The subject of website content is a sticky one for many business owners.
You know you need a website for your business, and you probably already have one. Although great design and the user experience are important, any website is only as good as its content.
Web content, by definition, includes all textual, visual and aural elements on a given site. But because Google and the other search engines can evaluate and rank only text, that’s what we’ll focus on today.
To determine how much content you truly need on your site, we must consider several key factors. Let’s start by considering your brand’s target audience — or is that audiences?
Who, exactly, do we create web content for?
Is it primarily for your customers? Is for targets and prospects — to convert them and make sales? Or is your website content for the search engines, to help with rankings?
The answer, of course, is all of the above. Your website must address the needs of all three of these important groups, as well as any other stakeholders your business serves.
So how do you accomplish that? How can you meet the needs of everyone and make Google happy at the same time?
You start with well-thought-out website architecture. Too many pages and your site becomes unwieldy and confusing to navigate. Too few and you won’t be able to fit all your information on any given page.
You can designate separate sections of your site for specific purposes, to help simplify its design. For example, you can create a directory of resources for your customers, such as product support manuals, FAQs and warranty information. You can create another segment of the site for your products and/or service offerings.
The right way to organize your site depends on your brand and business model. As for the search engines, all of your site content — assuming it’s searchable by the public — goes toward satisfying the needs of Google and the others.
We know that digital consumers can be classified into one of two general user profiles, based on their path to purchase. Let’s call them the Big Picture Pack and the Data-Driven Divas.
Members of the Big Picture Pack are in a hurry and they have a short attention span. They are drawn in by visual elements (like infographics) and informational snapshots. If you can’t provide them an effective summary or overview, they’re on to the next site. If you can capture them effectively, they may well read on for more details, or they may make a purchasing decision quickly.
The Data-Driven Divas are a more deliberate bunch. They want all the information they can find to make the most informed purchasing decisions possible. They will voraciously consume all the content you can provide them. In fact, the Divas are likely to continue to read and research even after they’ve made their decision, to validate their choice.
So how do you know which group to gear your website’s content toward?
Should you try to design your site to please one of these consumer profiles more than another?
If your target and prospect research strongly identifies one type of digital consumer profile over another, you may be able to design your content accordingly. Generally, however, we suggest that you incorporate web content to appeal to both groups.
If your product or service offerings are basic, you’ll require fewer pages than a company that sells hundreds of products online. For a service business, such as an automotive shop, plumber or tax accountant, we recommend that your site contains at least one separate page for each service, in addition to the home page, About Us and Contact Us pages.
If you deal with a single product, such a software program, you might want to highlight each key feature on its own page.
Regardless of how many pages your site requires, our research shows that the magic number of words for each page at least 500 words.
But wait … we aren’t quite done yet answering how much web content you need. We know how much website content is enough to start. But Google won’t let you put up a site, no matter how great its content, then sit back and rest on your laurels.
We have to address what may be an even stickier question.
How much new web content do you need to add each month?
Yes, you have to update your site regularly and provide fresh, new, engaging information to keep your prospects and customers coming back for more of your insightful gems. Even more important, however, is that regularly adding new content keeps Google on its toes, where your site is concerned.
At Be Locally SEO, we recommend that you add 500-1,000 words of fresh website content each month. Here’s why:
Google’s web crawlers visit your site constantly, searching for new — and unique — content. If these ’bots find new text, they re-index your site to update its status in the search engine results. And that’s a good thing.
The crawlers also make a mental note to come back again soon to look for more updates. If they come back in a week and find still more fresh content, that’s a great thing. After a few occurrences, you can rely on the ’bots to visit you regularly and re-index each time.
And this, folks, is how you get major organic SEO traction with Google. Now, let’s look at the kinds of content you should focus on to achieve the best results.
Yes, you do, if you want your targets and prospects to find you when they do an internet search.
By incorporating carefully selected keywords and phrases into every paragraph of your site’s content, you help Google truly understand what you do, who you do it for and — if applicable — where you do it.
Google processes your content through its algorithms to code that information and places you into the search rankings accordingly. When prospects launch a search, Google matches their needs, based on their search terms, to those websites that best meet those needs.
Without SEO optimization and keywords in your content, Google has no way to play matchmaker between you and those all-important targets and prospects. But you can’t simply toss keywords and key phrases in your content willy-nilly, because the search engines are picky like that.
You betcha, it does! Google’s standards demand high-quality, original and unique content.
Original content means that it’s yours and yours alone, not poached from somewhere else on the internet. Unique means the text appears once, so you can’t duplicate it on multiple pages.
But what constitutes high-quality web content?
Google defines high-quality content in its webmaster guidelines, but in a nutshell, your content should be created for your audience, not for Google. It can’t contain hidden text and it can’t be keyword-stuffed. It should be useful and informative, credible (achieved by adding citations and relevant links) and engaging. High-quality web content is also specific to your business and free of grammatical and punctuational errors.
If you feel like spending some time reading more (or if you’re struggling with insomnia), you can check out the entire Google search quality rating guidelines.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this, don’t worry. We know how to make your job easier.
In fact, this is a Be Locally SEO specialty. We work diligently to provide our clients with fresh content each month that exceeds Google’s exacting standards. When combined with our exclusive optimization strategies, social engagement, PPC ads and related tools, our website content creation strategies produce measurable results in search engine ranking and placement.
Our internet marketing strategies are carefully designed, based on your unique needs, to achieve your goals and objectives for growing your business and boosting your bottom line. We are experts at website design, architecture and creation, based on extensive customer profile and keyword research.
Contact Be Locally SEO today to learn more about how we can help your business succeed with online marketing and website content strategies.
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