When it comes to content development, before you can get into any specifics you have to define content. It has almost become cliche, Content is King. The curious thing about cliches is that they are generally known to be true. The question is, what exactly is content?
Content can be any number of things. Your body text is, of course, content. Pictures, graphics, logos, vidoes, podcasts, and other media are all considered content. Essentially, anything you put on your website, including advertising, is content. You should have a well thought out plan for your content before you start building web pages.
One of the first things you’ll need to consider before you start developing your website is, what specific types of content you will need. Most text-only websites don’t do well. That’s because users still like attractive websites and it is difficult to achieve a level of beauty without graphics. But graphics don’t sell. Words do. So how you incorporates these two elements in your content development plan makes a huge difference.
All content development boils down to two aspects of web design: Text and graphics. Videos, pictures, logos, etc. all fall into the graphics category. If it isn’t graphics guess where it falls. Even podcasts and audio files fall into one of these categories (for SEO reasons).
Web design is really SEO. Content is SEO. Repeat that yourself 10 times. Get it into your head and don’t forget it.
Why do I say that? Because you can’t build a successful website without SEO, which is really just building your website to conform to the tastes and prejudices of the search engines. You want your content to be search engine friendly. Otherwise, you can kiss traffic goodbye. Your content must be SEOd and SEO boils down to, yes, just two things: Content and Links. And you know that links are in the Content category, don’t you?
If you find all of this confusing, don’t let it. All I’m saying is content consists of works, links and graphics. Everything on your page must be considered valuable by your human visitors and by the search engines. It’s all in a matter of how you develop your content for maximum value to everyone concerned – including yourself.
Every content element on your page must have a corresponding SEO benefit. Otherwise, you’re only hurting yourself. Let’s take an example: Podcasts. Difficult to SEO, but not impossible. Do you really need one? You might think so but think twice. If you still think a podcast will benefit you then, by all means, create one but before you do consider how you will incorporate it with the rest of your page elements. Which page will it go on? Where on the page will it exist? What will its purpose be? And, most important of all, how will you SEO it?
Audio files cannot be read by search engines so you have to figure out how to tell the search engines it is there. You do that in a number of ways: The file’s title, how you describe it with the words and text on your page, the use of links inbound to the page on which it exists, etc.
Content development isn’t easy. It’s a process. It’s a process that requires asking yourself a lot of tough questions. The most important question for every element on your page is this: So what? If you don’t have an answer, you should probably throw your idea in the trash. Don’t use something just because it’s cool.