i.e. How do people find you, and how do you make them stick?
If you want your website to stand out, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the types of articles you write. Readers want to be on the cutting edge of topics – often with very basic instructions – so that is where youwant to be to increase your traffic and get them to stick around on your site.
Content usually takes the form of articles, blog posts, audio and video too.
The first requirement of your content is that it be oriented for your potential customer or client. You always want to start with the “human” element first. Many people will tell you to focus first on all the techniques and technology, but that is like shooting yourself in the foot. Sure, you might get to the top of a search engine ranking, and someone might visit your site, but if what you provide is worded to attract search engine traffic vs. be of genuine help to the reader, well, you’re right back where you started. Traffic that doesn’t do you any good.
Obviously your content needs to be relevant to the topic of your website. If your website is about selling crafts, then the articles that you supply to your readers are going to need to revolve around that subject. In other words, don’t be talking plumbing if you cater to crafty moms. (I know this sounds obvious, but you would be stunned to see how many people miss the boat entirely on this one.)
There is a lot of content out there these days so it may seem challenging to come up with something new. One thing to remember is that even if someone has heard about it before, they haven’t heard about it from you in the way you would describe or teach it, so start with the basic information and add your special touch. Personal experiences go a long way to connecting with your readers and also providing them with information that would be hard to get anywhere else.
Consider using your own failures as fresh content. Did you try to combine a couple of marketing techniques that absolutely didn’t work? Create an article that highlights what readers “shouldn’t” do. What did you learn from it? Create an article that gives tips for success using that technique.
Earlier today I talked with a client about an upcoming networking event she is hosting. She was concerned because registrations were lower than anticipated. In the course of our discussion she “admitted” that she had skipped another networking event last week, and was now regretting it. It was the PERFECT subject for a new blog post…and her marketing newsletter.
Remember, your content can be spun off into other types of website media as well. You can create videos and audio files based on your content. It is a way to reach a wider audience who are more attracted to other ways to present relevant information.
(If I set your blog up for you, I already included the easy-peasy plugins to make this a no-brainer for you.)
Don’t Forget the SEO
Now that you have written ideas for your content, decide which keywords would work best in those articles. These are what will make the search engines stand up and take notice. But, remember you are addressing the human factor first. Your articles will read better (hence, be more valuable to the reader) if the keywords appear naturally. Don’t try to force them in spots where it sounds like you are just adding words to appease the search engine gods. Your readers will be turned off by such contrived content.
(Notice how I have worked in the keyword terms “keywords”, “search engine optimization” and “SEO”. I’ve used them a bunch in this post, but they make sense without sounding overdone.)
Special Features (techniques) to consider
Your content really serves three purposes: keep current readers happy, satisfy SEO requirements and draw new traffic. To meet the latter, try using these options in your content:
- Bulleted points
- Optimized article titles
- Numbers in your titles
Readers usually scan articles first to see if they are relevant. When numbers appear in the title, they know that they will find a certain number of things that can help them. Bulleted points make for easier reading as do subheadings. Optimized catchy titles make them want to click on your link instead of others in the search results.
Is your content doing all it can for your readers and the search engines? If not, read this article again and then refit your articles to do the best job they can.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next article on using site stats to measure (and improve) your results.
© Copyright 2010 Nina East