What is great web content?
The role of great content starts long before your potential customer sees it
If we assume that potential customers don’t start at your homepage but instead a search engine, your content needs to engage with search engines long before your potential customers see it. It needs to be laid out correctly, unambiguous and genuine.
The balance between writing for a search engine and writing for potential customers
There is no mystery behind creating good content and you shouldn’t ever worry about any such balance. If you have a genuine interest in what you are writing about, a business focus that cascades throughout the whole website and you follow some basic layout rules you will have the right balance.
Create great content that is informative and is generous in its insight regarding your specialism and construct it in a way that is easy for both users and search engines to follow.
The rest of this article focusses on getting the correct page structure and how to lay its content out correctly.
Web Engagement Strategy
Before you plan any great content you need to have completed and embraced a great Web Engagement Strategy.
Planning Great Content
In an ideal world each bit of content should have a Content Brief. Although this is difficult for SME resources to fulfill, some of the following will need to be addressed:
- Page title (the one that appears in search results)
- Page description (the one that appears in search results)
- Main headings
What are all the headings going to be?
- What is the purpose of the page?
- What is the customer need you are filling – Is it information or interesting article, pointing them somewhere else, to encourage sharing, buying something, contacting you?
- Key vocabulary
What words are you focussing on during the construction of the content?
- Key action
What is the specific ONE customer action you are trying to encourage?
- Links to other pages
Identify Anchor text and targets. Click here for a free gift is much more informative to search engines than click me.
- Links to other sites
Page structure – Getting search engines to find you
Search engine’s processes and methods for assessing the likely usefulness of websites are:
- Those that help them find and interpret the structure of the information
- Those that help them understand the meaning of the information
- Those that help them assess the authority of the information
With this in mind follow some basic rules of engagement so it is easy for search engines to find you.
Your pages and blog articles should follow standard Best Practise guidelines
Search engines follow strict guidelines and so should you.
As an example, this is a classic page structure:
- Main Header
- Paragraph one summarises the content of the whole document
- Subsequent sub headers for each following paragraph
- All following paragraph’s content is about whatever the sub header said it was going to be
- Final sum up and call to action
Although not an exhaustive list of points, it provides a starting point for great content structure
Your pages and blog articles should have plenty of signposts
Search engines want to find your content. Make sure there are plenty of links to it which are easily found and your sitemap is including them.
Displaying your Content
We don’t really like reading long articles like this one so if you are still reading, well done you are special!
In summary do the following:
Write the whole thing as normal. Just go for it. Once finished halve it, review it and halve it again.
Chunk text into self-sufficient, sub headed, digestible paragraphs.
Ideally, someone else checks your content. Nobody likes really bad spelling mistakes or poorly written content and offering some suggestions can (sometimes) be helpful.
Don’t go off message. Keep the content focussed on one subject. If you are straying into something else consider writing another article about it instead.
If something is important it is good to tell your potential customer and search engines by making it bold.
If you can add bulletted points instead of long paragraphs, do so as this also strengthens the message visibly.
Above all be useful. There needs to be a point to it all and the point needs to relate somehow to the point of your website.
Great content is important because it identifies who you are, how serious you are and how helpful you are. Potential customers are not going to read all of your content but hopefully find you via search engines and read the bits they are interested in.