Content is the key!
If websites had official rules for success, the first would be: On the internet your content is the key to your every wish! There is simply nothing else that will improve your search engine rankings more than having unique, high quality content on your website.
Search engines are designed to display the best results to those searching for a given term. If someone searches for mobile phones (Just an example) the search engine scans its internal index to find what it thinks is the best site in relation to your search using a huge number of variables.
There are several factors to this such as the popularity of the website, how many other websites link to you and most of all if the content on your website closely matches what is being searching for.
When you think of what general criteria you want your website to be found on during searching and you think of (Another example) 'computer games' If your website does not contain anything more than a few words about computer games, you can forget a high search engine ranking. Simply mentioning it a couple of times will not significantly raise your rank.
The way the search engines work is to visit your page and then they regard your website as text only. Images aren't taken into account. If you imagine what's left once the graphics dissapear then it's only the text that you have written.
An example of good website content
As an example, imagine you want to appear high in searches for the keywords 'digital photography camera shop', we would need to ensure our page has mentions these words and variants of these words naturally throughout the text and titles on the page.
Be careful however not to just fill your pages with the same keyword. If large numbers of similar keywords are found on your page then this will have a negative effect and your page rank within the search engines may fall. They will assume you are trying to cheat them.
A poor example would be having a page that reads...
"We sell digital cameras and other items of photography equipment at Magic Cameras. Come in store and browse our range. We have been established since 1995 and cater for all your needs whether you are an amatuer or professional. We are open every day and passionate about helping you with your hobby."
It could be better written as...
"At Magic Cameras Photography Shop, we stock a wide range of digital cameras and photography accessories. Our trained photography experts will help you choose your perfect camera whether you are looking for a compact camera or digital SLR camera.For your increasing photography needs, we also have an ever expanding range of accessories such as tripods, bags, lighting equipment and lenses in our shop to fit all manufacturers including Nikon and Canon. So whether you are new to digital photography or have enjoyed photography for many years, Magic Cameras will have something for all the happy snappers!"
Looking at the example above, there are 100 words and a good range of not just your keywords, but associated keywords as well meaning more varied keywords in this text.
It's also much better for customers as they have more information about the services provided. This is only an example and you could easily write far more than the content shown for a single page.
What should I write?
Although it can be hard to elaborate about some sections or products, it really is worth the effort as you will see the return through your search engine rankings and conversion rates.
Methods used for cheating the search engines will be found out eventually. Keyword stuffing, creating other keyword filled websites linking to your own website, spamming directories.. they are all cheating and once caught you can find yourself being penalised or disappearing from the search engines which is suicide on the internet.
Search Google for one of your products, services or one of the search terms that you want to appear on and see what comes up. View the first result and look at their descriptions and content. You can pretty much guarantee that they will be well worded descriptions with plenty of content. Your website's content needs to be better than these and also backed up with a significant amount of other SEO work if you are to ever overtake them in the rankings.
Always remember when writing content, Content is the key!
This blog is written by Paul Nimmo, a freelance website designer and photographer based in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Click to find out more about my design & photography services.