You have heard it time and time again: ‘Content is King’. Yet still people ignore the truth of this common-sense phrase. People use the web to find information – it’s the content of a page that is important to them, because that’s why they’re there.
The content of a page is the primary thing that a search engine will look at when considering your site. The meta tags and the hidden text that many people like to place on their pages in order to draw search engines to their sites is much less important to the search engine. Many search engines don’t even consider meta tags any more. Don’t get me wrong, meta tags are a necessity when optimizing, but they are much less important than content.
Hidden text is not only skipped over by most search engines, it can give you serious problems with search engines. The king of search engines, Google, will remove sites from its index if they utilize hidden text. Hidden text is categorized as text that is the same color (or similar color to) the background or text that is the set as transparent using CSS.
When people arrive at your site, one of two things will happen. They will either find something of interest and stay, or they’ll turn around and leave. They make this decision within seconds. You need to have things that people want to read, or all your precious click-throughs will be for nothing. If you can’t come up with something to put on the front page of your site, hire a writer. Writers are there to create reasons for people to stay. They get paid for a reason, they are worth while.
You can never have too much information – it’s a fact that people want information. The web is great for information because you can find so much out there with so little effort. Hidden somewhere in all that information, you can be sure there’s something that you’d love to find. Search engines are there to help you uncover it.
You could take some of this information and tailor it to your website’s needs, using bits and pieces that will be easy to read and useful to your visitors. The more interested in your website a visitor is, the more likely that they’ll stay a while, and come back some other time. You might even see some money from them, sooner or later.
‘Borrowing’ content word-for-word isn’t the way to go, though, because of copyright laws – but you can always create your own content. Remember that the most valuable web content is unique information that no-one can find elsewhere.
Another great method for delivering content is to provide RSS feeds from other sites straight onto your site. Many sites i.e. the New York Times site will allow you to put their RSS feeds onto your site. An RSS feed is basically an online news bulletin. If you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 or lower you probably haven’t encountered RSS. If you use FireFox or Opera for your web browser, you probably already know how great RSS can be for personal use. Imagine having all of that content available on your web site without having to pay a writer!
When selling products and services, make sure that you have enough information about your product’s features. Include everything anyone could ever want to know about your product. If you are running an affiliate site, buy a few of the products that you are selling and use them on a regular basis. This will give you the opportunity to find out what their major selling points are and allow you to make them into featured products and provide high quality reviews.
Think of it as leading your reader for a walk through your mind – arrange the site to help your readers see what you see.
For example: a page on music, could lead to a page on rock music, which in turn leads to one about the various forms of music, which leads to a page on equipment, and so on and on. Each page on the site can lead into the next, in a reasonable progression of thought. Your content becomes not only new but also fun to experience, as you make it easy for the reader to understand where you’re coming from. Tell a story with your pages.