Content Sells

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When designing a Web site, people often overlook the vital role content plays in the success of any Web site. Aside from the importance of content in SEO, Web sites should never underestimate the power good content holds with visitors.

Web users go to a particular Web site for a reason: shopping, information or entertainment. But to actually achieve any of these goals, users need to be convinced that your Web site is worth their time. Your site has to "tell" them that it has what they need.

It is no surprise that Web users often are attracted to graphical elements. After all, the Web is just another form of television. A computer screen's appearance is similar to that of a television, serves as a pastime for many, and is often a source of entertainment.

However, unlike TV, the Web allows and even prompts people to take immediate action -- whether it's to type in a search term to instantly locate information, insert credit card information to instantly make a purchase or instantly communicate with others through messenger services.

So, a Web user's visit to a particular site usually implies that some "action" will take place, necessitating adequate and relevant information to "answer" all visitors' questions. A pretty picture alone won't do. Informative, engaging, eye-catching textual elements will keep visitors on a Web site longer than graphics will.

Even if a user is looking simply to purchase products and not for information, being able to read up on that product without having to look elsewhere for the information is an important element in getting that user to make a purchase. Because, who would really buy a product without having information on that product's benefits and risks? Practically no one.

And because the Web holds the ironic distinction of being a "hands-on" yet intangible medium, users also need to be convinced through informative content, usually in the "About Us" or "About Our Products" sections, that they are dealing with a reputable online business and that the products or services they are purchasing, without the benefit of ever having touched or tried them, will be worthwhile in the "real" world.

So, when designing and building a Web site, put as much thought or more into the content for your site as you do other design elements. It will pay off in the end.

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