The world-wide web is huge. Ginormous huge. As of March of 2012, there were more than 644 million websites available worldwide for people to visit, with the number increasing daily. Each and every one of those sites is striving to gain the public’s attention. With that much competition, you want to make your site stand out from the crowd.
Some sites try to grab your attention with the latest and greatest available technology. This can be a double-edged sword, because technology constantly changes as the web grows. Social media has taken the web world by storm, Flash is out, HTML 5 is in, and nobody knows what the next technological revolution will bring. It is easy for designers and developers to get swept up in a “more is better” mindset where fancy animations and every online doodad available become the focus of the site.
We are the first to admit that professional designs and technological advantages are important, they won’t get the first person to your site. So what can make your site stand out from the crowd?
The answer is simple: CONTENT.
With the web today, content truly is king. It is what customers, clients, and search engines are seeking. You can spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to create the most technologically advanced website featuring cutting-edge design, but without significant, quality content, it can be next-to worthless.
Home page content may be the most important aspect of your site, because it affects how search engines find — and rank — your website. Without the right content on your home page, your site will languish in search engine rankings — and your potential customers won’t find you. Additionally, people browse the web in search of information about products and services, and having quality content on your site is what keeps potential customers on your site for longer periods of time — which increases the probability that they will contact you for your product or service. Isn’t that why you have a website in the first place?
According to this article at nabler.com, quality content consists of the following:
It is informative. Does is provide a benefit to the reader and either show or tell them something they don’t know already? Don’t just post something to have something on your site. Nobody wants to read tripe.
It is entertaining. Does your content appeal to the reader? What can you do to make it so? Entertaining — and that doesn’t necessarily mean funny — content will keep visitors returning to your site.
It is original. Is your content something you came up with, or are you simply copying and pasting something from another site? While you may not have the most original idea for a post or story, try to put your own unique slant on the material.
It is factual. Are you just making something up for your blog? Truthfulness is key. Include facts in your work, and you can become a trusted source for your visitors. Links to sites that support your facts are a big help as well.
It is grammatically correct. Are you checking your spelling, punctuation, and grammar every time you post something new on your site? You should be. Nothing turns off a visitor than reading a post that looks like it was written by someone who failed third grade English. Dictionary.com is a great resource for spelling issues, and the latest versions of WordPress have fairly robust spell- and grammar-checking tools.
Keep these rules in mind when adding content to your site, and you’ll end up with more and better-informed visitors.
And you can start proudly wearing your content crown.