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What is Quality Website Content?

Website content is, perhaps, one of the most critical components of success for your website. In recent years, Google has put more and more emphasis on valuable content. So much so, that you’re likely to struggle with SEO success without putting thought into your website content and content structure.

We’ve said it a million times, but content is king. Google analyzes the value of your content and ranks it accordingly.

google search bar

So, how does Google search work?

Google delivers instant results to a user with three key processes: crawling, indexing and serving.

Crawling: Googlebot, a computer that crawls billions of pages across the web, discovers updates and new pages. The process begins with a list of URLs that have been determined from previous crawls in partnership with sitemap data provided by webmasters. When visiting each web page, Googlebot detects links on each page and adds them to its list of pages to crawl. New sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links are noted and used to update the Google index.

Indexing: Googlebot processes each page after a crawl. It compiles a list of all the words it sees and the location of the words. It also processes title tags and ALT attributes. It’s important to note that Google cannot process rich media files or dynamic pages.

Serving: Google serves results based on relevancy and is based on more than 200 factors! These factors include keyword usage, site structure, site speed, time spent on site, number of inbound links, quality of inbound links.

website site map graphic

How to determine your page structure

The page structure, or site map, shows the pages in your main navigation, sub navigation, footer navigation, etc. For an eCommerce website, you’ll also include the structure of your products – main product categories and sub product categories. When building a site map you should consider:

Current Website Structure: If you’re building a new website, the SEO value your current pages already hold in Google is worth considering. If your website is established and doing well in the search engines, you’re likely going to want to keep the page structure nearly the same. This can help avoid a major drop in rankings after launch and avoid a huge list of crawl errors.

Useless Pages: While the above statement is true, quite often there are just some useless pages on a website that add no value. Maybe it’s a page about a service you no longer offer, or a page with only a few paragraphs that adds no value. Regardless, ridding your website of useless pages, even during a new website build, is positive. However, post-launch you’ll want to make sure to implement a 301 redirect to avoid crawl errors.

The Data: Data doesn’t lie, people! If you’re struggling to determine your site map, or honestly don’t know if a page is adding value to your website, you can always consult analytics. Assuming your website has analytics installed. Google Analytics can provide data that will show you what pages people visit, how long they stay on the page, user flow, and MUCH more.

Now… what to put on those pages

Once your site map is set, it’s time to start collecting and writing content. Admittedly, writing website content is not the most exciting thing. I know because I’ve done it. And I am still doing it as we seek to continue to restructure and rewrite JM’s current website based on the data we are seeing in our analytics and AdWords campaigns. BUT, time put-forth now will benefit you for years to come.

Many people have no idea where to start when building website content. But, you’ll be happy to learn that you likely have a lot of content already drafted in many places. So start with:

  • Your current website
  • Business plans
  • Emails
  • Internal training documents
  • Existing marketing pieces

Each page should have valuable content full of keywords, a nice image that adds value to the content and a call to action.

What keywords do I use?

Select one or two keywords or keyword phrases you would like to be found under. Even ask your current customers how they found your business online to determine what keywords your performing best at. You can use some free tools to help determine what to use. Moz and SEMrush both have some pretty intuitive and free tools that can help you analyze keywords and your competition.

If you want more exact data to select your keywords, our web marketing team can help with that. Basically, we take a list of your suggested keywords and pull some data (because data doesn’t lie) through multiple tools. We can then see how many searches there are for a keyword, what the competition is like, and a list of other possible keywords to consider. Ideally, we want a keyword with a decent amount of searches and low competition.

content is king graphic

Define quality content

Who better to ask what is considered “quality content” than Google? Here’s some basic guidelines from the source, and here’s a recap of the article:

Basic principles:

  • Page content is for your users, not Google
  • Don’t do something just because you feel like the search engines will love it
  • Make your website stand out from others in your field by touting what sets you apart
  • Don’t put false information on your website

Avoid:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Pulling content off another website
  • Hidden text or links
  • Using irrelevant keywords

To wrap it up

Your website content is critical. If you don’t have the time to do it well, hire a pro. JM’s copywriter has experience writing for all kinds of industries, so let us introduce you to our copywriter.

And if you’re going to writing your website content, let this be a high-priority item on your endless to-do list. Don’t let months go by, foregoing countless leads and business because you don’t have the time to dedicate to writing good website content. Let us know how we can help!

Meet Carl Jacob, JM’s Tech Support Specialist

JM’s newest team member is Carl Jacob, Tech Support Specialist. From over-the-phone troubleshooting to back-end server builds, Carl keep JM’s internal team and JM’s clients’ websites and email running smoothly.

Carl Jacob Working at His Desk

As a Tech Support Specialist, Carl works within a growing department at JM where consistent growth and continuing education on technologies and strategies is necessary to provide the best service possible. Carl loves the challenges and growth available in the department, and works closely with JM’s Server Admin to best servre JM’s customers.

