Are Articles Enough? A Few Words About Web Content

Dina Giolitto

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So it seems that content is still king, and that RSS article feed does a nice job of streaming in fresh, keyword-loaded content that gets your site indexed fast AND brings Adsense Revenue. That's great, but if you think that articles replace traditional web copy, you're dead wrong.

Look at any top corporation's website structure to see that the traditional website model still takes first prize. Even if you've unearthed the absolute best articles on the web from leading experts, an article feed is still no way to greet a customer who's just landed on your homepage.

Think about this. How did you feel the last time you clicked and landed and sat there blinking at an article that you weren't planning on reading? If the article managed to suck you in, were you tempted after perusing it, to explore other parts of that website? Or did you just go, “Ahh, good one" and continue on your merry ADD-like web-surfing way?

My guess is, you clicked away. So if you're looking to launch a new site or considering making improvements on your existing site, how about putting that RSS feed back where it belongs - on the article page.

Remember your visitor. Now that he's there, how can you keep him interested in sticking around? The guests who arrive on your homepage are no different than the guests who come to your home. You work hard to create a home that reflects who you are - your unique style, your hobbies, habits, culture and beliefs. When someone comes into YOUR house, you don't push someone else's stuff on them. Why would you do that on your website?

Give your website guests the opportunity to get to know your company and what you stand for. That means including lively, inspiring and sales-driven copy that explains your product and service offerings. That means a company philosophy and a personal bio that tells the story of who you are and builds a case for your trustworthiness and expertise. That means copy that addresses your customers’ emotional mindset and sucks them into wanting and even needing what you sell. And let's not forget the hallmarks of a real business - the privacy policy, user agreement, payment policies and “customer-satisfaction guarantee" as each pertains to your profession.

Nobody should ever be confused by what they see on your website. Nobody should ever be “lost" on your website. Give your website a “test run" - click from a few different outside links and see where you end up. You MUST have a logo-on every page. Your company name must be clearly labeled on every page, even the “deep content" pages. Your contact information should be easily accessible and at the very least include an email address or comment submission form. Give your customer every opportunity to reach out and get in touch with you.

Finally - your website should be strategically linked from page to page, keyword to relevant keyword, with the ultimate purchase end in sight. Sure, it's fun to create websites for the heck of it, but if you're interested in having a real business that reflects true professionalism, then YES you need legitimate, one-of-a-kind web content that tells the story of you and what you do. And above all, it should expertly lead the customer to buy!

Hire an experienced designer who knows about Search Engine Optimization. Hire a copywriter who can create sizzling content on all the pages that will remain stationary and even those that will require regular updating. Take care in creating a website that's a marketer's dream come true. Invest in the future of your business.

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

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