People think that good SEO is just about having as much content as possible.
In part, this is correct. The more content you have written around a subject, the more Google can index it. The more indexing of your site, the more chance it’ll appear in search results.
But not if the content is rubbish.
Writing poor quality content won’t help you be found more, and it certainly won’t help your customers when they arrive at your website.
Here are my 5 dos and don’ts for content writing
1. Do write for a purpose
Why are you writing the article? Is it just to create more (bland) content for the sake of it? Or is it to get people interested in your product?
Writing around an important subject related to your product or brand will create a conversation starter with your audience. It’ll make you look like you know what you’re talking about. Becoming an authority voice on your subject should and putting out content that is useful to your reader should always be your purpose. Then, then can you slip in a reference to your product or service, but only if it’s relevant to the article.
Write your goal down first and keep referring back to it.
Some ideas of purpose: ideas that will make a task in their life easier, tips for an upcoming event that you know will be in your reader’s calendar, or ‘how to’ guide of something they will find useful.
2. Don’t forget who you are writing it for
Whose eyeballs are you vying for?
Website visitors don’t have time to trawl through too many words to find the relevant information. You need to make it jump out to them in the first few seconds. Make it clear that they can get this from your content.
You need to keep in mind:
- Who are they?
- What do they look like?
- What makes them tick?
- What do they want?
- Why would your article appeal to them?
- Can they find what they want?
Use Google Analytics or insights gained from social media to build up a picture of who your reader is and what they are into.
3. Do think about your keywords
If SEO is your end goal, you need to know what your priority keywords are.
Keywords or key phrases relate to the queries people type into search engines. Whilst you should never keyword stuff, keywords should be at the heart of your SEO strategy. All the keywords that you target should try to accomplish the same or very similar goals. Optimise your content around the most relevant keywords.
Use Google’s Keyword Tool to understand competition for those keywords, but also identify variations of the key phrases that are most relevant.
Sign up for an Adwords account and start a campaign (you’ll need to add a credit card), but you can immediately pause it and never spend a penny. You still get access to the tools.
4. Don’t forget to promote it
Once you have crafted your perfectly written content, it’ll make no difference if nobody knows about it.
Promote it on whichever social media profiles you use, especially LinkedIn if you are in a B2B market. Also include it in any email newsletters that you publish as complementary content to any sales messaging.
Remember that people use different platforms in different ways. Don’t use an app to auto-share it without checking what is being posted as it may be shortened or clipped and miss the message i.e. Twitter 140 characters text may be less readable.
5. Do plan content as part of an editorial calendar
If you have a content plan, it means that when you sit in front of your screen to write your next piece, you will already have an idea or topic to write about that.
It’ll help you to write as part of a series to retain continuity in any topics, and help you to spot any trends in what’s popular (or not).
Include notes about how how the content is shared, and how much engagement it generated so to help plan future pieces.
What would you add?