How do I create a website? Part 3 (Series)

Sep 16th, 2010

One of the most common questions we receive is, "How do I create a website?" This blog series is a response to that question. It is intended to be a simple and easy guide that will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Today we'll cover the third step in the process of creating a website:

Adding Content to Your Website

It may seem obvious, but the success of your website is determined first and foremost by the content you present. The quality of content, relevance to the topic of your website, and frequency of updates will all play a large part in the visibility of your site on the web.

Here's a basic list of do's and don'ts that will guide you through the process of creating your website's copy.

Do: Use Proper Spelling and Grammar

Search engines send what are known as spiders to crawl your website. The content of your website is then added to the search engine search results. This process is known as indexing.

Words that are misspelled will be indexed by the search engines. That means that visitors who search for the term with the proper spelling and grammer will NOT see your website! Google now displays search results with grammar and spelling correction. Google will display search results indexed with the proper spelling even if you search for the misspelled term. Bad spelling and grammer will cause your website to suffer tremendously in search rankings.

Do: Make Every Page Relevant

Search engines determine site rankings based on the relevance of content. Each one of the pages on your site should be relevant to the rest of your site. For example, a website for a car salesman will not be helped by a page discussing your favorite clothing line.

Do: Link to Websites on Similar Topics

NOT to be confused with the practice known as trading links. Link to websites that relate to your own website. For example, if your company has multiple divisions, link to each division from each other division. The content of each website should be relevant to each other website. Search engines will notice that your website(s) are a good source of information on a topic and will rank your website higher.

Do: Update Content Frequently

New content means that people will visit your site more frequently. It also means that your website will be crawled by search engines more often. Company blogs are an easy way to add new content. You should also update your main home page as often as is practical. New promotions, products, services, and etc. should all be mentioned on the home page with relevant links to the product pages.

Do: Create a Newsletter

A newsletter will generate regular traffic to your website. Some guidelines for a newsletter: make sure that you use a double opt-in registration method, and provide an easy opt-out option in each newsletter. Fill your newsletter with content that is informative about your website's area of content. Do not use a newsletter as a means to promote your products.

For example, let's say your company sells gardening supplies in California. The best way to gain traffic would be to fill your newsletter with gardening tips, personal gardening stories, best methods for different seeds, and etc. Provide plenty of links to your website, but keep advertising to a minimum.

Don't: Create a Large List of Keywords in the Content Area

Adding a list of keywords to your content does not help your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking: it hurts it. Search engines will see this list as filler and will actually rank your website lower for the keywords you have listed.

Don't Hide Text or Keywords

Hidden text and keywords do not help your SEO ranking. Hidden text is considered subversive by all of the major search engines. Search engines will completely remove your ranking for the keywords that you have hidden on a page. This will cause your website to drop off the search results completely.

Don't Trade Links, Buy Links, etc.

Long-term search rankings are based on quality of content and relevance of linked information. Links from poor quality content does not help your website's visibility; it hurts your website's ranking!

Paying for links is a great way to ensure that your website will rank poorly in the long term.

Don't Use Cheap Tricks

In general, cheap tricks that you read about will not help your SEO ranking in the long term. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engine giants penalize websites that use tricks to increase visibility. By resorting to a quick and easy method you are ensuring that your website's visibiltiy will not be sustainable.