When we’re designing websites at Dynamics Online, the site’s content factors as much into our development strategy as does the site’s appearance. The increased popularity of Flash animation and the advent of CSS (cascading style sheets) have made it easier for designers to create attractive websites, but it’s important to also keep in mind how content is written and presented within these designs.

Remember your Keywords

Because your homepage is generally the page first indexed by search engines, it’s important to place as much content there as possible; searchable content. If there are keywords or phrases for which you want to rank highly in search engines, use those terms here. Likewise, for searchability purposes, it’s never a good idea to make your homepage an “intro” page with only a Flash animation or a simple graphic. These are not searchable, and-depending upon how they’re implementedcan prevent search engines from looking beyond the homepage into the rest of the site.

Consider the User

It’s not only important to consider the text featured on your homepage, but also the manner in which that text is presented. Although you want your content to be keyword rich, you don’t want to inundate your visitor with volumes of text. It’s fine to present the history or philosophy of your company somewhere on your website, for example, but forcing visitors to see this right away by placing it on your homepage could drive these visitors away from your site. Better to write about customers and solutions than about yourself or your company.

Engage the Short Attention Span

A good approach is to treat your website’s homepage as you would the cover page of a product brochure or flyer. Be succinct. Use bullet points to highlight the important items. Introduce the visitor to all that your site offers, but there’s no need to go into too much detail here. Instead, link from your keywords to the corresponding page within your site. Navigation throughout your site does not need to be restricted to the site’s menu bars, after all.

Example

Check out the website for Sitka Point Lodge & Fishing Charters, a travel destination offering Alaskan fishing vacations, to see an example of an effective use of content written for both the website and the search engines. Notice the emphasis on important keywords related to “Alaska” and “fishing,” as well as the short, informative paragraphs used throughout the site. (http://www.sitkapointcharters.com/)

As better technology and faster Internet connections allow for more graphically intense website designs, remember to stay focused on providing your visitors with a description of your product that’s not only concise, but that also will attract visitors through search engines and engage them in your offering. For assistance with this or to develop your internet
design/marketing strategy, contact Dynamics Online.