Killing You Softly With (Website) Content

by Mark Boyd on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The changes in SEO and Internet marketing in general are making your onsite content more important than ever before.

Not that it wasn’t to begin with, but the previous search engine algorithms weighed linking much more heavily than your actual content in the big picture. Needless to say, most businesses focused on linkbuilding and not enough on the true viability of their own content. As referenced in our “Linkin’ With Lincoln…” post, misuse and abuse of linking (read: Spamdexing) has caused many websites to lose ranking and, therefore, revenue stream in the wake of the late-April Penguin update.

So, now that emphasis is on your actual content, what should your focus be? Your content should not only be truly informative, it should be engaging for your visitors. As we here at MIND like to say, “Speak to your audience, not at them.” Here are a few tips to help you create excellent content:

“We believe that our company is committed to your (enter your product or service) needs.”  
Stop it. Just stop it. If that’s the way your current mission statement or any website content reads, most of your visitors are projectile vomiting while they click to your competitor’s site. The good news is that in the Internet world you’re not going to be wasting paper when you completely rewrite it. “Our company,” “we believe” and other self-serving verbiage is a turn-off to visitors. It tells them you’re more concerned about yourself than your customers. Write for your audience, speak to them, use the word “you” when you can and always keep their perspective in mind. Talk to your customers and get honest opinions (both positive and negative) from them and use that information to make better content.

Facts over opinion.  
Adjectives are such wonderful words…how would we describe anything without them? Problem is, adjectives in the hands of the wrong people result in gross exaggeration and false expectations…then it just gets ugly. Save yourself a lot of hassle and stick to the facts. Today’s consumer is jaded and can see through exaggerated marketing claims. Use specific details and facts and yes, inject some personality into your writing. Just don’t get carried away and exaggerate…people will notice.

Fontification.  
Yes, it’s sooo cool that you can choose from so many wonderful fonts to add to the atmosphere of your site. Seemingly any style you can think of is readily available. But once again…don’t get too carried away! You can have the greatest content of all time, but nobody will know if it’s in a font that’s either too small or too difficult to read any size. You want to put more thought into it than simply going with good ol’ default Times New Roman, but find a font that is easily readable while it adds virtual ambience.

Explain features and benefits clearly.  
Surprisingly, benefits are consistently overlooked by many companies. Features are always detailed, but benefits are often explained either with too much technical jargon and buzz words or not at all.

Keep an eye on the news.  
When you can relate your product or service to a current news story, you capitalize on both timeliness and newsworthiness. Ultimately both are important, but timeliness is most important as news travels fast.

These are just a few pointers that will keep your visitors engaged, your site longer and help you avoid flack.

But not Roberta Flack!

Mark Boyd AKA: Mark Boyd

+Mark is our resident vocabularian and SEO guy. Hit him up with a comment here and he'll help with your quizzical reckonings. If you mention his favorite band Clutch, he usually responds faster.