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Good Web Content Provides Value to The Reader

Everybody likes valuable website content. The most popular websites have content that people can use, share, or enjoy. Internet sites that offer valuable content get more visits and they receive more favorable coverage from the search engines and other websites.

Here is an example. The city Denver has a website that includes a calendar of events, a list of places to visit, a map of the parking garages, and a diagram of all free mass transit. Once people know about the value content on the Denver website, there is a good chance they will use it to plan their next visit to the Mile-High City.

Based on the huge number of sites that have poor content, you might conclude that creating high-value content is a challenge. The truth is that providing valuable content is more about your intent than your level of effort.

What is your intent? Marketers trying to push a product will sometimes get lost in the "features and benefits" and forget to provide value for their audience. Here is a list of ideas to help you improve the value of your website.

How to make a website more valuable

1. Provide actionable content -- Before the Internet, people used to collect information for later use. Books and libraries were popular. Today, people find and use information instantly. Examples of actionable content include schedules, directions for travelers, instructions and examples on how to do something, and rules for today's activity. Content you can share is also actionable. Examples include photos, jokes, chat comments, updates, news, or almost anything as long as it is easy to share.



What SEO is Best for my Website?

Millions of dollars have been wasted on good SEO applied at the wrong time. Some practices for search engine optimization work better than others depending on where you are in the SEO Life Cycle.

A small business often needs to build up content, improve PageRank, and increase traffic. Most big businesses are beyond this stage. They already have leverageable traffic. SEO strategies for a big business are often focused on monetizing or converting traffic and helping people to find the products they need.

The diagram [below] shows SEO activities that are appropriate for each position on the SEO Life Cycle. The phases correspond roughly to the traditional business life cycle model.

SEO for Small Business

Website managers in the Launch and Build phases will get more benefit from their SEO efforts if they ignore the algorithms and focus on providing great content. Below is a list of SEO best practices to guide your efforts if you are at the front end of the SEO Life Cycle.

  • Use a domain name that is clean of abuse
  • Put keywords in your domain name
  • Start your site quickly -- age matters
  • Provide people-pleasing content
  • Be valuable to your target audience
  • Write content that people want to share
  • Be worthy of discussions and backlinks
  • Add fresh content regularly
  • Look like the leaders in your market
  • Talk about yourself in Social Media
  • Be transparent and trustworthy
  • Seek a listing on authoritative directories
  • Give a street address to show you are real
  • Learn about your keywords

Best Practices for SEO Keywords

During the early phases, you can use website analytics to learn which keywords bring people to your site. If your best keywords are a poor match for your offering, alter your text to bring in a better audience. To see if your keywords are popular in web searches, use Google Adwords to find the most-searched words and phrases related to your offering. Here are some more keyword tips:

  • Use hyphens between keywords in a URL
  • Use keyword phrases in title (h1) tags
  • Use keywords in the first paragraph
  • Use keywords in anchors and links
  • Put keywords in image names and alt tags
  • Place images near text using similar keywords

SEO for Corporate Websites

If your website already has traffic, are you making the most out of it? The following strategies will drive more conversions and improve overall customer satisfaction.

  • Be 100% crawlable for Google
  • Optimize page elements for SEO
  • Maintain links and content sections
  • Do pay-per-click advertising - it helps
  • Enable/police Social Media about you
  • Use analytics to make decisions
  • Make a page specific to every offering
  • Avoid tactics that trick search engines
  • Use subfolders instead of subdomains
  • Help people find valuable answers
  • Make it easy to buy or subscribe
  • Ask bad sites to remove links to you
  • Keep your SSL certificate up to date
  • Use standard links; avoid on-click events
  • Test your pages in different browsers

SEO for Any Business

This list offers SEO best practices for any organization, no matter where you are in the SEO Life Cycle.

  • Measure your SEO ROI, not just visits
  • Write about hot topics in the news
  • Avoid creative headlines, say what you mean
  • Call things what everyone calls them
  • Make every page title unique and relevant
  • Use a design that looks like you care
  • Make it easy to read, scan, and navigate
  • Engage in conversation any way you can

Advanced SEO Practices

  • Maintain both XML and HTML sitemaps
  • Use free summaries to sell premium content
  • Seek HackerSafe or similar certifications
  • Have an official, legal privacy policy
  • Don't use frames, splash pages, or flash
  • Avoid bounce rates over 50%
  • Pages should load in less than 4 seconds
  • Set up a robots.txt file to exclude login pages
  • If you allow comments, use the no-follow tag
  • Use content delivery networks
  • Set up 404 pages that show your brand
  • Use 301 redirects when moving indexed pages
  • Show mobile content to googlebotmobile
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools

Local SEO Practices

  • Identify the page language in the meta tags
  • Use country-specific domains when possible
  • Pages should contain the native language
  • Provide an address on pages for localized content

Marketing Process Mapping for your next Marketing Makeover



Usability Heuristic Measures Makeover Success

One of the tests that we perform when we are evaluating websites is a Usability Heuristic. A heuristic is, roughly, “a common sense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem.”


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