On Content

All web sites should start with content. It is the single most important element of your site. It's what the search engines feed on, and it's what will keep your visitors at your site (or not).

First, all sites should contain a contact page. Preferable with your brick and mortar address and phone. It should also provide a form for getting in touch with you via email. Additionally, your first or home page should introduce you, your service, or your product. Beyond that, what you have for content depends on the type of organization you are involved with.

If your site represents a service business--say contracting, or lawn care--you want to go into some detail about how you operate. Do you use signed contracts, for instance? Is your work seasonal? Do you have any kind of special equipment that sets you apart? That sort of thing.

If your business provides a service that is a repeating service, say piano tuning, do you set up schedules? Are there ancillary services that you provide? You may tune pianos, but do you also repair them? Move them?

If you are marketing a product that many people sell, why should anyone buy from you especially? Do you have a long association with the product? Do you provide any value-added service along with the product--delivery, maintenance, customization?

My rule of thumb for a business site is to make clear what happens when a visitor does decide to contact you. This information will make them comfortable with what to expect when they call you. Remember, when people land on your site they are probably strangers. You need to introduce yourself and your business in a friendly, straightforward, and "unhyped-up" manner.

Also, you need to spell everything right, and use standard grammar. You might see the point of this if you know that spammers are identifiable by their inability to spell and by their notoriously bad grammar.

Finally--DON'T STEAL CONTENT. That is plagiarism and it is wrong. Plus, it will get you killed in the search engines. They don't know you stole it, but they can tell that it is "duplicate content." And they penalize sites for that.

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