Search Engine Marketing and Website Content
What is one of the main keys to successfully positioning your website in the search engines? The simple answer is, Content!
by Andrew Seidel
Why is content so important to your website?
Many businesses feel that having a small amount of content is enough, and the rest of the website will sell itself! This may be the case with a small percentage of business websites, but in the majority of cases you will lose out by not having strong content throughout your site. Read on, and you will find out why...
The aim of most businesses with a website is to successfully market their website and increase sales. This is a much cheaper form of advertising than other main stream advertising media.
There are quite a few components that make up a successful internet marketing campaign. They include;
The focus of this article is website content.
That website content is a very important element in most successful internet marketing campaigns, cannot be stressed enough.
Now don't get me wrong; I am not saying website content is the only component you need to have for a successful internet marketing campaign, other elements are also very important. Content is a very strong element if the search engine is to correctly identify where a website belongs in its search engine listings. Other elements used in search engine marketing -see the elements listed above- can be manipulated to try and deceive the search engines, but good solid website content will give you an advantage over your competitors that have little or no content.
Why will it give you an advantage? If your website content is dedicated to a particular subject or theme, then search engine logic will be able to determine where your website will best fit within its search pages.
Even though this article is mainly focused around the benefits that strong content brings to your search engine rankings, don't focus purely on the search engines when writing content for your website. After all, the main purpose of having a website in the first place is to attract customers who will buy your product or service, not search engines!
Website content should have the following components:
Relevance to the product or service you are offering;
Many websites make the mistake of covering multiple products or services on a single page. Not only can this be confusing for visitors to your website, but it also means that your overall keyword density on each page is weak. The aim is to ensure your relevant keywords appear often enough throught your content to give you the opportunity to attain high rankings in the major search engines for your targetted keywords.
Note: Wherever possible, make the focus of each web page relate to one particular product or service.
For businesses that offer a range of different products or services, this can sometimes be quite difficult to effectively manage and organise. This is where it is of more benefit to hire a professional web designer to manage the structure of your website more effectively. Your website needs to be clear and concise for your customers as well as being effectively optimised for the search engines.
Incorporate targeted key phrases throughout;
Key phrases are an important part of any search engine marketing campaign. Most search engine marketing specialists will tell you that your keywords should make up approximately two to five percent of your content for optimal results.
Note: This percentage range is an estimate as there is no documentation provided by any search engine company to support this.
I will not go into too much detail here regarding key phrases, but if you would like to find out more, look out for my article on researching search engine key phrases which is coming soon.
Focus on the relevant sales message per product/service, as well as making it informative.
a) Relevant Sales message:
"Click here to find out about our special offer for the month of December!!!"
This statement is referred to as a "call-to-action". A Call-to-action triggers a user to perform a certain action; in this case the action performed is clicking on this special offer. Various sales and marketing research shows that when a call-to-action is used, the conversion rate to sale or enquiry is significantly higher.
b) Detailed information relating to the product or service being sold:
There are two main types of users that visit websites: those that like detail and those that want the information they are looking for delivered in brief summary.
For the purpose of this example, let's refer to:
An article like this is written to target "Person A", as "Person B" generally isn't interested in reading an article of this length.
With this in mind, when writing website content that has a sales focus, ensure that you provide your summary or sales message in the initial one to three -short- paragraphs, and then continue with the detail in the following paragraphs.
Alternatively, where it fits the structure of your web page better, provide your product or service summaries on a main page, with links from each category to a page dedicated to the full content information.
The last thing you want to do is overwhelm someone with so much information that they don't end up reading anything, and opts out for a website that provides information that is delivered in a much simpler format.
Free information, articles or hints and tips.
Create reasons for your customers to keep returning to your website!
How do you create reasons for visitors to return to your website? Free information that relates to or compliments your product or service is a great way to keep visitors coming back to your website, i.e. if your website focuses on bathroom tiles, provide free tips on how to care for your tiles, or on the best method for laying the tiles for those that want to "do-it-yourself". You could create a dedicated section within your website titled "Do-it-Yourself".
By providing free helpful information, not only are you adding extra fresh website content; you are also providing extra reasons for your customers to keep returning to your website.
How often should you add Content?
Ideally if you could add or make changes to your website content everyday it would greatly benefit your site in terms of search results. However, unless you have someone managing your website full-time, this is often difficult to manage.
I recommend that you make at least small adjustments/changes to your website on a weekly basis, and add fresh content on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. This will keep the search engines interested in your site, and when you do make changes they will be quickly picked up and listed in the search engine results.
For any content on your website that is no longer relevant, or is out of date, either remove it, or where applicable archive it on your site. Blog software is ideal for effectively managing articles or updates on your website. Just ensure that if you do setup a Blog on your website, that it has the ability to archive and sort your articles and updates effectively. An example of a Blog used in this way, is the current Search Engine Marketing Blog I use on my website.
Ideally I recommend you write articles or hints and tips yourself wherever possible. The benefits to you and your business will include;
If you are unable to write content for your website due to time restrictions, or feel you don't have sufficient skills to write a professional content, there are other resources available to you:
Having a website that is rich in well optimised content will have your website well on the way towards being successful in your search engine marketing campaign. Don't be discouraged if you don't have much content on your website now. It is never too late to get started, and no time is better than the present to get started!