Original Content is Best
The best content for your website is original content. You cannot copy content, especially text content, from another source, especially another online source, without accruing severe penalties with the major search engines. Beware. I’m serious, here. Images that have the appropriate usage rights are okay, as is video, but, still, original is best. So hire it done if you can’t do it in-house. This is especially true for the text and podcasts. Graphic art and photos, video content, and all the rest, yes, you can get away with public domain and Creative Commons Zero (CC0) content, but you’re still better off with the majority of your image and video content being original. There are some exceptions, such as educational purposes and reviews, but use quotes of no more than fifty (50) words and do attribute. Anything promoting you and your website’s purpose, though, especially the text, has got to be yours and yours alone. The major search engines have no tolerance policy for appropriated text, so don’t be tempted.
Text Content Weighs as Your Website’s Most Important Content
The most important content as measured by the search engines is text. While visitors may love images and video content, text is what makes or breaks a website in website ranking. That text must be well-constructed and pertinent to your website’s topic and purpose. It should be written in a way that appeals to your target audience, but still is optimized for search engine ranking. You can find more about constructing text content here. If including links, make sure that, if those links lead offsite, to include rel=”noopener” and maybe even rel=”nofollow”. You may also want them to open in a new tab or window. With the WordPress CMS (the real WordPress, not WordPress.com), there is a plugin so you don’t need to do that. Otherwise, add target=”_blank”.
If you have difficulty constructing text appropriately, you can send me your notes and a rough draft, and, for a reasonable fee, I’ll rewrite it so that it fulfills both needs.
Graphic Art for Your Website
Whether you are building your own website or having me or someone else build it, you website may and probably will require images. Images should be large originals that are then resized according for the content. The images must high quality, but highly compressed to save on page load. Alt tags (alt=”description of image”) should always be used, and those alt tags should be optimized to reflect your website’s keywords and keyphrases. Should you need, I can usually create images for you, but you can save money by providing them. If you provide the images for your website, feature images must be at least 1200 pixels wide at a minimum of 72dpi/ppi. Images that you desire your visitors to print on paper must be a minimum of 300dpi/ppi. Whether for use on your website or for visitor use and/or printing, these images must be:
- your own images,
- Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or public domain images,
- or images that you purchase outright and/or for which you own the appropriate usage rights.
There are many royalty-free and free sources for images around the Net. Here are a few links. Though these sources all have all or some Creative Commons 0 (CC0) images, make sure to check the license terms on each website and/or, in some cases, on each image.
- Pexels broad content array
- Pixabay broad content array of photos, vectors and art illustrations
- Startup Stock Photos for startups and tech related businesses
- Cupcake landscape and nature photography from Jonas Nilsson Lee
- Jay Mantri landscape photography
- MMT nature and city
- Life of Pix CC0 but see license information.
- Gratisography broad content array
- Free Nature Stock nature
- Realistic Shots realistic photos
- Unsplash broad content array
- Magdeleine some are free
- Snapwire Snaps some are free. Check each image license.
- StockSnap general content
- Kaboompics themed
- Travel Coffee Book travel
- ISO Republic broad content array
- Foodie’s Feed food
- Furious Camera lifestyle
- Public Domain Archive public domain image archive
Video is becoming the most popular content with the majority of users. But not long videos unless you have something that’s absolutely going to rivet your audience for its entire length. Think fifteen (15) seconds to a maximum of six (6) minutes. Again, ORIGINAL video content is the only thing that really will count. And, yes, I do some video sequencing, but my schedule is pretty full right now.
Audio, Podcasts, Interactives, Forms, Tools, and Other Website Content
No matter what you are going to include, make sure that it’s either original or that you have the rights to display it. Make sure it’s pertinent to your website’s goals and it is user-friendly with respect to the average skills of your target audience.