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Develop Quality Content to Rule the Web

Fresh content The age old question keeps coming up, how do you retain web site visitors, how do you make visitors return to your web site? The answer should come as no surprise, fresh content. Content is truly king, the fresher the content the better the site. What many webmasters fail to realize is that there is an endless supply of content on the web that is freely available to webmasters.

Not only can public domain material be freely used and syndicated on web sites, but a number of content publishers provide content in exchange for a link back to their web sites. A variety of contents related to the web site theme that is integrated into the web site will attract the interest of both search engines and web surfers. The key to taking advantage of free content is integrating or including content that is directly related to the theme of the web site.

1. Articles Article repositories exist that categorizes content articles. Searching the repositories using keywords that are related to a web sites theme will result in a wide variety of articles available for publication that are related to the site's existing web content. Articles in the repositories are available for syndication, which means webmasters can freely include the articles on their web sites as long as they include the author resource box with valid links.

Use the following to locate topic specific articles: Free Website Content - http://www.small-business-software.net/free-web site-content.htm GoArticles - http://www.goarticles.com

2. RSS Feeds The contents of many RSS feeds can be syndicated. The added benefit of syndicating feeds is that they are frequently updated which will result in a steady stream of fresh changing content. In order to reap the benefits of syndicating RSS feeds, webmasters should use either an ASP script or PHP script to display the feeds contents as HTML.

Webmasters can navigate categories of RSS feed directories to locate related topic feeds or search for feeds using keywords.

Search the following directories to locate related RSS feeds: RSS Network - http://www.rss-network.com RSS Locator - http://www.rss-locator.com

Free script for displaying RSS feeds as HTML: rss2html.php - http://www.feedforall.com/free-php-script.htm

3. Shareware Listings Consider populating a web site or section of a web site with related niche software applications. Many software companies offer applications as free downloads. The downloads allow potential customers the opportunity to try an application prior to making a purchase decision. Categorizing and displaying software that relates to a web site theme can generate a lot of interest. Most developers provide product descriptions and information in a PAD file which is simply XML. Developers can locate PAD files using the ASP site and the PAD kit can be used to display the contents of the PAD file.

PAD Kit - http://www.asp-shareware.org

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4. Creative Commons A Creative Commons license allows creators to place conditions on their copyrights. Many artists allow other publishers to use their creative and artwork, occasionally there are conditions that credit must be given, while others are available freely. Web publishers can find a lot of unique content, images and creative using the new Yahoo Creative Commons Search.

The Yahoo! Creative Commons Search service finds content across the Web that has a Creative Commons license.

Yahoo Creative Commons Search - http://search.yahoo.com/cc More on Creative Commons - http://www.creativecommons.com

5. Forums Consider creating a community forum where like-minded individuals or at the very least individuals with a common interest can discuss problems, concerns, related products or ideas. The forum posts will generate a fresh stream of new and self perpetuating web site content.

Free Forum *note be sure to stay current on updates PHPbb - http://www.phpbb.com

6. White Papers Provide white papers, customer profiles or endorsements that detail how applications can be used in a specific industry. Creating a white paper section that explains how a specific product or service is used in a specific industry to solve a problem or increase productivity gives potential customers insight into how a specific service, product or technology will help in the course of a day.

Sample White Papers - http://www.notepage.net/whitepapers.htm

7. Directories Creating a directory of related sites while time consuming can result in significant traffic. Directories typically are well respected resources and rank well in search engines.

Sample Niche Directories : Podcasting Tools - http://www.podcasting-tools.com Finance Investing Feed Directory - http://www.finance-investing.com

8. Newsletter Archive If done properly online marketers see an almost instantaneous sales or traffic increases when they send newsletters but many do not benefit long term from the newsletter. Consider creating a newsletter archive, the content is already built, why not benefit from the potential traffic and unique phrases used, to attract new or potential customers?

Sample Archive Corporate Newsletters - http://www.feedforall.com/newsletter.htm Software Marketing Newsletters - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/articledirectory.html

9. Blog. Ride the technological wave. A daily journal with information related to product or service launches, specials, technical tips, new product announcements

Sample Blog Archive RSS Blog - http://www.rss-specifications.htm/blog.htm

As search engines combat the problems with artificially generated a non-sensical web content , webmasters must integrate quality, themed content that is going to legitimately interest prospective customers.

About the Writer of this Article

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for FeedForDev http://www.feedfordev.com an RSS component for developers.

Business Web Content Writing Success: Scan-Ability

Scan-ability is a measured, objective, scientifically proven criterion of successful written web content. While making content easier for users to scan rather than read word-for-word involves a number of factors, simply re-structuring web content into sections and lists can yield stunning improvements.