Carl was born and raised in Omaha. Outside of work, Carl enjoys reading, video gaming and PC hardware/upgrading (clearly a great hobby for a tech support specialist).

TemplateMonster Features JM as Top Affiliate

We are honored and thrilled to be named as one of TemplateMonster’s top-performing affiliate partners. As an affiliate partner, we work in cooperation with TemplateMonster to provide pre-built WordPress templates to our customers for affordable, easy to manage and beautiful websites.

TemplateMonster interviewed JM’s CEO Jonathan Patton to discuss our success in using its templates. The web design industry has changed many times over JM’s 20 years in business. And while JM still designs and develops beautiful custom websites, the market has shifted to using more templates. Using a pre-built WordPress template allows us to give our clients a robust and customizable CMS. By modifying the design, JM can provide a branded web design that can grow with you. And with expert guidance and a professional web designer’s touch, our websites are a beautiful and long-lasting marketing piece for our customers.

TemplateMonster has provided a platform for us to best serve our customers and the Omaha market. We’re grateful for this shout-out! Read Jonathan’s interview and checkout TemplateMonster’s WordPress templates to see if we might be able to help you upgrade your website with a pre-built WordPress template.

Employee Spotlight: Lindsey Adams

JM’s team works together for the WHOLE online presence of our clients. And while our web design, web development, web marketing and web hosting teams are on the forefront, JM has many behind the scenes faces that help run the day-to-day and internal operations.

We are taking time to highlight each team member at JM; and next up is Lindsey, JM’s Finance Director.

Lindsey brings to JM extensive QuickBooks knowledge and a strong background in mathematics. Since coming onto the JM team, Lindsey has streamlined our invoicing and internal processes, making our lives MUCH easier. Lindsey brings sincerity to our office and a witty sense of humor. Here’s a bit more about Lindsey…

Lindsey Adams and Family

In Her Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

JM has always been committed to families. I am part-time most of the time, and my family loves that I love my job and can flex around needs with my hours and working from home. If Mommy is happy, everybody is happy!

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM has offered me continual personal and career growth with educational opportunities, challenges, projects, transitions and goals. We build each other up, and we hold each other accountable!

What are 3 words to describe JM?

THE BOMB DIGGITY.

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

Honestly, the transition from working only from home last year to working at the office two days per week on team days was a challenge because I wasn’t used to the simultaneous conversations, both in-person and on the phone, going on around me. Now I am very skilled at being in the zone at my desk in my corner and popping my head up for the frequent office fun that comes up.

What has been your favorite project at JM?

In the next few years, I would love to add a minor or another major to my college goals in order to be able to serve JM in a higher capacity.

What is the favorite part about working for JM?

This is a difficult question to answer. (I hope my boss isn’t reading this…) My favorite part of JM is my boss, his wife (who used to do my job and still works for JM), and our awesome  dream team of employees I get to work with every day. It’s easy to be completely dedicated in working with our positive team members under Boss’s leadership.

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

Organized!

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

Well, here’s the thing:  I don’t really read the newspaper or blogs—I actually don’t even watch the news. However, I do look up a lot of recipes on WellnessMama.com. For actual reading, I read mystery/thriller novels. Confession: I’m currently making my way through my grandmother’s Reader’s Digest Condensed Novels volumes my parents gave me last year.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

It’s too much work to try to be someone I’m not, so I’d just stay me

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Detective!

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

My husbands and my girls. However, if they couldn’t come, I would bring a tent, a water filtration system, and some seeds for hardy, edible foods. If one of those items was not available, I would substitute a book or my cross-stitching to keep me sane.

What does true leadership mean to you?

When you don’t have to look for it, then you know it’s truly there.

What is an ability you wish you had?

I wish I could learn ballet as an untrained adult.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

My bed. I know, it’s not healthy sleep hygiene, but I just sometimes want to read and snack in the most comfortable place in the house.

You’re happiest when?

I am happiest when my house/office is clean and organized (A.K.A.- when my OCD tendencies are appeased).

Benefits of Google My Business

google my business logo

Google My Business offers businesses an incredible opportunity to be found in local search engine results. As Google’s algorithms undergo constant change to provide a better user experience, Google My Business becomes increasingly important for ALL businesses as they seek to have an online presence and seek to be found easily in a local search.

Google My Business lists your business location on Google Maps and local search results. The listing is free and is a necessity for both store fronts and eCommerce businesses, and lists important information about your business, hours, location, services, contact information and website link.

google results for web design omaha

This is a simple and effective way to be found in local searches on Google. As Google accounts more and more for a user’s location in its algorithm, this local listing will help your business appear when users type in “[keyword] near me.” So, for JM, our listing will appear for a user in Omaha searching for “web designer near me,” because of our Google My Business listing. You’ll notice also in a query like this, Google returns three locations based on your current location.

