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Content: Don't Get Lost In The Shuffle
by Edie Nims

So, you have a new web site. Congratulations! Hopefully, if you're not already listed, the search engines will soon be picking up your site and you'll have the chance to be seen globally. Will your site give visitors what they want?

The World Wide Web is a fast paced place. The average web surfer types in a keyword, then scans a list of sites, picking and choosing the ones that appear to be relevant to their search. When they click through to a site, it doesn't always mean they will stay for any amount of time. In fact, recent Nielsen data shows that the average amount of time a person stays on a web page is just 54 seconds. So what's the secret of getting visitors to stay on and return to your website?

Content, Content…and More Content

It's no mystery that excellent, up-to-date content is the key to whether your website works for you. Whether you are just showing your company off to the world or trying to sell online, retaining the interest of your visitors will make or break your web efforts.

How often have you surfed the web and landed on a site that has information that is years old? Worse yet, have you shopped online and found a product that you "might" be interested in, but have not been able to get an accurate description of what that product really is?

Current information is what keeps a visitor returning to your site. Old news is everywhere on the web, but too many sites present items when the site is first built then never change them or add new. The web is a relatively new world and its users are seeking what is new.

Even on an e-commerce website, it's a good idea to include articles about your products, ideas for usage, statistics, or even testimonials. Unless the product you are selling is completely unique, there are doubtlessly hundreds of other sites selling the same product. What makes your site stand above the rest? Again, the key is content.

A Word About Search Engines

There is another compelling reason to continuously monitor and update the content on your website. When there are thousands of sites turned up in any web search, it is the top two or three pages that most web users look at. Ranking well in any given search engine increases the probability that your website will be found.

Search engine ranking is dependent upon many elements, but perhaps one of the most important is what I call "feeding the spider". By this I mean that the search engines are constantly crawling the web. In basic terms, what happens when the search engine visits your website is that it is looking for new content to add to its listing. It will visit your index page and subsequently every linked page on your site looking for things that have changed. The more new information you have to feed the spider, the better your chances are of being ranked higher, and therefore, of being visible. Visibility is one of the reasons you had for bringing your presence to the web, isn't it?

An additional benefit to having high quality content and lots of it is making your company known as an authority on your subject. Authoritative information builds confidence and will make those visitors remember your site, bookmark it, talk about it, and very possibly, turn them into loyal customers.

To Sum It All Up...

The World Wide Web is known as the information highway. Don't let your new website be run off the road by the big boys by letting its content stagnate. Build your site with content in mind, know who your visitors are and what they are looking for, feed the search engines, and keep your website up-to-date. These are the keys to your success.

Related Articles:

Top 5 Must-Haves on Every Web Page
There are 5 elements that every page of every Web site must have. They are standard, and expected by Web users. When one of them is missing, it screams to a viewer that it's an amateur site. If a few or all of them are missing, don't expect anyone to linger for very long.

Writing Your Body Content
It is said that search engines like to see a certain amount of words in the body of your html page. That is true, if you don't have a certain amount of words in the body, then that page will not be considered a viable page.

How To Write Powerful, Persuasive Web Pages
Many factors will lead to better conversion visitors to your page into buyers including: the products you sell, your competitive advantage, how well targeted your marketing is, your competition, and even how long your product has been on the market. No doubt though, your sales letter will be the primary factor in converting visitors to your page into buyers who put money in your pocket. So what's the secret to writing web copy that sells?

Edie Nims began working the World Wide Web in the days of its infancy. In 1997 she founded JCWW Design, the no nonsense approach to your website design, the no nonsense approach to your World Wide Web. http://www.jcwwdesign.com

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