How to Write Good Content for the Web
If you learn how to write good content for your Internet audience, then you've addressed one key issue for success. Internet sites are based on content, and you'll need good content to attract and retain visitor traffic.
Traffic is the name of the game on the Internet. If you have no traffic, you have no business to speak of. Good content will help you get the traffic you need for success.
When you write, be mindful of your two audiences - visitors and search engines. Both are important.
Writing for Visitors
An easy way to imagine how to write for your visitors is to pretend that you're one of them. If possible, put your writing aside for a while and then revisit it to determine if it's pleasing.
Here are the type of things that would be pleasing to your visitors:
- A well organized site where information is easy to find.
- Pages that provide good information that is densely packed with insights, observations, advice, instructions, experience, examples and lessons learned.
- Short to moderate length pages that are bite size and easy to digest.
- Helpful links to your other pages and outside resources that add value.
- "Take aways" that make a visitor glad they stopped by to read, see and listen to what you're offering.
- A sincere voice that reflects you as an individual.
- Explanations about who your are and what you're trying to accomplish.
- Willingness to help your visitors by allowing them to contact you with questions and suggestions.
Sometimes knowing how to write good content is also a matter of knowing what to stay away from. Here are examples of what would likely be undesirable for your visitors.
- Misspelled words, grammatical errors and mistakes in punctuation.
- Inconsistent formatting of information.
- Text only with no graphics, audio, photos or video.
- Use of harsh colors or contrasts that make it unpleasant to view the site.
- Regular use of offensive language.
- Messages that are largely negative instead of being filled with encouragement.
If you can't imagine yourself as one of your visitors, then have someone read your pages and provide you with honest feedback. That's one way to get feedback regarding how to write good content for visitor traffic.
Writing for Search Engines
Search engines are very important to help your potential visitors find you, so you have to know how to write good content for them as well. This is a bit trickier because none of the search engines are going to reveal their algorithm for evaluating a website or blog.
Nevertheless, I can give you the basics of how to write good content for search engines. Here are keys to success:
- Have a relatively narrow focus for your site such that all your pages relate back to it in some fashion.
- Organize your site such that you have no more than three tiers of pages. For a website, that means a home page that links to navigation bar pages that serve as a launching pad for more detailed third level pages.
- Focus each page around a set of keywords. One primary and about three that are secondary.
- Use your primary keyword in the title, description, first sentence, text and the text link that returns your visitor to your home page or the related navigation bar page.
- Make good use of your primary keyword throughout the text on a page so it's clear that your page is about your keyword or keyword phrase.
- Use your primary keyword in photo descriptions and mouse over text for the photos.
- Regularly review and update your pages.
Search engines will not be impressed by the following on your website:
- Short pages with very little content.
- Failure to place your primary keyword in the title, first sentence and description of the page.
- Inadequate use of your primary keyword in the text.
- Stuffing a page with too many instances of your primary keyword.
- Listing the same set of keywords for every page on your site.
- Leaving pages unfinished for an extended time.
- Regular or frequent changing of keywords for your pages.
In addition to looking at the content of your site, search engines also look at visitor behavior as a means of verifying what your pages are about and their quality. Search engines track where visitors come from, how many go to your pages and how often, how long they stay, how many pages on your site are viewed, the length of time viewing your pages, and where they go from there.
So, search engines verify that you know how to write good content simply by watching what your visitors do.
As an example, if the primary keyword on one of your pages is "famous basketball players" and the search engines send visitors to your site that have searched for this term, they'll watch to see what they do. If most of your visitors land on your page and then immediately leave, the search engines quickly figure out that your page isn't about famous basketball players; it's about something else, and they'll rank your page lower for the keyword "famous basketball players."
If you looking for how to write good content for the Internet, you need to be mindful of your visitors as well as the search engines that send them to your site. If your site is pleasing to search engines, you'll get more free organic traffic sent to your site. However, no matter how pleasing your site is to search engines, if it's not pleasing to visitors, the search engines will notice their behavior and rate you pages lower which will lessen your chances of someone else being sent there by the search engines.
Knowing how to write good content for the web means writing to please both visitors and search engines.
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