using microscopic fonts to fit every word possible on a line, change your ways.
Site visitors like wide line spacing and nice margins
Wide line spacing makes text easier to read. Margins shorten the lines so that you get fewer words per line (see above).
Folks actually read faster when line spacing is really tight, but they retain and comprehend less.
A fantastic piece of research by the University of Wichita proves it.
Humans like dark text on a light background
We are trained to read dark text on a light background. It’s what we’re used to. Don’t fight nature, please your customer.
Lists make comprehension easier
Our product is available in:
People browse in an F-shape
Read Jacob Nielsen’s excellent article about the f-shape browsing pattern.
Put the most important stuff in the critical points of that F-shape, and you’ll get better results.
Create unique, accurate page titles
Page Titles: <title></title>
Page titles are perhaps the most important thing you’ll write on the page for search engines. Page titles do play an important part in ranking. Keep your page titles short and include the main keyword phrase for the page. For low competitive phrases, a good page title alone is probably enough to generate a good ranking.
Include your brand in your page titles. If your brand is well known you probably want to include it at the front. Keywords at the front of the page title are likely better for SEO, but a well-known brand is going to induce more clicks. If your brand is not well known it’s probably best to include it at the end.
Make sure every page title on your site is unique. Far too many sites use the exact same page title (often the domain) across the site, which misses the benefit page titles give.
Also remember that your page title is what people see as the link in search results. Write your titles in a way that makes people want to click on them. A good page title should contain your most important keyword phrase and make people want to read the page content.
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