I'm sure you hear this all the time, from internet marketing consultants, but honestly the reason everyone keeps banging on about content, is because it really does play a big part in search engine optimization, and in this article I will attempt to explain why it is so important. Many people seem to think that there is a magic formula to achieving high search engine listings, but the reality is that search engines such as Google, look to display what they believe to be the most relevant sites based on what key phrase the user types in. Now there are some basic SEO principles you can and should use to make sure that your site does stand out, but good quality content is one of the best ways to ensure that search engines know what your web site is about.
I must also stress that content should not be written purely to appeal to search engines, it is important not to get too carried away with web optimization and remember that at the end of the day the purpose of SEO is to get more human traffic to your site, and therefore content must be appealing and useful to them otherwise it doesn't matter how much traffic you manage to get chances are your conversion rates are going to be very low, and people are less likely to come back, bookmark your site or recommend it to others. After all what use is traffic to your website if it doesn't actually produce any results. This brings me on to my next point, all too often I see websites that look good, sometimes they have been optimized at least to some extent, they may even have lots of content. However it is quite obvious that while lots of planning has gone into to site design, layout and navigation, the content has been rushed probably right at the end of the project, and no thought or planning has gone into writing it. Alternatively sometimes the website owner has thought about and planned the content, but is perhaps not gifted with the ability to write good copy, and has not been guided by the web designer in terms of making sure that keywords in the meta tags and descriptions also appear somewhere in the body text. This is important because some search engines do penalize sites that do not use their keywords within their site content, and equally this increases your chances of ranking high for your chosen key phrases.
The point I am making here is that the content should be a key part of the project and not an afterthought as often tends to happen, typically the content is written by the web site owner themselves and the web designer has little or no input in this, as they see their role as simply the design aspect, however in my opinion they should at the very least advise the client about the importance of content. My recommendation would be to use a professional copywriter, if we're placing as much importance on the content as we do on the design itself then why do so many people pay lots of money for design and then write the content themselves. The reality is however good you or I may be at writing, most of us are not professional copywriters, and search engine optimization aside, good copy should help your website to produce better results and higher conversion rates, and will ensure your website does produce a better return on investment. Apart from the fact that professionally written copy will read better, it also should eliminate the overuse of industry terms, that may mean something to you, because you know your market inside out, but to the average customer or prospect probably means absolutely nothing.
A classic example of this, and I'm sure there are many more throughout this article, is the term SEO, now if you've done your homework on search engine optimization, you will start to come across this term and probably learn what it means, however if you have never even thought about how to market your website before today, what might this term mean to you? Probably absolutely nothing, a good copywriter will highlight this, and actually explain in simple terms what you do. I suspect if you think about it enough you can probably remember visiting some sites and having read everything, then thinking to yourself, so what do they actually do? I know I can certainly remember some. Another final point on this is that easy to read content actually contributes towards search engine listings.
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