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Making content web friendly

Websites are about information so it makes sense that you need to provide good content if you want your website to be successful.

Obviously, a site with fantastic content that is hard to find can only have limited success so there needs to be a balance between the content and the site itself being user friendly.

Without going into web design aspects of a site, here are some of my top tips for making your web content usable and attractive:

  1. keep each page focussed and a reasonable length (300 to 500 words is usually ideal). If there is additional information that could potentially help some site visitors, put it on a new page and link to it rather than putting everything into one page.
  2. use headings and sub-headings. There are a number of reasons for this – it makes the text visually more apepaling, is easier to skim read, helps focus and define sections of text and can help with search engines (especially if you use heading styles rather than manually adding font styles).
  3. use white space. For example, I am adding an empty line between each of these bullet points so it is easier to see the difference between them and the page doesn’t look so text heavy.
  4. don’t feel your website has to explain everything. I have had many clients who put too much information into their text ‘just in case’ a client wants to know those details. People get bored and/or overwhelmed by too much details, especially on websites, so keep it simple by giving the important details. You can always link to the fine details or encourage them to contact you for them.
  5. web content is not like a novel, or even a school essay, so get to the point fast. A beautiful introduction may be very nice but will frustrate someone who is trying to decide if you can provide the service/product they are after. If a long introduction and sales pitch means the real informatoin is so low on the page you have to scroll to read it, you can bet not many people will actually read it.
    So prioritise your information and put the important bits first.
  6. Keep your content fresh, up-to-date and error-free. Spend some of your website maintenance time adding new content and reviewing the current site (for instance, when did you last check for faulty links on your site?)
  7. Write for human beings, not search engines. That means don’t add too many keywords and concentrate on providing useful information rather than trying to impress a search engine.

3 Responses to Making content web friendly

  • Sjorcha says:

    Thank you, thank you and thank you some more. I have wrtten my website for my customers not for the search engines. Apparently I have committed website sin by the daily onslaught of web developers that contact us. So they tell us that the actual website is woeful for SEO, then why is it that we have been first page for a very long time for our product no matter the exponential rise of competitors. So we are doing something wrongfully right. The one thing is to convince these developers that content is very important, that the clutter they recommend is very confusing and real customers hate it with a passion.
    I do agree there’s some fixing up to do any way and your imformation has given me the direction
    I have forwarded your site to the last 15 web developers to digest.

    • tashword says:

      You are most welcome, Sjorcha, and well done on ranking so well for a long time. Having recently visited and purchased from your site, I found the answers I needed so you are doing something right as far as I am concerned!

      I agree that what customers like (and don’t like) must be considered when preparing a website, especially as search engines are getting better at picking “good SEO” sites from sites people want in search results. SEO needs to be part of an overall straegy – not the driving force.

      I hope the above points help you refine your site, and thank you for forwarding my site to those developers!

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