Your website is your shop window. It’s your 24/7 sales rep and your online company brochure.

But no matter how colourful and suave your site looks, poor quality content will stop you achieving your online goals.

A website serves two purposes: to attract relevant visitors and to satisfy their needs. And content is central to achieving both.

Your website must focus on offering valuable information to your visitors to rank highly in search engines such as Google.

The search engine giant’s SEO (search engine optimisation) update at the end of 2013, called Hummingbird, echoes this and requires businesses to put even more focus onto quality content. This builds on from its previous big updates, Panda and Penguin.

Websites that deliver fresh, unique and relevant information, such as well-written blogs and news items, infographics and video, will naturally appear higher in search rankings.

When developing a relationship with a potential customer or advocate, trust needs to be built no matter where they see your logo. Your website provides the perfect place to tell your story.

An up-to-date latest news section tells your story and builds credibility. What successes have you experienced? What is next for the business? What are your key messages?

The copy throughout the website provides a number of potential pitfalls. Is it too long? Too short? Full of jargon? Does it flow? Does the reader have to stumble past poor grammar and misspellings?

People consume information in different ways, so Google looks for a range of content on your site, not just the written word. Visuals such as short videos and bespoke pictures are vital to include in the mix.

Check out our blog post on visual website content.

Is the photo the right size? Is it clear?  Does the video play? Can the viewer see and hear what is happening?

On the flip side, Google will punish content featuring irrelevant information, spelling and grammatical errors and keyword-stuffed copy.

If a site hinders quick and easy access to information, Google will bury the site deep down in the search results. Your site could end up many pages into the search rankings.

This can have a devastating impact because 75 per cent of users do not click through onto the second page of search results.

High quality content is the most effective way to attract visitors and get your site on that coveted first page of Google.