How many different types of content do you write when working on websites?
For many online writers the answer is just 2: informational content and sales-oriented content.
But you can make your websites work much harder by writing according to a broader range of parameters.
To illustrate what I mean by this, I’m going to use one of my hobby sites as an example. This is a relatively new site. But it is a site where I have been much more deliberate in choosing and segmenting the different types of content I write.
You can find it here: BadPlastics.com
Let’s look at the different types of content I am writing there, and the purposes they serve.
1. The home page: www.BadPlastics.com
This is introductory and informative text.
Its purpose is to introduce and educate my readers, many of whom will have never before thought about toxic chemicals leaching out of household plastics. Several links are included in the center column to encourage people to dig deeper into the site.
2. A second level category page: www.badplastics.com/alternatives-to-plastics.html
The purpose of this page is two-fold. It is written to inform my readers, and to attract organic search traffic. The tone is informational, for the benefit of my readers. And it is carefully optimized for the term “alternatives to plastics”, for the benefit of Google.
3. Article pages (example): www.badplastics.com/plastics-dangerous-to-health.html
The purpose of this and the other articles on the site is to inform my readers, and to evoke emotions. Why do I want to stir up people’s emotions? First, because I think the topic is worthy of some strong emotions, and secondly because web pages which get an emotional response are more likely to be shared – by email or through Facebook and Twitter. I want people to share these pages and link to them.
4. In the media page: www.badplastics.com/in-the-media.html
These are all very short pages, each with an outbound link to an article published on another site.
The purpose of these short pages is, once again, to inform my readers, but also to attract the search engines. I write about one of these pages a day. This gives the Googlebot a reason to come back often. Also, over time, dozens of these short pages will create a huge collection of long-tail search terms for the search engines to find.
In addition, these pages are all shared through Twitter moments after they are published. Short content, quickly shared, fast to read.
Finally, because I am being generous and linking out to articles on other sites, I am hoping some of those sites will notice traffic coming in from BadPlastics.com and will reciprocate with a link of their own. Most won’t, but some will.
5. Product pages: www.badplastics.com/bpa-free-coffee-makers.html
This is an informational page, but also includes affiliate links to Amazon.com.
The purpose here is to deliver useful information, and to make some money through affiliate commissions.
Thinking it through…
If you segment your website content based only on “informational” and “selling”, you’re likely selling yourself short.
My BadPlastics.com website is only a few weeks old and I have dozens of major content pages still to write. Once they are done, I’ll continue to write articles and short summaries of what I find in the media.
And always, I will keep my eyes set on the purpose of the various types of content I write.
I’ll write more emotional page, more short-form long tail pages, more informational pages and products pages.
Now go look at your own websites and see if you can segment page content types according to their purpose.
If you are writing only one or two types of content, it’s time to look for opportunities to create more.
NOTE: If you are serious about writing high quality, optimized content for your website or websites, check out my course, Web Content Optimization.