When it comes to e-commerce, the time-tested cliché is, “Content is king.” In this case, the cliché is correct.
For the purpose of this article, content is defined as pages of text on your site. Content is often broken down into two categories, primary pages and information pages. Primary pages are the core of a site, to wit, the home, FAQ, site map, about us, contact us and service or product pages. Information pages are additional pages that support the primary pages, explain your service or product and answer questions. Primary pages convert visitors while information pages generate traffic.
Preparing content for your primary pages must be done carefully. You should have a list of keywords you want to highlight for each page. Using these keywords, content should be written clearly and concisely. Do not sacrifice the flow of your text in an effort to maximize the placement of keywords. While this common mistake can lead to quicker search engine rankings, it can damage your conversion rates and give visitors the wrong impression of your business. Traffic is useless if it can’t be converted to money. Focus on converting the visitor into a customer.
Information pages serve a number of functions. First, they explain and support your primary pages. Second, they build credibility by providing evidence of your extensive knowledge and expertise. Unlike primary pages, information pages can be written with more of an eye to keyword manipulation.
Information pages also form a critical platform for promoting your site. The pages should be written in such a way as to be easily converted into articles. The articles should be submitted to directories for publication with a byline including a link to your site. As the articles are published, the byline will dramatically increase the link count of your site. The higher the number of links to your site, the higher you move in the rankings.
Information Page Subjects
If information pages are so important, how do you come up with topics? There are three methods.
The first step is to review your product or service. Pages should be created providing explanations for the most simple to complex elements of whatever you are promoting. Make sure to cover basic items. For a real estate agent site, topics should include 1) how to buy a house, 2) how the process works from beginning to end; 3) how escrow works and so forth. Never assume your prospect understands some element of your product or service. Once these pages are created, the site should be significantly bigger and, thus, more attractive to search engines.
The next step is to review the results of the keyword research conducted when you decided to build a site. Looking down the list of keywords, focus on keywords with less than 1,000 searches a month. Every one of these keywords is a potential topic. Because there are few monthly searches, competition for rankings under each keyword phrase is probably low. As you site gains links, the various information pages will move up into top rankings. If you have 50 information pages each producing 100 clicks a month, they will produce 5,000 free clicks a month. Assume a conversion rate of 1/100 and you have 50 sales. As more pages are added, the figures will continue to rise.
Finally, forums are an excellent place to find topics. Forums are sites where people gather to discuss issues related to a particular subject. The discussions typically start when someone posts a question. Each question is a potential topic for a page on your site. Make sure to focus on posts with lots of replies, as the number of replies reflects the amount of interest in the topic. To find relevant forums, simply search for “forum + subject” on any search engine.
Google, Yahoo and MSN frequently change the algorithms each uses to produce rankings. Such changes can blow holes in search engine optimization strategies. Continually adding relevant content to your site is just about the only method to smoothly ride these fluctuations. After all, content is king.