Content, when used in the right way, does wonderful things to your visitor stats and your sales figures. Even if you have an online store or a sales page as your main site, adding content to your site provides more ways for visitors to find you, and puts them in more of a buying frame of mind. Most people know that search engines love content. But more than that, search engines like big sites.
It is easier for a bigger site to rank well than a small, mini-site, at least in the current climate. And of course, adding pages regularly gets the search engines to spider your site more frequently. But providing authoritative content also provides you with indirect benefits.
It gives people more opportunity to find something they might want to link to. Essentially, you're creating more 'link bait', which is just a way of saying your site is providing such useful information on a given subject that people want to link to it with a one-way, non-reciprocal link. This gives you traffic from their site, and more relevance within the search engines. Secondly, your content can create a sense within your visitor that they must have the products or services you recommend, sell - or that appear in the contextual advertising on your page.
Even if you're not using affiliate marketing and don't have your own product, relying instead on contextual advertising as income, content pre-sells your visitor. Sure, you can throw up a keyword stuffed article, and perhaps some people will click on the ads just to get off the page. But with google at least, their Smart Pricing will limit the income you could be making. If the visitor you deliver to their advertisers is less likely to buy because they are frustrated, or didn't find what they were looking for in your meaningless or poor quality word-maze, the amount you get per click will go down. The key, of course, is writing good content.
A starting point is researching useful information, information that answers questions your target audience may have. You can use books or magazines, or reputable online sources, to help build your articles with these detail that makes them credible. Having a good article is not enough, however. It must be presented in the right way. This takes into account the tone you use writing the article, the words and style chosen, and the way the article is presented on the web page. The reader should feel the benefits without getting the impression he is being sold something.
It should speak to him - or her - with references to things that are part of their lives. It is here that knowing who your target customer is really helps. Finally, the words should be arranged on the web page in an easy to read manner.
Making good use of white space, short paragraphs, and bullet points are a great way to break up text so that it doesn't appear overwhelming. Just be careful not to jar your reader with too many font colors or types, and caps for anything but the first letter in a word.
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