Proven Web Content Success Factor: Scan-ability

I've found that scan-able content written with web publication in mind seriously out-performs content that was written as though for print:

* Greater conversions (sales or leads).

* Fewer visitors leaving the web page as soon as they arrive ("bounces").

* Longer average visits.

* More reprints (of distributed content), meaning greater exposure and links--especially impressive considering that most reprint article directories only allow plain text, meaning that the formatting features that help to make content scan-able are not available.

User tests have repeatedly demonstrated that a majority of web users scan the page rather than read word-for-word. In such tests, optimizing content for scan-ability has been proven to make web content more successful--at least, for a few measurable criteria, mainly reading speed, comprehension, and retention (recall of what was read). While humor, style, empathy, persuasiveness, and other classic characteristics of good writing can't be objectively measured, the scientific evidence shows scan-ability is a strong foundation on which to build strong content.

Based on the evidence, the web usability expert Jakob Nielsen wrote guidelines for successful web writing in the mid-late 1990s. Today, those guidelines are still the basis for most of what's written about web content writing, including this article.

Scan-able Web Content Example

Look at the two versions of the same content, below. Ask yourself: which version would you be more likely to pay attention to if you came across it?

-----------------------

Version one (traditional text mode):

Who scans web site text? A large majority of web users prefer scanning for main ideas over reading word-for-word. Nearly all fully literate users scan--and web users disproportionately tend to be fully literate. Even highly literate users who are inclined to read a page word-for-word will scan it first to make sure it will repay their investment of reading time.

Less-literate visitors (i.e., those for whom reading is a slow chore) cannot scan content because they simply cannot parse text (i.e., make sense of it) fast enough. Yet I firmly believe that scan-able content will usually be easier to read word-for-word than traditional writing. Scan-able content places important ideas first, so someone reading word-for-word will comprehend more even if he or she doesn't make it all the way to the end of the text. Scan-able content avoids superfluous niceties that would waste a slow reader's time.

--------------------------

Version two (scan-able mode especially for the web):

Who Scans Website Text?

A large majority of web users prefer scanning for main ideas over reading word-for-word:

* Nearly all fully literate users scan--and web users disproportionately tend to be fully literate.

* Even highly literate users who are inclined to read a page word-for-word will scan it first to make sure it will repay their investment of reading time.

* Less-literate visitors (i.e., those for whom reading is a slow chore) cannot scan content because they simply cannot parse text (i.e., make sense of it) fast enough. Yet I firmly believe that scan-able content will usually be easier to read word-for-word than traditional text-style writing.

* Scan-able content places important ideas first, so someone reading word-for-word will develop greater comprehension even if he or she doesn't make it all the way to the end of the text.

* Scan-able content avoids superfluous niceties that would waste a slow reader's time. ----------------------------

Scan-able Web Content Structure: Sections and Lists

In the above example, the differences between version one and version two, which use the exact same text, are purely structural. There are other features of scan-able content, such as keywords, sentence structure, and word choice, but that's for another article. For now, just look at the powerful improvements in web content you can get simply from structural improvements, which take two basic forms: sections and lists.

* Sections. Any web content longer than 250 words should be divided into sections based on main ideas, with each section having a descriptive heading. Even briefer content can be divided into sections, though most commonly, the simplest way to organize shorter content is with lists. Content over 500 words can put one or two sections each on separate web pages.

* Lists. Multiple facts, ideas, items, or any multiple anything that have any kind of logical relationship among each other should be placed in unordered (bulleted) or ordered (numbered) lists if they have any importance at all. For instance, this list of features of scan-able web content merits a list, while "facts, ideas, items, or any multiple..." was less important and so was just written out.

The most exciting part of optimizing content with sections and lists is that you can optimize existing content without changing a word: no pencil-chewing over the right word to use, no consultation with the legal department, no readjustment of keyword densities (though adding headings might shake things up a bit).

To make content as scan-able and successful as possible, you need to go deeper into issues such as logical organization, keywords, sentence structure, and word choice. But slimply re-structuring content into sections and lists will provide a big boost.

About the Writer of this Article

Check out Joel Walsh's in-depth guidelines for scan-able web site content: http://upmarketcontent.com/web-content-handbook [Reprint this article! Requirement: live link for last URL; use anchor: "web site content" OR include this bracketed message. Permalink/TrackBack: http://upmarketcontent.com/web-content-scan.htm]

Hey, please visit the Internet Marketing web sites:

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