Back to Basics

It used to be an established truth that content is king on the internet. Build it and they will come, as the saying goes. By populating your website with large amounts of high quality unique content, you bolster your position in search engines and attract ever increasing amounts of readers. Recent Google updates have only reinforced this ever increasing importance of content.
However, another factor needs to compliment this content to fully exploit it, one that is seeing some challenges in these new days of the mobile internet: speed.

In this post we will take a look at both the guidelines for content creation and the measures and tools for optimizing website speed that you can use to optimize your websites appeal and delivery across platforms.

The King of Content

Content is instrumental and a constant stream of new content helps a website increase its google ranking and attract more new visitors and more page views. However, not all content is created equal.

In order to create the best possible content for your website you need to know your audience and exactly what they are looking for (searching for in search engines). You then include keywords that they are likely to use in your content, both in the header and text body, in order to ensure you can rank on such topics in Google. This ensures no only that you cover the topics that your audience is looking for but crucially that they can find you. This is content creation 101.

However, sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what topic would actually be of interest to new readers. If I am not sure exactly where to focus on my post about the Philippines for example, where could I conveniently look for help?

One possible answer is Google Trends, a great free tool that allows you to spot trends in search data using historical developments. In the following example we have entered three search terms (Palawan, Boracay and Cebu – all three travel destinations in the Philippines):



As can be seen from the graph here above, it is clear that Cebu is trending a lot higher than Boracay and Palawan and would therefore be of greater interest for readers to know more about. Similar trends can be found on other topics and destinations to find out what your global audience is currently interested in. And while a blog or website is a personal expression that should not necessarily be guided solely by trends and searches, it is good to keep in mind when creating your content whether there is a growing audience for it. It enables you to make the most of your time and your efforts. Keeping your content aligned with keywords and trends help you build your audience.

Give it to me now

However, even the more patient web surfer will not wait forever, no matter how good the content. We have all been there, waiting as the page slowly loads and in the end we give up and close the tab. This is even more frequent on the mobile web as speed and processor speeds have decreased relatively while expectations have stayed the same. In this scenario, speed is essential in order to ensure a good user experience, get more visitors to your website and to convert visitors already there, in case you have specific offers or products for them.

The first step to ensuring sufficient speed is of course your hosting. This needs to provide the appropriate bandwidth and processing speed to properly run your website. However, once you have this in place, there are tools that allow you to better understand the speed of your website and where additional improvements might be made.

Among the most useful candidates are Google Pagespeed Insight Tool and YSlow which is an open source tool based on requirements from Yahoo.

If you really prefer to go to only one source for your speed data, GTMetrix will summarize the recommendations from both tools in one place.

Using these tools will give you immediate feedback as to what additional actions you can take to further improve the speed of your website alongside other best practices advice.

Taken together, the right content coupled with fast delivery will help you ensure a growing audience and increased relevance for your website. This is the case whether you are mainly looking for readers and page views or if you are also offering additional products and services to convert. Matching content with speed, your direction is clear.

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