Do you want more traffic at your website? In general, people will come to your website if you have things which they find useful or entertaining. Useful information, in particular, will do some good things for your site:
- It can increase the number of keywords for which you rank.
- It brings visitors back, increasing the chances of their becoming customers.
- It increases your value for your current customers or visitors.
- It increases your authority and shows your expertise.
How can you get some useful information into your website? Blogs are a great way to do this, but you can also get good mileage with static information pages. I’ve been writing for a European optometry chain. The site has information about the company, about their special deals, and about contacting your local office for an appointment. It also has pages on eye exams and eye health. These pages bring in people who’ve searched for retinoscopy and tonometry — and chances are good that some of those people will need an eye exam.
How can you add value to your site with information pages?
- Make your information pages useful. Often, gathering information in one place will make your page a valuable resource even when the information on it is available elsewhere. Saving your visitors the effort of searching all over the web can lead them to bookmark your site and visit regularly. In fact, having a helpful page at your site is a way of helping your customers — sometimes even before they become your customers. You remember the people who’ve been helpful to you in physical world businesses, and are more likely to return to them. The same is true for online businesses.
- Make your information clear and accurate. This sounds obvious, but I think we’ve all seen pages that were intended to provide information, but which rambled or were too filled with jargon to be useful. Be conscious of your audience: for example, we can assume that people who need definitions of different kinds of eye exams are not themselves optometrists or even especially knowledgeable about eye care. A page like this needs to be written in ordinary English. Your page also needs to be well organized, so that visitors can quickly find the information they need. And it should be well-written and proofread, too, so that your visitors aren’t distracted by errors or turned off by poor phrasing.
- Use your keywords. While there are examples of web pages which have benefited their companies even without being directly related to the business of that company, this isn’t the most efficient way to go. Assume that people who need your goods and services will also need information related to those goods and services. An optometrist may choose to have information pages about fashion and glasses rather than eye health, but pages that have no need to use terms like “eye exam,” “optometrist,” “glasses,” or “optician” are likely to be less useful to the business than pages on topics that are directly related. When you’re providing valuable information for your customers that may be only tangentially related to your business, make sure to include enough keywords that the page does its job. The example site here has a page explaining the rules for free eye exams available in Britain. Naturally, a lot of that page is about age limits and other legal matters. Still, the name of the company and a number of other essential keywords fit quit naturally into a clear explanation of this subject.
Answering common questions at your website has the advantage, too, that you can refer people to that page. A customer for the opticians may find it reassuring to be told, after a face to face discussion of eye health and computers, “This information is also on our website if you want to check it again in the future.”