We have published several posts on how to target your market, how to use Social media to advertise and how to optimize your search engine results.
All those things are important but they wouldn’t mean much without something else, which is your content.
While the exact way in which Google rankings work still remains a mystery, there is one thing that most marketing bureaus agree on: quality content is an important part of the game.
Take a look at the big companies and their websites and you will see that very often they have many pages filled with well written articles, and are not overloaded with flashy intro’s nor screaming banners. There are exceptions (most of them being web designers trying to show off), but most of the successful businesses rely on quality content rather than on gadgets.
What does this mean? It means that if you want to have a successful site, you need well written articles and pages, in which you should use the main keywords relevant for of your business. You also should take care of updating your content on a regular basis, as in a keyword search it is the most recently updated sites that will be shown on top of the list.
Quality pages, quality posts
What exactly defines quality content? This depends on the kind of a business of course, but there are a few points everybody should follow:
- Add enough text. The recommended minimum words per article/post is 300 (according to YOAST).
- Use keywords relevant for your business in the text, also try to find one 1 unique keyword for every page, product or post.
- Keep things readable. Do not type one huge block of text, use paragraphs instead. Use proper punctuation (not to mention the spelling). Use bullets and lists wherever possible. Start new sentences on new lines.
- Review your pages and posts regularly. Adjust whatever needs to be adjusted. Remove old posts that are not relevant anymore.
Some words on sliders
Even though sliders and carousels of changing pictures may look interesting and pretty, there are also some arguments against these:
- They slow down your site and the loading time of your pages increases significantly.
- They are not shareable, and hardly ever contain any tags or keywords that the search engines could find and use.
- Since a lot of internet ads have been using sliders and other moving content, people tend to ignore them.
- Some ad blocking software will block your sliders because it can’t tell the difference between your graphical content and ads.
I’m not implying that you should immediately remove all sliders from your site. It is obvious that quality photos can say more then a thousand words when used in the right context, but you should be careful and not use a lot of fancy effects. The results of overdoing on dynamic graphical elements might be quite opposite to your expectations.
Quality social sharing
Posting 20 posts in a row to any platform and clogging up timelines is a sure way to be removed and blocked by active users. When I see a twitter user posting and re-tweeting the same or similar posts multiple times in a short time, I am removing their profile from my circles.
When you do post and share, remember to add a good quality photo or a short video, text only is not capturing as much attention.
Take some time to check the optimal photo size for the platform you are using so that your photo will not be cropped. This is different for FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest or other platforms so consider preparing a custom sized image template for each platform, this will also take care of the style consistency.
Photo and image usage
Sometimes photos say more than a thousand words and can help in identifying your article’s topic instantly.
This is especially important when you are selling your products online, the product photos you use are the detail that can make or break your business.
Next to taking care of the visual side of your images, you also should take care of the following:
- Always save your photos in the correct format and quality. Professional photos are often a few MB big and will be decreasing the loading speed of your site.
There are many internet photo optimizers available for free and one off these , Picasa, has been explained in our BLOGPOST HERE.
- Give your images recognizable names, and tag them properly, the ALT tags are the content that will be picked up when sharing photos to the internet.
With wordpress you can easily edit the titles and also add the alt tags, and you only need to do this once. When you reuse the image in another post or place the title and tags will already be there.
To sell online you definitely need attractive and high quality images to show off your work.
Being an artist you do want to do this in your unique style, fitting the image of your brand. You also should not forget to tell the story behind your brand, your inspiration, how you came about to doing what you do.
I noticed that such personal stories tend to get far more attention, likes, comments and shares than posts just presenting new products.
Backstage photos can spice up your stories, and when used correctly they can tell people in a single glance what your story is about, and what they can expect from you.
Flashy banners, sliders and moving content will only distract your customers, and they are not nearly as effective as you might think.
Besides, they will slow down your pages significantly.
Quality content will ensure a nice read, and that will capture your customers. Items with a story behind them are much more valuable to the public, so it is better to publish one high quality story in a week then posting 10 insignificant updates per day.
Quality assurance should not be a marketing term or department, it should be the attitude surrounding your business, and making it grow.