Often times we get so caught up in marketing our site and making it aesthetically pleasing, we forget one of, if not THE most important part of SEO. Content. The search engines can not see pictures, so the only way to tell them what your site is all about is to provide that information to them via text. But why is it so difficult to put text on our sites?
During the creation of a site, we often care more about how it looks than how it functions. Flash, in my opinion, can be used to create some of the most beautiful sites out there. We get so drawn into making nice layouts with neat animations, we completely neglect the fact that we are building a site for the world, not just us.
The content on your site should actually be the first thing you think of when optimizing it. You need to convey to the search engines that your site is worthy of ranking, and that you are here to offer something to the masses. I often give this advice to customers, and get a great deal of fearful feedback. I hear a lot of “I don’t even know what to write.” Well, your site is an extension of your business/service/whatever, and as such you are likely to be well versed in that area. But I think people get caught up in the idea that the text is going to be placed on the site, promoting the attention to variables such as what font to use, what color, how it will look, etc.
The best advice that I can give in reference to thinking of text, is to close your site, use notepad (not Word. This creates problems when deciding to copy and paste), or a pen and paper (these do exist you know), and just put your thoughts to reality. Just write. Write about your business, yourself, your products, the history of your company, whatever. Just write. Before you know it, you will have well over 800 words of cryptic information all about your industry. As I write this, I am not thinking about my blog or my site, but only what I am trying to convey to you, the reader. Once you have all that information, organize it. Make it mean something, and make sense. Given enough thought, it will not be too difficult to come up with at least 500 words, which is a good amount of text to be placed on a website.
Once the content is on the site, you can obviously tweak it here and there to make proper use of your search terms (this will most likely happen anyway. You are writing on or about the same subject as your site, right?). And once that is done, you can then figure out what the layout, spacing, font, and all the other wonderful cosmetics the online world can offer will be.
As with all things online, this is easier written than done. But try this method out and see if it helps. To me, writing is my very weakest point, and this helps a great deal. Content is so very important to search engine optimization, and should be treated as such.