Pretty much consistently, for the last ten years the number one on page SEO value driver has been content. Simple, plain text content.
And of course, Content is King. Isn't it?
So, in order to make content a priority, lets take a little more in depth look at what we can do – today – to deliver superb performing, excellently converting plain text content.
Tone, Your Business, & The Customer
As soon as you've completed your first sentence, you've set the tone for your business. So before you fire open your text editor think about what tone you want to set.
Tone should come from your brand values. Your brand values should be based on your target customers (if you want to be a successful, growth business). Don't know your target customers? Then put that pen down and spend some time working out who they are, where they are, and most importantly, what makes them tick.
Because the content you produce will depend on the type of company you have, then you must look at your site and come up with a few ideas. Are you a content rich site looking to build authority? Then make your tone clear and simple. People want to be able to consume that content with as little effort as possible.
If you're retailing, separate out the technical specs so you can talk simply about the features and benefits of each product. Who is it best for? Is there an alternative product at a different price category?
On the service side: what's your USP? Are you communicating it clearly on every single page of your site? Does it go deep into how you talk about your services? It should.
Are you a jedi? Then use those powers to convert.
Information Architecture to Aid Discoverability
Structure your site so that as new content goes live, it's easy to find, highlighted and related to relevant content.
If you're refreshing content, then make sure it's clear on the page with a datestamp. Your customers will like to know that your site is up to date. So does Google.
When that content is made live, make sure it's included in a news sitemap, with the right formatting. Collate news, blog posts and press releases into a single section with a clear homepage and highlighted authors and you'll be eligible for Google News inclusion.
When you link to author pages, use semantic markup - or go all out and give Google disclosure of your email address - to trigger richer search snippets in Google.
Don't 'over categorise' your archived content.
Aside from all the duplication issues, people rarely click through archives and are better served with a superb search function, ideally one that's judiciously, don't be afraid to spend some PageRank in return for better prime-time domain interconected-ness.
And finally, when you're out of things to say, make sure you stop.