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Technology – May 25, 2012

Web Content to Keep People Coming Back

Photo: courtesy tagxedo.com

You only have seconds to capture someone’s attention; if they don’t find what they want quickly, they’ll move on. Approach web content for your business strategically to get people to your site, hold them there and keep them coming back for more.

Encourage dialogue: Ask yourself, “Is my website providing long-term value, is it fulfilling a need and is there more I can do to satisfy my customers?” Keep lines of communication open, so people feel comfortable sharing their experience and expectations; then, grow your content around the dialogue.

Post often: Once a week, more often if possible, update your blog, feature a new service or product, or update photos and illustrations. If your content appears the same this week as it did two months ago, people will look elsewhere for something new.
Stay on topic: Don’t add unrelated fluff. Make a short list of the top reasons people need your site, and create relevant content.

Engage people: When possible, use rich media such as video, pictures, audio or interactivity to convey your message.

Organize logically: Pages should be organized into categories with headings, bullets and links to make finding things easy and efficient. Keywords in headings should portray content accurately.
Be direct: People lose hours foraging through piles of information on the Web; don’t add to their frustration with long passages and unnecessary details. Get to the point, provide supportive facts, then stop.

Embrace consistency: Develop a style guide. Use the same terminology throughout your site, maintain an active-tense voice (e.g., “we determined,” not “it was determined”), and decide on usage for abbreviations, formatting dates, capitalization, etc.

Link, link, link: Any content referring to something that can be found on another page should be linked, such as resources, facts and figures or product details. Links are your call to action; give people opportunities to “learn more,” “buy now” or “sign up for our newsletter.”

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