Content is king: Enhancing web site success with original contentWritten by Jon E. Dougherty
As a webmaster providing information content to an ever-growing Internet audience, you should become familiar with expression, "Content is king!" The reason is because once you’ve spent time and money building your audience and clicking off major hit counts each month, content is one thing that will keep your visitors loyal to your site.
When I first heard that expression I disagreed: In new media realm of Internet, I believed content was secondary to web site design, ease of navigation, loading time, and a half-dozen other technical aspects.
That’s not completely true. I have learned that what you present on your site is at least as important as how you present it (and how often), if you expect to give your visitors a reason to come back time and time again.
The good thing is that in today’s Internet world, content is readily available. Online syndication firms like iSyndicate.com [http://www.isyndicate.com] and Moreover.com [http://www.moreover.com] allow you to download JAVA script or similar HTML code for free that automatically places fresh, daily updated content on your site.
But as Internet matures, carrying somebody else’s content and having your visitors redirected to other web sites to read that content may not be enough to sustain loyalty to your brand any longer. For instance, one thing web advertisers are looking for these days besides a mega-hit count is amount of time surfers spend on your site. You may get 120,000 visitors a day but if they’re only staying 2 or 3 minutes, that’s not as valuable to an advertiser as a site getting 76,000 hits per day with surfers staying as long as 8 or ten minutes.
What you should think about, then, if you’re serious about providing information content, is to consider a way to keep visitors coming to your site more often – then staying there to read content you provide.
You can do that by either developing your own content in-house or by incorporating syndicated content onto your site. The former is best but latter will do as well.
If you’re not journalistically inclined yourself, you can usually find experienced (or even aspiring) reporters and journalists who would jump at chance to hone their craft at your site. This method would cost you little, depending upon level of experience you were seeking to hire, and it would help keep you busy providing your visitors with that fresh content you’re after. An average payment fee for online reporters and writers is around 5 cents per word, with articles averaging about 500 to 750 words each.
Should You Translate Your Web Site to Another Language?Written by June Campbell
In 2001, half users of Web do not speak English as a first language. What's more, number of non-English speaking newcomers is growing at a much faster rate than number of English speaking Internet newcomers. However, 80% of information on web is in English.
Should you make your web site available in languages other than English? If you are interested in reaching overseas markets and doing business with persons from other cultures, it's almost a necessity. As one expert pointed out, they call it World Wide Web because it represents international audiences.
If you are considering translating your site (and you do know that translation software is not a good choice, right?), consider following:
* If you have language skills, you can translate web site yourself. The QWERTY keyboard works for every language in world. However, if you are planning to translate to characters other than those found in Western alphabet, you will need a phonetic map (a software application that maps keyboard input into characters). For example, if you wanted to write "Tokyo" in Japanese, you would type in TOKYOO then hit space bar. The mapping software would show you two most likely characters. If they were not what you were looking for, you would hit space bar again and be shown all options that are available to you.
*You will need an international browser. Both Netscape and Explorer are available in international versions.
*Your operating system is an additional consideration. Windows 2000 is said to support all languages using a new standard called Unicode. Apple offers language kits that can be installed in MAC OS. If your web site is to contain sophisticated programming, you will also require international developmental tools (i.e. Japanese DreamWeaver, etc.)
*If you don't want to do your translation in-house, a localisation company can provide your translation services. A good localisation company will be using translators that not only speak language fluently, but also are familiar with culture and customs of target market. In America, for example, you would not use same marketing message to reach a twenty year old as you would use to reach a baby boomer. Nor would you use same language to market to a stay-at-home mom as you would use to reach a career woman. Similar differences occur within other cultures, and your translator must be familiar with culture of your target market.