Web content optimization isn't just about getting people to your website; it's about making them stay there. As much as we all love the inexhaustible wealth of knowledge that the Internet provides at the mere click of a mouse, this very system of accessibility has bred a terrifying army of impatient consumers. If your website isn't easy to find, easy on the eyes, and easy to use, your visitors will move on immediately. Here are some simple dos and don'ts to make sure you don't fall into click-hungry No Man’s Land.
…write to give value to your readers.
Ask yourself if the information provided on your website is both educational and entertaining. Many think that web content optimization is all about SEO, but it's a mistake to write your content for search engines over human beings.
…carefully consider your website design.
Will your visitors be able to find what they're looking for quickly? You want your website to be visually appealing and distinctive, but its layout and navigation should be familiar enough so that visitors don't have to decipher how to get around. All too often, website design is ignored, yet it is a crucial component of a web content optimization strategy.
…optimize your titles and descriptions with keywords.
Effective web content optimization makes good use of keywords. You need your content to show up in searches. Just don't overdo it. (See DON'TS.)
…make your website accessible from mobile devices.
Not everyone will view your website from a conventional desktop or laptop computer. With the rise of mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, convertible laptops, iPods—you're going to want to be sure that anyone, no matter what device he or she is using, can navigate your website easily. If your content appears in a warped format or takes too long to load on a mobile device, your consumer-on-the-go will move on to something else. This may be one of the most important, yet most easily overlooked, aspects of web content optimization.
…include photos and videos.
People respond better to visuals than to text-based content alone. Images and videos that are effectively optimized with file names, alt tags, and appropriate sizes and formats are not only eye-catching but will help with your web content optimization tactics by potentially increasing your SEO rankings.
Social media is often the means by which content is discovered in the first place, so take advantage of it. Create some social media accounts and keep them active. While you're at it, think about spicing up your web content with things like featured guest writers (as long as they're relevant and of high quality). You might even get some backlinks out of it. Obtaining incoming links advances your web content optimization objectives.
…rely too much on keywords.
A huge part of web content optimization is ensuring that your content appears in search engine results. However, sacrificing readability by cramming your content titles and metadata full of keywords might get you flagged as a spammer. The moral of this story is to apply this important step in moderation.
…write to please search engines.
They're getting smarter anyway. As we said before, overpopulating your content with too many SEO-enhancing gimmicks will just look like spam. If people do find their way to your website, they won't stay long if what they find looks more like a cheap, bot-generated ad than high-quality, useful material. You want your content to be helpful and professional, not pushy and desperate.
…publish mediocre content just for the sake of activity.
You want your website to stay visible and engage visitors (people need a reason to keep coming back, after all), but churning out spammy or uninteresting content will do more harm than good. Our suggestion? Educate yourself on the basics of web content optimization and consider enlisting a professional editing service to ensure you have optimized correctly. Then, come up with a logical timeline for uploading the new content.
Effective web content optimization involves writing quality content and taking steps to make sure that content is seen. It's a fine balancing act between employing the necessary SEO practices to get visitors to your website and establishing an environment enjoyable enough to keep them there. The Internet is a phenomenal way to reach people, but it can be fickle. Your content should cater to the most impatient of consumers; it should be easy to reach and engaging enough to put their clicks on pause.
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