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Content is everything - it is the filling in the sandwich

A page’s content is what makes it worthy of a search result page ranking, what gives the page value. It is the reason that a user would arrive at the page in the first place and so is important to the search engines because it is the user’s needs’ that the search engines are trying to simulate. Because of this, creating good content is paramount. So what is good content? From an SEO perspective, all good content has two attributes. Good content must supply a demand and must be linkable.

Your Content Needs Work

Up-to-date, unique and quality content is what readers want.

Eight Seconds to Avoid 'The Bounce'

There are a lot of considerations when looking at a landing page and designing the contents. Chiefly the matter of combating readers bouncing away. You have about eight seconds in which you need to persuade them that your page is the best place to be. This choice being made by the reader is actually more complicated than the eight second time-frame might suggest. There are a number of reasons a reader has arrived at your site in the first place. Firstly they may be looking for something specific that your page has ranked for on a search engine. To find out how a user got to you, it is worth using the Google Webmasters Tools since the Google Search pages began using encrypted TLS pages you can no longer use analytics or Statcounter to monitor incoming keywords so the Google Webmasters Tools is your only option. Once you have seen what search terms are bringing readers to your site, you can enhance the content to provide the answers they are looking for. They might also be arriving at your page due to word of mouth or some other reference so make sure your website looks good to give a good first impression, with good images, muiti-media and other content.

Give them what they want, not what they think they want...

If you have targeted a keyword with your landing page then you will have a good idea what people are looking for when they arrive. This is important as we stated above but it can be overdone. You do not want someone to get the information straight away without taking it as it should be - in context. For this reason you should be mentioning the subject in the title of your copy, but not the answer. A good way to adjust to this is to ask the question they are asking as the title of your paragraph or image. This way they know instantly that you are discussing the subject with your page but are not just answering the question which might give the reader the wrong impression, and will certainly harm your bounce rate.
A much better approach than just having the answer is to explain the subject in advance and the circumstances under which the conclusion was reached. This way the reader can see how your situation relates to theirs and gives them the chance to consider their own situation, and learn whilst they do. This is also important for the sake of good copy, as the rules of engagement dictate.

Keep the content light and varied - make it reader-friendly

Make sure that the content itself is broken up into sections and punctuated with pictures, video or other types of media. The reason for this is simple - web content is much more about video than it was twenty years ago. Video allows for feelings to be addressed instantly, just from colours and sounds. This is something we become more and more used to when using the web. Our first impressions when arriving at a page need to be positive, just as when we are meeting someone for the first time. First impressions are important and the more variety and colour we can squeeze into the first paragraph the better. Once you have relaxed the reader into your site, you can relax all of the multimedia and start to address their thirst for knowledge on the subject that bought them to that page. Video is extremely important but it cannot satisfy immediately. Make sure that your video is properly titled so that viewers know what they are going to be seeing. If they get halfway through a video and decide that it is not for them, they will likely retreat from your website and not return!

Remember Who is Reading your Content...

Content is written for your prospective customers. This means that any information you provide should be designed to excite, please or inform them. If you intend to get them excited about your website then you will need to understand their interest in your site, and get excited about your website whilst writing the copy - there is nothing so infectious as excitement when it comes to writing copy, just read any interview with an author of crime fiction. If you intend to please them then you can host a giveaway of free items or downloads that they will enjoy or have quizzes or discussion on the topics that interest them. If your intention is to inform then you will need intelligent, well-written copy that explains around a subject at length and that is current, objective and unique in its sector.

Longer is Better as they can Stop Reading Anytime...

More information is better than less. As long as you follow the rules to keep content easily readable and well presented. Good content is not always easy to find so make sure that , if you are writing good copy, you fill that copy with all of the information you have at your disposal. Read around the subject and make sure that you have not forgotten to include anything that may be important. Plan your copy with a list of headings. I find that starting out with the headings on the page makes creating the page a much less time-consuming process as you do not forget where you were headed. It also means that if you decide to rearrange the order of your page you can do so by inserting a paragraph and keeping the basic structure of your content undamaged.

Check and Triple-Check Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Anyone reading your essay or text under any circumstances will be instantly put off by bad grammar, spelling or punctuation. This is especially important on a website as the document has effectively been 'published' onto the web and so should have been vetted by a professional copywriter. If you have a professional copywriter then that is great - or even better if you are one - but if not, spell-check all of your work before publishing and get a second reader to go through your work. Even the best copywriter needs to go through everything at least twice - usually three times - and a fresh pair of eyes makes this so much easier.