You might have wonderful ideas and a vision for what is to be done with your company – great plans and revolutionary concepts. Seriously, you might be the next big thing. But that might all drown if there is not an effective communication between you and the user. Now, the first (and probably the last) impression that the potential user will get of you and your company is through your website. If the content is not up to the mark, well, the potential customer might not become the actual customer.
As good advertising comes from the product, and good filmmaking begins with riveting, good web design starts with content. ~Jeffrey Zeldman
No customer would call you up to learn more about your services, if you do not impress them in the first look at your web content.
If you still have doubts about the importance of the proper web content, then let me give you three words that will ascertain the significance – Search Engine Optimization.
Where do you go with your first doubt? The answer is probably Google. It is highly probable that your probable client might be thinking the same thing. Thus, SEO matters.
Now, do I have your attention?
No, the intention was not to scare you into hiding. It was to lead you to the 7 golden steps to optimize your web content.
Step No. 1: Make the Content User Centric:
Your clients should be your top priority, thus, it is essential that the entire web design and content is user-centric. You’d need to go out there, wearing the user’s shoes which will help you better understand the needs, wants and pet peeves of the user. This will help you create a content that attracts the users. Plus, it is plain psychology – where there is relatability, there are chances of a long term friendship. Show the client that you guys have things in common.
Step no. 2: Make the Content Honest and Accurate:
Nick Denton says, “The best web content optimization strategy is as old as journalism itself: the shocking truth and authentic opinion.”
No one wants a fabricated deal, only to be delivered something entirely different.
The best content is honest content. It adds to the credibility of your website and in the end, you will have more satisfied customers because they will be delivered exactly what they were promised. Avoid click-baits in keywords, headlines and image alt tags, because they would hamper the reputation of the website.
Step no. 3: Make Content Scannable and Simple
You are on a research spree, collecting information about a product and different providers. Chances are that you would not take time to read it all and just scan through it. The best way to deal with this mindset is making the content “scan-friendly”, so that a probable client can get a good idea of your content quality just by merely scanning your website.
In addition to that, make the content minimalistic and easy. Avoid any sort of jargons or terms that might urge your user to grab a dictionary – because there are high chances that he would shift to another website than grabbing it.
Step no. 4: Minimize the Keyword Repetition
This was an amazing tool for search engine optimization. But now, the trick has reached the robots and there are chances for being penalized for baiting the users through keyword repetition. And it becomes a tad bit irritating to read the recurrence of same word while scanning. Simply put, use keywords but make sure that you don’t overdo it.
Step no. 5: Go Back to SEO Basics
Now that keyword repetition is out of the question, what you should do is go back to the basics for Search Engine Optimization and we will start from there.
Here are some key points you should keep in mind while designing the content in such a way that the search engines love it:
- Title: Don’t lengthen it and try to keep it below 70 characters so that it shows up in the search engine.
- Meta Description: It is appalling how many people just overlook this. So, the first key to optimization is not to overlook the meta description during the process of content creation. Make it short but compelling, minimalistic, and to the point. Don’t drag it on with verbosity and poetic compositions.
- H1: The headline is the tag for Search Engines and the attention grabber for the readers. Keep one headline per page. They are an easy tool for scanning, thus, the keywords should be included.
- Image Alt Tag: Users will be attracted by images, but the search engines don’t care much about the colour combinations like humans do. So, add a caption with appropriate key word so it shows up in search engine.
- URLs: Here is another place where the keywords are essential. At the same time, minimalistic and shorter URLs attract more clicks. So, keep it short, simple and significant.
- Body Copy: As mentioned previously, don’t over do the keyword – include variations of it. Let the keyword show up in headline and title, and twice or thrice in the entire body.
Step no. 6: Crosslink
There are multiple advantages for crosslinking and one of them is that one can gain a higher search engine ranking by increasing the number of crosslinks on your website.
Simply put, when you link to relevant websites through in-content or sidebar linking, then the search engine adds to the relevance of your website, thus, giving your domain a higher rank.
Remember the following things while crosslinking:
- Content Uniqueness
- Similar themes between the linked content
- Enhanced user experience
- Proper keyword use
- Make it seem natural – don’t force it.
Step no. 7: Go With the Flow
Now, this advice might seem counterproductive with six steps above, but it is quite important while you follow all the steps for Search Engine Optimization, you also make sure that it doesn’t seem awkward, disjointed or forced to the human. The key is keeping both the Search Engine and the human happy.
Besides, the above instructions are more or less, in flow. When you’re not forced to repeat a keyword, or add unnecessary frailty, then all you have to do is go with the flow, keeping the instructions in mind.