How important is it to produce content for your website?

Right back to the beginning, it has always been about content – our early websites, in South Africa  specifically, where mistakenly designed as  one to three page adverts of our businesses, but we very quickly caught on that the adage ‘Content is King’ is what reigns supreme, and nothing has changed.

Content allows us to tell readers about our businesses, skills, services and products. We need to ensure that our content is current, and within the perspective of what we are trying to say. Do not write content that is unrelated just for content’s sake, rather take the time to do research and always make your content count.

Do not write out-dated or irrelevant content, no one is interested in yesterday’s news unless it still bears relevance, therefore ensure everything you write about is current and relevant to your business, and to your reader’s needs.

Do not directly copy and re-hash content directly from other peoples sites, as the search engines may pick up on the repetition and bypass  your content – if the same article has been used on the internet many times then your rankings can be affected.

Do however get insight, do research; include other people opinions and quotations to make your content more interesting and more powerful. People love opinions, insight and observations.

Do write original content about your business, product or service, on a continuous basis, to inform and attract customers. Also include an ‘About Us’ page, which allows you to tell visitors to your website about your staff members, your ideas and your companies innovations.

Importantly remember that your website is your virtual space, allowing you unlimited freedom to indulge your readers and visitors, there is plenty room for perspective and perception.

When you design your website, include a blog, this allows you to create posts and encourages interactivity on your website, thereby increasing interest in your website and the business that it is promoting. People love to converse and pass their opinions; you may even learn something about your business or product you had not considered.

When you create posts though, do keep them short, simple and concise, and make sure each post does not exceed over 350 words, search engines are only interested in the first 300 words, so you need to make these count.

Include hyperlinks in your text where possible so for example if I want to tell you about my blog, and and encourage you to read my posts, and also to entice you to follow me, then I would include my blog link here This will allow you to leave this page, and enter my blog, and it will also encourage the search engines to pick up on my link.

Include articles on topics of interest on your website and add new ones as often as possible. Do not write too many words, as while the average magazine article is 700 words, the average person is looking to receive information as quickly as possible.

The Millennials’ that is the generation from 18 years to 35 years or anyone born after 1980 is looking for instant gratification, and this is where blog posts and short concise copy win hands down. Having visual aids, like pictures and photographs is an absolute must, and do not forget that search engines ‘read’ captions as well, so these are as important as your copy. Include credits for photographs and details of where the picture is taken.

What I like to do is post something on my website / blog and then copy and paste that link into my social sites, so while I am writing content I am focussing on Search Engine Optimisation as well as using the content to promote my Social Networking.

A win win situation – once I have completed this article I will post it on to my blog – and then post it on my Linked In Justine Engelbrect – please visit me there – and then I will post it on my Facebook and my Twitter page  By doing this I am able to track, who and how many people are following me and are interested in what I have to say.

It is also important to insert Google Analytics into your website as well, this allows you to track and follow the demographics of the visitors to your site, and over time you can evaluate what content your readers are interested in the most.

As Mike Stopforth says in his recent book Brand Schizo,” it is important for business leaders to prioritise social media in their strategies and be mindful of its impact.”

In order to do this however, we need to have content.

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