Content

The average web surfer will generally wait only 5 to 10 seconds at a new web site before clicking away, if the content does not grab their attention. Content must hold the viewer's attention; give them something to do, and a reason to return. Content are more than just words and pictures. Keep your message simple. Keep your writing focused, linear, and progressive. Write in layman's terms so that all your visitors can understand your content. As you write, try to stay focused on a single, simple message. Too many times copywriters bring in all kinds of "related" information into their copy. When it is not directly relevant to the one topic and one purpose of your page, it can be distracting.

Once Internet users have been attracted to your site, they need motivation to stay there and view as many pages as possible. This is done through enticing them with interesting and relevant content. However, once you've hooked them in, the next thing is to direct them to a desired action. Text that purely talks about facts and benefits isn't enough; there also needs to be calls to actions. Quality content will keep users on your site and most importantly, keep them coming back for more. Research supports this by concluding that people are more likely to click on links within the copy. If you want them to make contact or visit an order form, tell them. If you want them to check out the FAQ section or read about some happy customers, include these in the copy with strategically placed links taking them there. Ask for feedback. You can learn a lot from your visitors. If you do so, it is better to include a feedback form or an opinion poll than just providing an email link.

Online readers don't read word for word what is written on the Net; they scan. Writing good copy means taking the time to write and rewrite. This means taking the time to break blocks of text with headings and titles that, at a glance, summarize what the section is about. Bold text is an excellent way to place emphasis on important words and phrases as long as it isn't overdone.

Nothing attracts someone to revisit a site more, than fresh content. Regularly updated content is also an excellent method to fulfill your site's predetermined purpose. Create an archive page, where your visitors can find old content. If a visitor knows that the site is frequently updated, they are more likely to return and or tell someone else to also visit your site, offering another opportunity to convey your message and interact. Updating content (not necessarily graphics) will help boost your visitor count. A regularly scheduled new article on the first of each month, for example, can persuade visitors to 'bookmark' your site. You may want to consider an opt-in sign-up box so visitors can receive an email when you update the site. This can be a powerful source for creating return web users.

Quality content will not only keep users on your site and most importantly, keep them coming back for more; it will also attract search engines. If you focus on building credibility with your users, the search engines will naturally follow (provided you haven't added any dead ends to your site, such as designing a Flash-only site). Concentrating on building trust with a search engine's user will go a long way to being successful on the search engines themselves. Writers can't influence search engines by concentrating on keyword density (the amount of keywords in relation to the amount of copy). To convince a search engine that your webpage is relevant to the keyword, concentrate on writing about the keyword with credible copy. This means a holistic approach to your writing that brings across your area of expertise, earning the respect of the online community.

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