Creating Effective Website Content

Websites are here to stay. Long gone are the days when just having a site was enough to show you were in the game. Websites have become increasingly sophisticated tools for differentiating your experience and skills. How do you separate the best from the rest? Quality content. Google analytics proves that traffic spikes occur when meaningful content is added. The analytics tool allows you to uncover the types of information driving desirable visitor behavior. Once you understand what motivates your visitors to return, you may build more content into the site, making it a reliable resource that showcases your business prowess. A content-improvement effort builds credibility among clients, prospective clients and referral sources over the long run.

So, what should you think about when creating website content? Consider these points:

  • People read web content 25% more slowly than they read print materials. Use shorter sentences within well-constructed paragraphs that cover only one idea. This doesn’t mean ‘dumbing it down’, it simply means skipping the legal-speak and citations. Transforming a piece from print to the web? Consider streamlining your print content by 50% before posting it onto a website.
  • Readers on the web scan text, they do not read it. According to a study completed by usability expert Jacob Nielson, 79% of readers on the Web tend to scan or skim text rather than read word for word.  Place the most important information you want to get across at the beginning of your material. Use tricks such as pull-quotes, highlighted text and bulleted lists to help scanners get the most pertinent material quickly.
  • Readers on the web want what they want, and quickly! Studies show that we must grab someone’s attention in as little as 10 seconds. If we succeed, then we earn up to 45 seconds more to sell them. Deliver information quickly, or they will move onto the multitude of alternative websites to find the information they desire.
  • Use more than words to grab your visitors’ attention. Use videos, images, tasteful animation and podcasts. These are all viable methods for attracting people and urging them to look for more information. All the same rules apply, though. Keep these components concise and attractive.
  • Use social media to move visitors onto your website. Spark interest through social media status posts.  Post on recent articles, events and external press coverage. Provide a link directly to your website from your posting.

Understanding and optimizing the way you create website content is the first step in enhancing visitor experience.  Of course there are many more considerations for making websites useful, helpful and successful tools for business development. However, by starting with these tips, you will be well on your way to differentiating yourself from an overly crowded cyberspace.

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