What is Website Content?
It may be self-explanatory for some, but let’s start by defining what web content is. It is both the reason and the vehicle of how people arrive to your web pages. It doesn’t matter how well designed your pages are and how expert your color or layout choices are if there is no reason for someone to go to the site in the first point. Otherwise, they will just leave immediately and the bounce rate will instantly inform you if that is the case.
One of the largest platforms of content ever created was Wikipedia. They describe content as including, “the textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include—among other things—text, images, sounds, videos, and animations.” So. This basically means that it is information. We will go into further detail about each of these types of content, but first let’s discuss where the content goes.
Best Ways to Share Your Web Content
Web Page: The entire makeup of your website is called the domain. This includes every individual page that has been prepared under the same collection of pages. The Mozilla Developer Network describes a web page as, “a document which can be displayed in a web browser such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge, or Apple’s Safari.” Pretty basic stuff, right?
In a recent Forbes Article, Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle says, “it’s clear that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you.” We can’t agree more. Each of these pages that make up your website must be of high quality content in order to show potential customers that you are serious about your product or service.
Blog Posts: These are still web pages, but the idea is that the information that is presented here is not just information. What separates blogs are the use of personas to deliver messages. Many readers begin to follow the personas they enjoy reading information from. You can easily find a piece of hot news get released on a Monday, and before the end of Friday, there may be thousands of different perspectives of that news.
Corey Wainwright, on Hubspot, says, “about 90% of the leads we generate every month come from blog posts that were published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.” So, as you can see, there is a compounding effect that occurs over time and makes blogging an even more valuable source of content for you. Also, consider that you can take unrelated topics and find a way to make it your own, hence giving your website a directed focus one blog at a time without updating the core structure.
Search Engines: If you don’t know what Google does yet, there may be some other articles you should read first. For the rest of us, it is the search engines that ultimately allow your content to be shared with others. One thing you may not know is that not all pages give access to the search engines. So, make sure your site is indexable if you want your information to be found.
You can make sure that your website can be indexed by going to Google’s Search Console. At the same place you can actually request a crawl by Google to start ranking your site if it was not being found previously. The search engine ranking is the end result of a lot of SEO effort.
Discussion Boards: These are less-common ways that people push out their content. But, if properly done, you can begin to utilize discussion boards to add your opinions to a larger discussion. Generally, you need to create a username and password for in order to get an account set up. Once you have done so, you have the ability add your perspective (or ask questions for others to answer).
These boards are also now as online forums and message boards. Mikal Belicove on Entrepreneur.com says, “One in five Americans use forums to discuss and recommend products, and 64 percent of online women post product recommendations on message boards.” As you can see, it is a marketers dream to infiltrate such a useful consumer tool. But, it is important to make sure you do not oversell your brand or you may find yourself worse off than where you started.
Ecommerce Sites: This is the place to post your content if it consists of things for sale. Amazon is the most common US platform, but this area is growing quickly. It basically combines a search engine with a very strong website so that you can get the content, or product, in front of people without having to get them directly to your website.
With more 300 million active users by the end of 2015, according to Statista.com research, Amazon is making it clear that ecommerce is staying around for a while. Don’t forget about their sales of more than $100 billion. If you own a product, you should probably be scouting a solid plan on how to enter this market if you’re not already there.
Social Media: With the hundreds of platforms available, this is an area that continues to grow as well. You can easily share updates with your friends and followers – for free. There are sophisticated ways to advertise on them as well, but it has been utilized primarily as a free megaphone for content to reach more people who would otherwise never see your content.
Chloe Mason Gray, on Kissmetrics.com, says that there are 5 things to consider about how social media content effects your website presence. They are:
- Social Media links may or may not boost your search rank
- Social Media profiles rank in search engines
- Social Media channels are search engines, too
- Social Media signals may not effect search rank now, but it may in the future
- Social Media rankings are done by Bing to influence search results
Utilizing Multiple Types of Content
The writing on a page is the text. These are broken into smaller categories as well. Headlines are the introductory lines that alert the reader as to what the primary topic of the body of text will be. It is also known as a title. Within the body text it is important to separate the words into clear sentences and short paragraphs. The WordCounter blog says, “there are usually 100 to 200 words in a paragraph.” Those paragraphs should include bullet points and appropriate spacing in order to keep separate ideas from running together. Ultimately, you want to see around 1,000 words for a solid well-researched web page.
Images are an even better way to segment your content. Especially because you can reduce wordy content down into a single image in many cases. But, as Jarrod Wright explains, “images that are included in a web page for the sole purpose of filling white space doesn’t help anyone.” It is important that those images actually serve a purpose and add to the value of the page. The same goes for sound, video, animations, and any other form of multimedia.
You now have a good grasp on what website content is, the different types of content, and where and when to use it. This will help to build sites that are ready to handle visitors and will not only drive them to your site, but should also help you to keep them there.