Two Essential Ingredients for a Successful Website
The overall success of a website can be measured by two basic factors: Effective branding and search-ability. To do these two things well requires a balanced mixture of art and science. One needs to have a better-than-rudimentary understanding of branding and what it takes to achieve great search engine optimization (SEO).
The Art. Effective Branding.
Branding 101 versus “Content is King.” For many years “experts” have declared that content is the most important factor of a website. Content drives SEO, but it does not persuade people at first glance. How many times have you landed on a site only to be turned-off by chaos and clutter, pop-up ads, slow load times, unreadable text, and confusing messages? In a matter of seconds a new website visitor will make a snap judgment about you, your product, or service. They will determine if they like and trust you. They will decide if they want what you’re selling. That is the brutal truth, and that is why branding ought to be your first consideration. Only after a brand is effectively conveyed via key messaging — text and images — should one delve into the details of content.
The Science. Search-ability.
Beyond initial messaging, the purpose of content is to attract real people and robots.
Content builds loyalty. It establishes credibility. Assume that people have come to your site to “learn more”. Give them more. Sell them even more. But by all means make certain your content is accessible via a sensible, organized navigation scheme.
Content is candy to search engines. The more relevant the text is to your product and audience the better your website will rank, and the easier it will be for both people and search bots to find you.
Art meets Science — A winning combination. Unlike books, websites are malleable. Take advantage of the fluidity of the platform to change your content at will. Deliver it compellingly. Deliver it with motion. Search engines sit up and take notice when you make changes or add new content. Spread the word about what you have to offer the world via RSS, social media, videos, maps and workshops. Advertise. Interact. Like a spider spins her web, create many paths that all link back to your site. Ensure that you can be found. Make it easy for your audience to communicate with you.
© 2012 Kristy Ewing – Ewing Creative Inc.