Gaining access to or setting up a Google My Business page is SO EASY. Here’s a step-by-step guide from our web marketing and SEO team:

green start now buton

Set up Google My Business

Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and select “Start Now”. Sign up for a Google account or enter your current account information. You’ll then be able to search for your business. If you cannot find your business, simply “add your business.”

Create /Claim My Business Page

Once you’ve found your business location you can follow steps to confirm you’re authorized to manage the page. This part CAN be a little tricky, depending on the history of your page. We run into problems when:

  • A page has been created for your business, but you no longer have access to it
  • Someone else has access to your page, and you cannot retain ownership of the page directly from them

Sometimes, these circumstances require a direct phone call to a Google support tech.

Verify location(s)

Verifying your business with Google takes a few simple steps, but it important for appearing in Maps and Search. Google will provide you with a verification code through one of the following ways:

  • Phone
  • Postcard mailed to your business address
  • Email

JM Google My Business Listing

Optimize and Manage

Manage and respond to reviews

Reviews can be powerful. And whether a Google review is positive or negative, responding to these reviews show you value your customers. Positive reviews will increase your visibility, so encourage customers to leave reviews.

Include services

Listing services with brief descriptions (maybe even pricing) can help Google return your business to a viable customer and can give users a general idea of your business.

Add photos

Photos can help you tell a story by showing your office space, employees and products, your giving users a look into your company culture. It’s a digital storefront.

Add posts

Google My Business has a posts option for each page. For each post you can upload an image, write up a little text, add a title and include a link. This area offers flexibility in promoting events, sales, new products, new services, highlight old services, blogs, etc. These posts expire after about 7 days.

Google My Business is one of the most simple and critical steps you can take to help your website be found in a local search. And it’s free! And if you don’t have the time to worry about this, we’re happy to help you in set up your My Business Page, optimize it and advise you on how to take advantage of all its benefits.

Web Designer or Website Builder?

I honestly cannot think of a business who doesn’t need a website. Maybe you can surprise me with one, but… nope. Can’t think of one. And since we are in this age where you must have a website to build credibility and you must be competitive in the search engines to break into almost any market, it’s no wonder the market is being overwhelmed with website builders.

Wix and Squarespace are website builders. And they are just a couple of an endless list of companies who provide out-of-the-box, DIY solutions for little-to-no cost. A website builder, at it’s most basic level, is a tool that eliminates the needs to know CSS, HTML or any other coding language. You select a template, drag and drop, plug and chug.

Free? I love free.

Free sounds awesome. I love free samples, I love free hugs, I LOVE free shipping. And these free (or cheap) website builders certainly fill a need in the market. They provide a DIY solution for a company with no budget for a website. It’s available at your disposal and the determining factor for launch is the time you’re able to invest.

The truth is, some people just cannot afford an experienced web design company. That’s okay! That’s why website builders exist. However, there are several disadvantages to using a website builder.

icon to represent building a website

No professional guidance

The hands-down best benefit you will receive when partnering with a web designer and developer is the savvy guidance you will receive from start to finish. A professional web design team can offer advice on layout for aesthetics, on page structure for usability, on call to action for increased conversions, for preparations to make your website market-ready upon launch.

You can probably spend time reading about these things and gain some insight, but a web design team with expertise in what works will provide a better product with opportunity for growth.

Poor SEO

Many website builders do not offer the tools needs to be competitive in search engines. As Google makes frequent changes for user satisfaction, algorithms are changing and so are requirements for website success. Missing out of robust tools for SEO success could be the difference between your success and failure.

Not only can a web design company provide a website equipped with tools for SEO success, but they can also provide insight into keywords and information on HOW to optimize your website for these keywords. Or they can even do it for you. A web marketing team can analyze Google data to determine best practices for success. You cannot get this with a website builder.

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Time intensive

There are certain things I am just not willing (or able) to do myself because I just do not have the time. I will pickle my own garden vegetables, make my own bread before buying it in the store, and ALWAYS make my brownies from scratch because I do not believe in box brownies. But I will NOT make my own kombucha. I must draw the line somewhere.

We all choose how we spend our valuable time. So, the question is, do you want to spend your time building your own website? What else would you do with that time?

This blog isn’t meant to knock down people who need to use a website builder. It’s simply meant to shed light on some of the realities of selecting a website builder vs a web designer.

Our Omaha firm has seen major market shifts in the last couple years. Expectations are changing, our processes are changing, and end-products look different than 10 years ago. However, partnering with a web design firm that can care for your entire online image may be the thing you need for success. And it may be the thing you need to save time and resources in the short and long-term.