The benefits of content are three-fold; first off, SEO, secondly, branding + tone, and thirdly, interaction. SEO So SEO, how does that affect content? I’m glad you (me) asked… The criteria for optimising a website are – in a word – complicated. It all might seem easy enough to learn, but strong consistent performance takes time, know-how and hard work. One thing anyone who ever learnt anything about anything in the world of SEO will tell you: CONTENT IS KING. But what does that actually mean? Well, SEO is all about rising in the search engine results pages (SERP’s). To do this you need to align your website with high searches and relevant searches… and matchable searches. For this to happen, you need to work on your content. Your content will consist mainly of images and text. This ratio needs to dip in favour of text because search engines LOVE text. The bots are great multi-tasking readers, quite adept at scanning, sorting and scoring (points fashion). Your task is to provide them with chucks of keyword-rich content which is relevant to your audience and industry/topic. The more you do this, the better. One word of warning however – there are plenty of sites on the web optimised for keywords that are completely irrelevant (trending topics for example), so think ethically – you don’t want to tease your audience, you want to tempt them! Branding + Tone Formal versus informal, cheeky versus professional, intelligent versus plain. I could go on forever, but you get the point. The way you write your content will influence your audience. Similarily, the style and design of your site will affect how visitors respond and navigate (but thats another post). Your task here is to consider your audience and your business. How do you want them to see you and respond? What are your aims online? How will your tone influence their actions? When branding, think up four-five words that describe your business and each time you design or write, keep these in mind. For example: modern, fresh, friendly, edgy and creative. Again, tempt them with your imagination and style. Stay consistent and focused. Don’t cross the line or adopt a stern tone. Without knowing or meeting you, a visitor could misunderstand your meaning and click away. Remember – people build relationships with people, which is more difficult without a face-to-face meet, however many brands (Lastminute being one) are masters at communicating personality and brand online. Interaction The king of all content has an element of interaction. What you want is for your audience to communicate directly with you, your site and third parties. Think along the lines of blogs, social wikis, widgets (Like this), share functionality, product feedback etc. In an ever-increasingly social web, we need to be, well… sociable. We need to consider how our visitors will use our website and make it nice and easy. Here’s a blog post: comment, share, like. Here’s a product: enquire, buy, leave feedback, you might like this. It sounds so obvious, and it’s crucial! A strong social element that considers visitor behaviour wins every time. Tempting keywords, tempting content – now tempt them to stay, navigate and interact! Here’s a list of ten content considerations and tips: Research your keywords and have a list to hand when planning/editing content Map out your website in terms of structure and address navigation at this point Have a style (remember – descriptive words!) that showcases your brand When planning content, keep it interesting – engage your audience Make sure your content is relevant – this will also curb bounces Ensure content is easy to read and understand Provide clear call to actions for your visitors what what to do next Keep updating and adding to your content Keep it fresh and current Involve your visitors in your content Can you think of anymore? How do you use SEO, branding + tone and interaction to tempt your audience?