Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Content is content...not!

So we'll stay on the theme of content again today. Why, because it's important to get this right if it is going to accomplish what you've set out to do...most SEO efforts will go unrewarded by increased visitor 'stickiness', the CMS you had developed for your site will be of little value because it is not being used effectively, so now the CRM is worthless because you aren't getting the conversions you started out seeking. The database aplication on which everything is based doesn't have to do anything because of low traffic...the whole effort and expense of your website design and development plan is a waste and your ROI is in the tank! Well developed content is critically important.

What constitutes good content? It starts with a methodology for development in my view. (This applies to all website development, make certain your 'online partner' has some sort of process to get you where you want to go.) This is not some big secret it just takes time and effort to get it done effectively. Any good website design and development firm should be able to clearly describe to you the process they will use in your content development and when they've described their method, you should feel good about what they plan to do, if not, look for another service provider. By the way, this is why you pay a premium to work with professionals, this is some of the work that goes on behind the scene that you are probably not aware of unless you specifically ask. Here are the steps I try to follow when developing content:

1- Understand client business model and objectives;
2- Clarify desired audience;
3- Understand audience need and relationship to client business ojectives;
4- Determine relevance of client provided keywords and phrases;
5- Investigate related terms;
6- Create content in an hourglass format, with keywords and phrases sprinkled throughout but heaviest near the top and bottom of a page;
7- Review with client to establish if the voice and feel is right and re-work if necessary.

That's it! Simple isn't it? Of course it helps to have some practice and to know where there are resources to investigate these things, but like anything, your time and effort will pay off. Your SEO will drive people to a website that has 'sticky' content that engages your visitor audience, so that any website design and development work, your CMS, CRM and web based applications, all accomplish the tasks they were designed to and your ROI is...beyond your expectations!

We're at the edge of the future!

Andy Xhignesse

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