Stream of consciousness SEO

July 23, 2009

Design plus …

Filed under: Populating your site — proseotalk @ 5:26 am

So if you create this fabulous looking site – or pay someone talented to do it for you … how do you populate it with all that content that reflects your passion for your business?

Keeping in mind a combination of the basics of good communication, great usability and searchability is a good place to start.

Don’t overwhelm visitors to your site with too much information.

Unless they give you permission – so keep it simple, concise and interesting to start with, with clear and logical calls to action – then have opportunities for them to dig down and read more detail if they choose to.

Of course your content will be impacted by your objectives, your product or service, and your potential audiences – so I am assuming you have those things clearly defined already.

For instance, if your site is going to be primarily educational/awareness raising, then the style of communication will be very different from an e-commerce site where your priority is the maximum number of conversions to sales.

Make it intuitive and logical.

Which means you will have to do some testing – on yourself of course as you scope it out, but ideally also on some people who might be your target audience. Work out how they will logically want to use the site, where they would most likely expect different kinds of information to be. Make sure your most important information on each page is “above the fold” – ie they can see what you want them to see without having to scroll down the page.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

As tempted as you might be to make your site “different” from everyone else’s, when it comes to the way you label important parts of your site in your navigation, remember that you only have your visitor’s attention for a few seconds at the very beginning and they want to be able to quickly find what is of interest to them.

Don’t get over-clever with your headings, because many visitors will not waste time trying to work out what you are talking about or pointing them to. So although it might seem boring, just remember that familiar means easy to use.

Remember your home page is not the only entry point.

Many people make the mistake of focusing all their creative and content mojo on their home page, assuming that this will always be the first point of entry for visitors. Don’t. If your site is easily searchable, with each page optimised for its content, then you will get visitors landing all over the site. Keep that in mind when you are writing. Make sure it is always easy for people to work out where they are and what your site is about.

If grammar and spelling are not your strongest suit, get it checked

This may seem obvious, but how often do you visit sites with grammar and spelling mistakes in the copy? Get it checked by more than one person, and if they happen to be Scrabble champions or otherwise anal about spelling, so much the better.

Retain your passion throughout

You know how it is when you are learning a new skill. It feels very mechanical and laborious, and sometimes it can be very difficult to hold onto your inspiration at the same time. Don’t worry – like anything new, soon most of the process will become automatic and it will stop getting in the way of you sharing what is really important with your online audience. Aim to include something that excites, inspires or motivates on every page of your site.

That’s enough for now.

Knowing when to stop writing is part of the art form … so I think that is enough information for one session. More in my next post. Meantime, feel free to comment or share examples of sites you think are well written, easy to use, or simply full of passion and inspiration.

Thanks for reading me.

Karen


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