What is the secret to a great website? Is it the pictures, the title or some catchy phrase? Maybe it’s the font or color usage? While all these things are important to keeping your website fresh and interesting to the audience, they are not what your Number One priority should be. Here’s another question you might be asking: what is? The answer is so simple it is often overlooked in today's virtual world. It’s content. That is too simple, you might say, but the sad truth is more often than not people who run blogs or websites, people with the best intentions, get so bogged down with making their page fun, colorful, and nice to look at that they ignore the reason why they have it. I’m not saying to ignore the layout, colors and visual fun, but at the end of the day your content is the key piece of your website that is going to make you soar, or crash in a blazing ball of fire and critiques.
Your content is what sets you apart from everyone else. Most every other page out there has nice font, a rudimentary understanding of a pleasant page, and google images to give them that same picture of the cat saying, "hang in there." Your content is what sets you apart from all those other guys. What do you have to say that is so important and different that you made a whole website about it? This doesn’t just apply to your words either. Pictures to enhance you site and pictures that are your content are two very different things. How you work those pictures, and what you say about them is more important than a happy face next to the title of the article. All the extras are what might draw in an audience, but content is how you keep them. If your words make no sense, or you bog someone down in fluff, then you have lost a repeat customer. They might not even finish the page. The goal is to get people who come to your website to read your page, like it, share it with friends and come back tomorrow and the next day and the next to see what else new and interesting you have on it.
In addition to setting you apart from other websites and drawing in customers, your content is meant to further some personal goal, isn’t it? You might be trying to sell a product, incite social change, make people aware of some great personal care tips, maybe you are even trying to make money off the website itself; whatever your reason is, you accomplish this through your content. This is the main reason it’s so important, because it is fulfilling you, yourself, and your goals. Thus content is important because whatever you are saying is important to you! Again, this may seem so simple but at the end of the day, I am sure you could come up with multiple websites you’ve been to (and coincidentally never been to again) whose content was worse than the rotten tomato rating for the 2016 miss "Cabin Fever." People get lost in having ads and drawing a crowd that they forget to keep the crowd in order to accomplish that original goal.
Effective design of said content increases the effectiveness of your message as well. Lots of people miss this, but search engines (I’m looking at you Google) love content, and good content gets noticed even more. It used to be that your title and catch phrase were what caught Bing’s eye, but now more than ever good content is what gets you on page 1 or 2 versus page 30 or 40. All this means is that content is more important on websites than ever before. Having good content on your website is what is going to keep both repeat and first time audiences coming back, what will make you feel fulfilled, and what will best get the purpose of your website across.