Last week, I reported on how BrowseRank goes beyond PageRank to rank websites according to user behavior. I won’t repeat all that here, but the bottom line is that increasingly you will need to reduce bouncebacks from your website to the search engines. A fe days ago I offered the first in a series of strategies to employ. I am generally moving from most obvious to least obvious, so last week I offered tips on how web site design can keep more visitors on your site.
Today, we look at an almost as obvious strategy…
STRATEGY #2 – Write website content that keeps the reader reading.
Nothing in this post is revolutionary, but all of it is necessary.
- Make sure the content is relevant. Stay on theme.
- Check and double-check your grammar and spelling. Do as I say, not as I do! This is crucial, because if people see a spelling mistake, they will wonder, even subconsciously, if your product also has flaws. And they might leave to conduct a new search.
- Make sure the content is useful. We run a freelance writer’s service, and you would be amazed (or maybe not) at how many website owners come looking for optimized website content. Quality? Well, the writing has to be good (see tip #1 above), but it really doesn’t matter what we write, what message we offer, what information we include. More important is that it is cheap. I usually send those people over to GetAFreelancer.com. They are missing the point. Useless optimized content offers a very small benefit. Useful optimized content offers so much more.
- Answer all the questions. This is something that takes a little more thought. What questions do your visitors have? Does your content answer them? Questions could be about you, about your policies, pricing and shipping, and about what you offer. Those are obvious. But what about how to use your products? Where they can be found? Can they be used in cold Canada or hot Mexico? What if a person is older, younger, thinner, wider, a newbie, a pro…what about all the possible questions that every niche or subniche of your customers might have.
- Expanding on #4, can people easily find shipping info? For instance, do you ship to Canada? If I can’t find that out quickly, I won’t stick around. Is pricing easy to find. If I am already at the stage where I might be ready to buy, I look for pricing almost immediately. If I can’t find it, I’ll search somewhere else. In short, any content that your audience is likely to be searching for needs to be obvious and easy to find.
- If your website is an ecommerce site, do you have plenty of descriptions and suggestions of how to use each product?
- New and unique non-commercial content is also ideal, because that also engages a visitor. Just make sure to read tip #1 above before creating an entertaining video or interactive game or photo gallery or top-ten list. We recently redesigned the website of a steel-bending client, and tracked the click locations. An amazing number of clicks were on a “samples of our work” link that is just a souped-up, funky slide show we created for them. Yes, even an industrial website can be cool!
- Remember to use small paragraphs. Huge chunks of text make people’s eyes gloss over and they subconsciously reach for the “back” button.
From a site usefulness perspective, your content needs to first an foremost include the information visitors are searching for, so that they do not bounce right back to the search engine. Secondly, it needs to engage readers so that they stay on and make a purchase…and at least if they do bounce back to the search engine, it’s after a long visit on your site (signaling that the site was useful for them).Written by David Leonhardt
Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site