14 ways to add content to
your web site and attract visitors.
Content is king on a website.
When I surf the Net, I often see web sites filled with beautiful graphics that strive to capture my attention. Well, they do so for an instant, however I click away when I don't immediately find relevant content.
The content you add to your web site needs to attract both visitors
and search engines.
1. Get into the mind of your visitor. Brainstorm all the ways your visitor would think of your product. Write as if you are sitting next to him/her explaining your product. Don't write in the 3rd person ie we, they, but use I, you, or your. This makes it more personal.
2. Keep it simple - write as if explaining your web site material to a 7th grader (12-13 year old). Don't use complicated words that people would have to look up in the dictionary. You want them to understand clearly what your site is about.
3. Convey emotion - people on the Web are often in a great hurry, so you need to appeal to their emotions to stop them clicking away to the next site. Use stories, convey your experiences or include testimonies from others. This adds to your credibility and trust, 2 essential factors for doing business online.
4. Communicate quickly and efficiently - people online tend to scan rather than read everything on the page. Therefore use single lines of text for your headings and sub headings. Catch your visitor's eye with lists, bullet points and use short, snappy, active (not passive) words in your sentences. Your paragraphs should only consist of 2-5 sentences. Long paragraphs make it hard to read (scan) your page quickly.
5. Create white space - the layout of your web page should include plenty of white space. Don't lean text hard up against your graphics. Include white space between headings, sub headings and paragraphs.
6. Use graphics sparingly - you have heard it said, "a picture is worth a 1000 words." That's true but only if the picture supports your content. Don't overdo the graphics. You may impress your visitors initially, however to keep them interested in your site, you need high quality content.
7. Create high quality content - make clear points with each paragraph you write. Each paragraph should build on the previous one, so that you are pulling your visitor through your page naturally. You are trying to pre sell the product or service to your visitor. This puts them in a natural frame of mind to buy (unlike many sites which may just have pictures of the products and a shopping cart).
8. Web page background - a colorful or busy background can make your text hard to read and may give the impression of an inexperienced webmaster. If you do use a background image make sure it complements your site's theme, fits with your visitors experience and will increase your credibility.
9. Use the correct fonts - the offline world primarily uses "Times New Roman". This works well in print but not online. Sans Serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana and Helvetica are the best fonts for easy online scanning.
10. Font colors - the best colors for reading online are black text on a white or off-white background. If you want to use multiple colors only use a maximum of 3. Too many text colors on a web page make it hard on the eyes and spell inexperience. To emphasize text you can use the bold tag (this text will appear bold) or italic tag (this text will appear in italics).
11. Check spelling and grammar - run your page through spell check in your word processor. It won't pick up all the mistakes, so make sure you read it through yourself to find other errors. Spelling and grammar mistakes convey an unprofessional impression.
12. Simple navigation - the main purpose of the navigation bar is to make it easy for your visitor to find his way around your site. Place your navigation bar on the left side or top of your page (or both). Repeat the bar at the bottom of the page so your visitor does not have to scroll back up to move on to another section. ( Read my article "How to Create an Effective Web Site Navigation Structure" http://www.isitebuild.com/navigation).
13. Get a critique - don't fall in love with your writing and leave it there. Yes, it's hard to listen to someone criticizing your beautiful piece of work, but swallow your pride and get your friends or family members to do a review of your web page. This will help you to refine what you have written and make it appeal to a wider audience.
14. Use specific keywords - weave targeted keywords into your web page as you write your web page content. I'll cover "How to Write for the Search Engines" in Part II of this article.
Author: Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com..Affordable Web Site Design and Web Hosting.
Content is King on the Internet.
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