How to Write Quality Web Content
One thing’s for sure. The Internet is here to stay, and it’s a wonderful marketing tool if used wisely. If it’s true that content is king, then quality writing is queen, and the pair is Internet royalty. (That makes this photo of a pyramid fit for a king apropos.) Unfortunately, there are too many businesses – legitimate or otherwise – that would rather use quick and easy tricks to generate website traffic without using strategic SEO principles or offering quality information, products and services.
Another thing’s for sure. If your website or blog currently has regular visitors but you don’t keep them interested, they won’t come back or refer others to your site. If you’ve lost their trust, you’ll need to start a reputation management campaign to dispel any negative impressions, which can be time consuming. So how do you keep visitors satisfied and keep them coming back for more?
Give them quality, of course! When you start writing, decide which information, product, or service you’ll provide free of charge. Don’t insult visitors by wasting their time, teasing them with hollow offers, or making them jump from page to page without gaining anything. Although I continually learn new skills, one of the most important things I learned about Internet marketing while living and training in Cancun, Mexico, is to develop quality web content. (What an inspirational place to work!)
Five Steps to Quality Web Content
Above all else, be personable. Be human. The Internet can be a very impersonal place, but you can make your website or blog a friendly, helpful spot by providing valuable, interesting information with character. To write quality content, follow these five basic steps:
1. Keep It Short and Simple (KISS).
Don’t use big words to impress people. If your business is complex, simplify concepts. Most people who need your expertise are not experts in your field and will not understand industry jargon. It’s the golden rule of good writing.
2. Set yourself apart from the crowd.
Be original. Add a little controversy from time-to-time to stimulate conversation and interaction. (But be respectful, or your visitors may get offended and not return). Be honest. Dishonesty and deception will ruin your business. Be positive. Sharing good news is refreshing. (There’s already enough bad news in the world.)
Keywords are words people use to search for topics on the Internet and should be included in your content. Use one of the free online keyword research tools (e.g., Google AdWords, Keyword Tool) to select the best keywords for your topic. Include the selected keywords in both your content and the SEO section of your website or blog. If you don’t have an SEO section, your site may not be SEO-friendly so you might consider adding an SEO pack or plugin.
4. Include anchor links in your content.
Anchor links in your new content refer visitors to different pages of related content on your website or blog. The links are formatted with anchor text, which is either a short tail keyword (general term) or long tail keyword phrase (specific descriptive term) in your content. This can improve your site’s ranking by adding SEO value to your content and increasing the amount of time visitors spend on your site when they click on different page links.
5. Encourage link building on external sites.
This is the practice of getting other relevant, reputable websites to include links to your content on their sites. While this may not be directly related to content development, it is specifically related to content quality. If your content is interesting and valuable – and you’re networking with reputable online businesses – it’s more likely your site will gain favor with these websites. The more links you have on reputable, industry-related websites, the higher your site rank climbs.
Avoid SEO Shortcuts
Another type of pyramid – more relevant than the first – is the SEO hierarchy that identifies some of these steps. There’s no shortcut to generating Internet traffic and maintaining it. Even if you find one, the search engines will eventually discover you’re trying to game the system, and it won’t work anymore. Like anything worthwhile, if you want new and repeat site visitors, you need to devote attention to developing original, quality content. If you don’t have time to write your own, learn about a qualified writer who can help you.
Internet marketing is more likely to be successful if you focus on networking and relationship-building rather than just making a sale. Keep people interested, and they’ll keep coming back! Then, ultimately, they just might buy from you.