Content, as we all know, is king. That’s not just something content creators will say. Marketers know how important it is to have great content. Web designers understand that you can’t have a website without good content. Most importantly, Google thinks that content is king, too.
As a web designer, you have plenty of choices when it comes to sourcing quality content. If you want to do it on your own, you need to understand that content creation requires skill and experience. There are not a lot of ways you can do it right, but there are plenty of ways you can do it wrong. Here are a couple of potholes you will have to avoid when creating web content.
Not Having a Purpose
Marketers like to use content marketing because there’s plenty of things you can do with content. Do you need to improve conversion rates? There’s a type of content for that. Do you need to grow social media following? You can create content that easily goes viral. Almost everything you want to do with a website, social media, or any other channel, you can achieve with content.
But you have to know what you want to achieve first. You can’t just say “I’ll write an article,” or “I’ll just come up with something for the front page.” That’s not how content creation works. You can use an article to get backlinks, to answer a question you see come up frequently, or to increase sales. And you’ll write a different kind of article for each of these purposes. So, before you decide to create a piece of content, you need to know what the purpose of the article is.
Too Much Optimization
There’s nothing wrong with using search engine optimization to achieve better search engine rankings. SEO optimized websites get a better place in search results than websites that weren’t optimized. And you need to think about optimization when you’re writing content, too. But it’s not the only thing you need to think about.
There is such a thing as over-optimization of content. This can be damaging, especially if you don’t understand the current optimization techniques. Google algorithms change often. We’re in store for some important changes in 2018. Optimization techniques change with the algorithms and being stuck in the past and over-optimizing content will ruin its chances of performing well in search engine results. Plus, you should always keep in mind that people are supposed to read your content, not web crawlers. Write for the people.
Bad Formatting Choices
Speaking of writing for the people, you need to understand that people don’t like to go through badly formatted content. No one likes to read through a wall of text. It’s generally not advisable to write articles that have no subheadings. And the list goes on.
Whatever type of content you want to create, you will have to package it in a way that makes it appealing to the readers. Every type of content has its own set of rules. For text content, using legible fonts with a good contrast, short paragraphs, and throwing in visuals that help the readers rest their eyes is a good start.
Destroying the Value of Content
Content needs to be helpful. It needs to answer people’s questions, fulfill their needs, or provide them with relevant information. If you asked a content writer what the most important characteristic of high-performing content is today, they would say that it’s the value the content brings to the reader.
There are more than a few ways you can do to undermine the value of your content. Using too much filler content is one of them. Using outdated information is another one. But creating content about things that are beyond your area of expertise without doing some research is probably the worst one. People can tell whether you know what you’re talking about. The very least you can do is make sure that the information you use is good, and that you’ve made a genuine effort at understanding what you’re writing about.
Content is more than something that fills the space on a website, or something that gets you search engine rankings. Content is how websites and their owners communicate with their audiences. The messages content conveys, as well as the way content is presented, will affect the performance of the content, the website, and ultimately the business or the entity that owns the website. But if you can create high-quality content, there are very few things you can’t achieve online.