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TIPS AND STRATEGIES TO HIGH-QUALITY WEBSITE CONTENT FOR BEGINNERS
HOW TO CREATE GREAT CONTENT TO YOUR WEBSITE
Creating quality content to your website is essential to make your site useful, engaging and credible to your target audience. Learn tips and strategies to high-quality content to add to your website. It is crucial to realise that the term “quality content” is very subjective, but there are specific rules every writer should follow.
If you go to Google Support, they give us a general view of what Google expects and what to avoid. The most significant item is to write the website content with your users in mind, not the search engines and never deceive your users.
In this second part, we list the leading strategies and tips to follow to make your website valuable, useful and informative. Remember that your website needs to match the target audience. Follow this thought: if you were a customer looking for a solution to your problem, would you trust your website, i.e. meaning, what you wrote on your website?
People usually don’t read websites; they scan it to find validation points to either stay or leave. Web designers know how to employ unique online layout structures to leave the audience wanting more. There are certain principles you should follow to ensure your website gets the responsiveness it deserves.
The art of creating great content to your website, offering a positive experience to your audience starts with:
• interacting with the target audience
• understanding them to anticipate their needs
• and perceiving the challenges your audience faces.
In Part 1, we saw the basic rules to capture the visitors’ interests and keep them there. Now let’s see the reasons to create quality content and the benefits you and your product will get when you value your visitors.
TIPS TO HIGH-QUALITY WEBSITE CONTENT
The most crucial element in your website is the content. Content is king! Or Queen! It is at the top of the hierarchy.
Now, when almost anybody can access platforms to produce a website, content is often forgotten and replaced with beauty. Platforms can offer many different exciting elements to include in each page, or even the page itself, but it cannot provide the content your website needs to serve your target audience.
Visitors don’t stay on your page because it is beautiful; they stay if they find answers to their goals. Indeed, beauty is part of it as it is much more attractive to find solutions in a pretty page than to see it hidden at the end of a dark, morbid box.
The content you offer is the ticket for your visitors to stay and return. People have specific goals or intentions when they visit websites. The content you submit will determine the value and the quality of the customer experience that person will have and, therefore, if they should stay or go. If they leave, they will go to the competition!
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF CONTENT IN WEB DESIGN?
Again it is imperative to repeat, before you start designing your website, you must focus on understanding the audience who will visit that website. If you don’t have feedback on your target audience’s needs, wants and challenges, you will not be able to produce the content they want.
In brief, the first step to creating high-quality content is to put yourself into your client’s shoes.
Being in their shoes, feeling their needs and desires, you will understand the importance of content and the reason we should create it.
Wikipedia defines web content as the “textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include – among other things – text, images, sounds, videos, and animations”.
The book “Information Architecture For the World Wide Web”, is a bit more practical in its definition, “We define content broadly as ‘the stuff in your website’. This may include documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal Web pages, archived e-mail messages, and more. And we include future stuff as well as present stuff” (second edition, page 219).
So, “the stuff in your website” is what your audience is after. And the “stuff” is a lot! And the audience wants to find quality and value in the “stuff” you offer. I think the definition has become quite clear by now.
HOW DOES THE AUDIENCE FIND THE CONTENT?
For your content to be effective, your target audience needs to find it. It doesn’t matter how good a writer you are, to write online you will need to learn how to use appropriate keywords, inbound links and other elements of search engine optimisation.
It does take time and experience to learn how to use SEO tools that will make your website more visible to search engines, Google and Bing, especially. Content marketing and social media are, nowadays, the main actors in search engine optimisation and digital marketing.
Good SEO content along with social media platforms help the content discovery, website visibility, backlink building and visitors’ traffic. Have a look at this infographic to learn the importance of quality content in SEO.
Discoverability in web design is the degree of ease with which the users can find key information and application of your product or service in your website; or we could say, what visitors notice when they come to your page.
When designing your website, web designers will consider your brand, your target audience identity and your values to structure the website layout with rich content that will allow your visitors to find you.
AREAS DESIGNERS USE TO PRODUCE DISCOVERABILITY
OR HOW WEB DESIGNERS CAN HELP USERS FIND WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR EASILY
The texts on the website, product and service descriptions, images, photos, blog posts, company information, videos, contact forms, and others should be created with the goal to present an easy packaging for the user with quality information to answer their questions.
The quality of your website will be judged by its capacity to promote awareness of your brand, loyalty and visitor engagement in the short and long term.
REASONS TO CREATE QUALITY WEBSITE CONTENT
1. YOUR CONTENT SHOULD BE ORIGINAL
Original content makes your audience happy and contributes significantly to Google. Your content must be not only original but provide value to your customer. It originality is so important, how could you produce original and valuable content to write all the time?
Try to answer your customers’ questions, promote ideas, discuss subjects of interest to your business area or your industry. There are lots of information that your target audience will appreciate.
For instance, I use my blog to answers my client’s questions repeatedly. It makes my blog an education place that is very useful to my business because it involves research on my part and learning to my clients.
The subjects abound. Some clients want to revitalise their newsletters; others are starting a new business and want to discuss online marketing ideas. Some recent graduates have new products and need logos, ads, promotion flyers. One might have been highly benefited by a fitness program and are eager to start a personal training service. I love the different interests that come to me. Each website or graphic service is a new adventure and a new future to contemplate.
