Don’t fall prey to the idea that websites need to be flashy to attract and retain visitors. User interface, while important, is not as important as the content of the page. Overly flashy web pages often make the content more difficult to access and read, resulting in lower search engine rankings.
Since content is the main factor in search engine placement, serious thought should be given to the words users would type to find a specific topic and each page should include appropriate words within its text. Don’t over think your choice of text. The major search engines are smart enough to find related terms such as “veterinarian” for “pet doctor” as well as derivations of words such as “car” and “automobile” – even making allowances for common misspelling. Cramming words into a page for the sole purpose of search engine optimization will harm rather than help rankings.
Here’s a content checklist. Follow it and watch your search engine rankings improve:
* Create a useful, information rich website by writing content that clearly and accurately describes your business, services and products.
* Use text instead of images to display important names, content or links. Search engines can’t read images.
* Limit pages to a reasonable size – just long enough o give all pertinent information. If the content is lengthy, divide the information into usable pages.
* Once you’ve gotten the message across, stop writing. Text for the sake of increasing the number of “keywords” on will turn off visitors and search engines alike.
* Proof-read, spell check and “peer review” your website. All websites can benefit from multiple opinions and multiple content edits.
* Make sure the <TITLE> element for your document is concise, accurate and contains the most important keywords for that page. The page <TITLE> is used by search engines to display link text as the result of a search.
* Make sure that each <IMG> element includes an <ALT> attribute, containing pertinent text.
* Provide links to interesting, related content when appropriate, but keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
* Always reference citations and other sources. (This lets search engines know that your content is of research quality.)
* In certain countries, illegal content within a page will most likely result in that page’s omission from search engines.
Writing good content requires a lot of time, energy and thought. The ultimate goal is to create content that will be useful to your web visitors. Good content will get many times the return on your investment.