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How to Plan Your Website’s Content (Part 1)

Part 1 of a 3-part series

“Substance is enduring, form is ephemeral. “- Dee Hock

There are three keys to the success of any destination: getting people to go there, getting them to want to come back and getting them to recommend it to others. What is said about hotels, shopping malls and theme parks easily applies to your own website as well. That is why it is important to not only have a website that is visually attractive, but to have a website that is interesting.

More than pretty colours and an elegant layout, what gets people coming back is content, content, content. Let’s face it; search engines don’t rank websites according to how pretty they are.  Search engines rank you according to the quality and relevance of your website’s content.

That is why, you shouldn’t write content to fit your website’s architecture. You should plan your architecture around your content. Taking the time to plan what goes into your website pays off big time. Not only does it reward your visitors with an engaging experience, it also helps contribute to your search engine rankings.

That is because search engines like Google rate pages based on the number and importance of links that are pointed to them. Google goes through the contents of every site, breaks down these data into an index organized by word.  Each time a user types a query, the index is combed for relevant pages.

Sadly, this has led to a lot of exploitation on the part of companies who know the value of being a top search.  The last decade has seen the rise of numerous “content farms”  that employs large numbers of often freelance writers to generate large amounts of textual content designed to exploit the  algorithms of search engines, then use their rankings to generate advertising revenue.  Search engines see them  as a problem, because  these tend to show less relevant  articles and lower quality results of the search.

To counter this, Google very recently stated that they were making serious changes to how they searched, ensuring that content farms could not exploit results, and more importantly, so that its users could be assured of quality results.

If you are a small business owner, this can be a challenge.  However, if you really want to move up in search rankings, then  you really have to work at it, and the key to this is in developing a well-designed website that is focused on high-quality content.

Part 2 – Mapping-Out Your Website’s Content

Part 3 – Evaluating Your Website’s Content

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