While there are many different search engines through which online users can locate your websites or other online content, Google has consistently led the pack in providing web designers with tips, tricks, guidelines, and rules for creating web pages that are optimized for prime page ranking in search results. Google uses hundreds of different ranking factors when determining where a website should appear in search results, and they’ve made hundreds of changes to the algorithm that parlays those factors into a website’s page rank. Through their Webmaster Tools and other applications, the search engine juggernaut provides specific information for the creation of online content that will meet their ultimate goal of providing hyper-relevant search results that deliver a utopian user experience.
Content Is Part Of The SEO Puzzle
Regardless of how you optimize your websites, landing pages, social content, or other online property, you likely follow most of the search engine optimization (SEO) guidelines that proliferate the Internet. While the content of your online “real estate” is simply one more aspect of SEO that should be tailored to conform to standards of acceptability, it is undoubtedly the most important aspect. Content optimization is not the “new” SEO; it’s one piece in the SEO puzzle. Some clarification may be needed here, as well, because the word “content” is duplicitous in terms of web design. Content can exist on a website in the form of images, keywords, tags, page text, and links (the “technical” side of SEO), and it also refers to the words that make up the body of your page text (the “non-technical” side of SEO). Content creation almost exclusively refers to the creation of page text.
Producing The Best Content
Content creation experts have consistently championed the development of content that is fresh and rich. This means, in simple terms, that your content should be relevant, meaningful, and engaging to your site visitors, and it should be as original as possible. Originality doesn’t necessarily mean that content has to be one-of-a-kind, but if you do use content that has already been published, you should provide it in a way that presents a fresh perspective, unique outlook, or new way of looking at old information. The Internet is full of content that has been rehashed dozens of different ways, so make sure your content isn’t just one more uninspired retelling of the same old story. Here are a few guidelines for content creation that will give you a starting point for making sure your online content gets a passing grade with search engines and site visitors:
- Where facts and figures are provided, make sure the information is accurate and verifiable. This is especially important if you are using your online content to achieve an authoritative status or establish yourself as an industry or subject matter expert.
- Use outbound links to connect to sources used in your content so readers can learn more, verify data, make purchases, sign up for newsletters, or download online resources. (When you do use outbound links, check them periodically to ensure that the source material is still available for public viewing.)
- You have an extremely short amount of time to get the attention of your site visitors, so make sure you use attention-getting titles, headings, and other noticeable components in your content.
- Unless you are writing content for a technical audience, leave technical terminology out of your content. Industry jargon and technical buzz words should be avoided when possible so you don’t alienate your site visitors with terms and phrases they don’t fully understand.
- Use responsive web design to make sure your content is easy to access, read, and navigate across a wide variety of mobile devices because the use of mobile, Internet-ready devices has been and is expected to continue increasing steadily in the near future.
- Make sure your content is long enough to give you plenty of room to fully develop your subject matter. Longer content has become preferable in terms of page rank because, while not always true, greater length is often indicative of greater depth.
- Break your content up into sections, use sub-headings and bullet lists where possible, and add images that enhance or emphasize your text, but keep your pages free of clutter. White space can aid in guiding your visitors to the important parts of your page’s content.
Your content can never be too rich, but it can be too thin. Thin content is shuffled to the bottom of the pile and becomes quickly dismissed in favor of content that delivers the unique, valuable experience that online users are seeking. By now, everyone has heard the phrase, “content is king,” and it’s up to you to create content worthy of that royal title.
Call NPWS at (508) 755-6797 today. We’d be glad to help you deliver excellent content to your users.