The level of engagement with my clients’ increases and, frequently, they share the answer to their problems with their friends and families because they find it useful.
Search engines will be happy too. Publishing relevant content drives more traffic to my sites, optimises page load speed and along with other SEO optimisation, increases user’ experiences.
2. HEADLINES AND SUBHEADLINES SHOULD TRIGGER THE READERS’ INTEREST
Most people don’t read websites; they scan it. Headlines and subheadlines are the first things they will scan/read. They should trigger interest and encourage them to keep on reading the message.
Headlines should build trust between you and your potential customer and/or reinforce your reputation with regular customers. These days, most people read online content before making a purchase or contracting a service. Headlines and subheadlines will determine whether or not your target audience will read your message.
Use the headlines and subheadlines to reassure your customers of the advantages to buy your product. Your headlines should serve as a motivation to use your services. Powerful headlines should be relevant to your pages specific theme, capture your visitors’ attention and be useful to help you acquire and retain your customers.
Neil Patel lists the four U’s of headliner writing:
• Make the headline unique
• Be ultra-specific
• It should convey a sense of urgency
• Your headline has to be useful.
3. YOUR ONLINE CONTENT MUST BE PRACTICAL, FUNCTIONAL, SERVICEABLE
Try to educate your customers through content. When you provide information, you are serving your customers with education. Never impose what they should do. Instead, give them information, tips, examples of the application of your message. People want to gain knowledge and become successful in their own lanes. Provide value to your customers telling your story, letting them get to know you or teaching some practical skills.
Give them answers! Answering is what search engines, like Google, do all the time. You present a query and Google answers with videos, infographics, pictures and links. Using the information your message provides will assure your visitors that they know how to use the content to reach the benefits they are seeking.
As one of my favourite reliable sites says, “people don’t just want answers, they want answers fast”. Your content must go deep into the benefits your product will bring, but it should be easily understood by your demographic to let people scan the message rapidly and grasp the essential parts quickly.
4. BE ACCURATE ON YOUR REFERRAL SOURCES
The content on your website is a mirror of your company’s values. Follow the academic style, correctly citing your sources. Every information you give must be verified; every image you show must refer to its author. If your readers trust your information, you are in for a great audience.
You will notice that my referral sources at the end of this article are quite long. It is because every information I write must have support from other experts. Sources you link to must be reliable. Also, as Patel mentions, linking to reliable sources will help search engines understand the subject of your content and to which category it belongs.
5. MAKE YOUR CONTENT ATTRACTIVE AND INTRIGUING
If your visitors have approved your headlines, then offer them engaging content. Express particulars that make people think about, write the most important facts first to grab your visitors attention (remember that people are scanning your site!). Tell compelling stories. Stories are a frame of references to illustrate your perspectives and values. They are incredible because they reflect your experiences and let people learn from you.
6. ADD IMAGES AND VIDEOS
People are visual communicators. Add visual and audio content to the written message you offer. They are leaning aids to reinforce the information you want your reader to learn. But remember that the images you add are not decoration. They are not there to fill space or make your page look beautiful. They are important informative additions to increase the value and reinforce the message.
These learning aids will help differentiate, separate your brand from competitors and might stimulate return traffic from website visitors. Deliver each piece of your content in multiple formats (text, graphics, infographics, illustrations, photos, videos) to increase the possibility of reaching the target audience. It’s a value that will differentiate you from the competition.
7. BE SHORT AND PRECISE
People don’t read a page to see your verbosity. They are there because they need or want information. Give them actual, accurate great content and update your pages frequently. The best websites are regularly updated. Frequently updated websites transmit trust and demonstrate that you value your customer.
Look for grammar correction, right spelling and useful vocabulary to make your writing error-free and easy to read. Use Grammarly as an example (https://www.grammarly.com/). It is a valuable resource for proofreading your work. Good grammar guarantees your website, i.e. your first impression is professional and trustworthy. Further, a grammar error in your webpage could become a distraction to your audience’s mind from the message you are trying to convey.
When you are happy with your page or your blog, reread it, and reread it again. You might find some sentences should be rearranged or excluded. Some information could be clarified. Ensure your website’s quality content has the same value as your product or service.
TIPS TO ENSURE HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT TO YOUR WEBSITE:
• Make sure your website is fast
• Ensure your content follows a consistent visual layout and sense of humour
• Your website content is updated frequently
• Your message is directed to your target demographics
• Your content is legible, easily understood by the target audience public
• Your website is engaged with your industry area focus and aim to become a referential point
• Your website presents original and actionable content
• Your website uses correct guidelines to visualise and support the data
• Your content is thought-provoking
• Your website builds trust and authority with visitors and adds value to your business
• Your website does not use misleading questionable SEO techniques
• Your website uses product differentiation to help your small business be distinct from the competition and offer a significant web presence.
KEEP THE TARGET AUDIENCE INVOLVED
We have seen that high-quality content is a building process that starts at the foundation and structure of your website. It attracts the right audience and engages them towards taking an action on your website.
Valuable, high-quality content benefits not only the user who is reading it but the SEO ranking. Without effective quality content, your business will struggle to build an online presence. Sites with relevant information will help you establish trusted communication lines with your customers, who will be more inclined to conduct business with you.
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay
Photo by energetic.com from Pexels
Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
Morville, Peter, Rosenfeld, Louis (2015),”Information Architecture for the World Wide Web”, O’Reilly Media Inc. USA, second edition