Web Content is Critical

A successful website is comprised of quality content. Content is what keeps people returning to a site after their first visit. Most importantly, good content is the substance that allows a site to ensure future success. Daria Goetsch of Search Innovation explains: “Quality content means happy visitors, and with enough happy visitors, you become an ‘authority’ on your topic. Having a site recognized as an authority means good ranking in the search engines.” Good ranking in search engines leads to more visitors and more popularity for the website. This process is described by the Internet Marketing Monitor as a “snowball effect.” The process starts with an “expert” site linking to the newly created site and can even lead to exposure in newspaper articles and other media. Popularity builds upon popularity and, ultimately, a site becomes successful. This is all built on the quality content of the site. If the site has poor content, this effect cannot even begin: Good content is critical.Web content is different from other types of writing and must be approached that way. There are simple steps that the web’s best use to create quality content.First, it may be obvious, but spelling and grammar are of great importance. If the grammar is sloppy and there are misspelled words, the reader will be disinclined to read the content thinking that bad spelling/grammar is equivalent to bad content. Spelling and grammar are important because they make the writing look professional, pushing the writing to a higher quality.Professional does not mean stuffy or pompous. Good content is clear and accommodates all readers. The writing can be casual or conversational so that readers will enjoy the content. Big words are not equivalent to quality writing. Good content is easy to read and clear.The structure of paragraphs within the writing is important. Readers will likely skim first and by put off by lengthy paragraphs. The paragraphs should be brief, consisting of only a few sentences. There should be few (or no) long blocks of text. Concise, informative writing is necessary for web content.Lists can be very appealing to web readers. A list will point out the important information quickly and easily. Lists are an easy way to attract attention to a piece of writing by advertising the significant information it contains, drawing the reader into the writing.Again, concision is important with sentence length. Brief sentences—containing ten words or less—are the best choice, peppering longer sentences in the middle of paragraphs. Short sentences allow the reader to stay focused and continue reading the content.Utilize the structure of the website. Page layout and screen designs are important and should be taken advantage of. The use of links and other such Internet tools can improve the quality of the site (not to mention the popularity of the site). Remember the advantages the Internet presents and do not forget to use these tools.Finally, the first draft should not be the final draft. All writing grows throughout stages and the best writing is to be found after revisions. The best content has been looked over and revised several times, leaving behind only the highest quality. Content is the base to build a popular, successful website. Content is critical.

Scott Smithson