Over the past few years, SEO has become recognized as a critical component to a marketing campaign, instead of black magic ran by hackers. Building your website content around your keywords makes sense, and hopefully we’ve all moved beyond keyword oriented pages as we build out sites. Your keyword and brand should form the foundation of your site’s information architecture, but usability and a steady stream of good content need to form the core of your user experience.
Bing Blog has a great write-up for site management, “Usability, Content and Calendars: 3 Areas To Understand And Focus On”, with an overview of how to integrate these components. Content is straightforward, develop real, well written content, meant for human consumption. Usability is critical and often ignored, follow web conventions, make your site easy to learn and efficient for the user to get to where they want to go. Avoiding errors also means giving users meaningful responses to invalid entries. If the user leaves satisfied, you’ve done your job. Extra bonus, search engines like Bing and Google measure bounce rates and more advanced indicators to figure out if you’re making the user satisfied. If you optimize your site for robots and not people, the engines will knock you down for not satisfying them.
Calendaring is overlooked, and I’m guilty of that. When I launched this blog, I had an entry every week, and since then have abandoned and picked it up. A standard calendar of content creation is critical to keeping your content fresh and updated.
Including in your content, you can develop blog entries, but you also need to revisit your website content. Content should be updated regularly, not allowed to go out of date, and reflecting your current business. Out of date areas can aggravated, and if you alienate a Harvard Professor, a potential lawsuit, who attacked a Chinese Food Operation over a $4 discrepancy caused by an out of date menu.
Focus on your users, make your site usable, and have a regular content update calendar. With an up to date website filled with good, usable content, the traffic will flow. Your increased conversions will also help make your online advertising more effective. An organized website strategy that is integrated across channels will lead to success in all areas. There is no black magic anymore, but a little white magic never hurts.