An email arrived recently in my inbox asking what kind of content I’d recommend for websites that want to increase traffic.
I can quickly answer that with a firm, “It depends.” Or an even less useful but equally firm, “Good content.”
Since web content is what I do, I am aware of numerous variables, and I know that I do something different for each client, so I don’t like to give general guidelines. However, I am an agreeable person, so I’ll see if I can’t do something a little better than, “Give ’em the good stuff.”
William Morris said, “Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” They didn’t have websites in those days, or he’d have said “in your houses or websites” and also added, “Oh, and fun stuff is good on websites.”
- We go to websites to find useful information. We want to know where something is, or how to do something, or the answer to some other question that’s on our minds. If your website has useful information, people will come to find it. (Assuming that the search engines send them there, but we talk about that all the time. You have that covered.) Tools that people want to use will bring them to your site as well, often many times. I figure this post might be thought-provoking and get you to look at your website with new eyes, so it will be useful to you. Also, you might not have known about William Morris, the guy who painted the picture up there. Now you know.
- We go to websites to experience beauty. When we go somewhere to listen to music, to look at photographs of gorgeous scenery, or I suppose to look at pictures of scantily clad stunners (I don’t do that myself, just trying to cover all the bases), then we’re using the internet to experience beauty. Beautifully designed websites with beautiful language bring visitors back, too. Morris’s picture up there is quite beautiful, isn’t it? Feel free to gaze upon it as long as you like.
- We go to websites to play. To play games, to talk to our friends, to find out the rest of some interesting bit of gossip. I have people throwing snowballs at me over on Facebook this very minute, and we’re all grownups. If your website is fun, feels like a community, and has cool things to do, people will visit you. We’ve been having a nice conversation in the comments on yesterday’s post, Alissa and Dana and I. I know that they live in Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively, so I probably won’t be dropping by to see them any time soon. This website allows us to discuss our businesses.
I hope that you found some use and beauty here today, and perhaps also had some fun.