When first starting Middlewood Consulting I found that Search Engine rankings and Search Engine Optimisation can be confusing for small business.
Often, small businesses knew they needed to be ranked highly and would refer to SEO as a strategy, but they had no idea how to make their rankings happen.
I’ve found that it is really difficult for small businesses who don’t have a completely savvy IT guru to help them to connect the dots between rankings and user experience and good content.
Even if you rank highly that is absolutely no use to your business if your customer doesn’t find what they need.
So in no particular order, I’ve put together my top 10 tips for creating SEO friendly content:
1. Make it personal.
Your website content won’t get you anywhere unless you are actually solving a problem for your customer and they feel like they have received the service they want. Think about it – whenever you don’t know the answer to something the usual catch phrase is “just google it” am I right? And how many times do quickly you click in and out of the first few websites listed in your search results until you find the exact answer you’re looking for?
By making your content personal and engaging you’ll get customers to delve deeper rather than simply clicking, judging and leaving.
2. Have a strategy.
There is absolutely no point in sitting down and writing content for your website if you do not have a strategy for your business or online marketing. You need to be clear in what you are selling and tell your reader upfront. Have direction and think about what you want your customer to do.
I’m not saying that strategies can’t change, but make sure you’re clear on what your customer wants and needs.
3. Don’t waffle.
There are many theories about how long content should be. In my opinion there is no hard and fast rule. Make sure you get your point across and that you’ve go enough content to give context an meaning to the piece, but don’t add information or repeat yourself for the sake of making a word count limit.
Similarly, writing exactly as you speak can be effective in some instances, but if you’re a business owner who jumps from one topic to another you may want to check what you’re writing and that you’ve not mixed in too many topics into the one piece of content.
4. Don’t try to be something you’re not.
Sure, if you’re a really cool company selling fabulous *insert cool product/industry* here, then you have all the reasons to use language that is trendy and snappy. BUT, if you’re not selling a brand that is consistent with their ‘cool’ level, then it’s probably better to be strong in the voice and brand that you are. Your customers will appreciate the reliability.
5. Create a structure.
Using headings, dot points and a conclusion will help you create easy to read content and help your customers to find what they are searching for.
6. Link your content internally.
Make sure you’re creating links between information on your website. For example, “If you want to see what kind of services we provide, why not check out our services page”.
7. Research and Validate.
Your customers want accurate information and you need to know what people are searching for. You might be an expert in the area of your business but you still want to make sure that the information you are providing is what they want to hear and that it is factually correct. Keyword research is a must, sometimes it’s obvious which words to focus on, sometimes it’s not.
8. Check your competition.
Take a look at what your competition is writing about and how they are approaching their marketing. It can give you a good insight into what you should cover, how you can be different and maybe even guide you on what you shouldn’t do! Chances are, if you don’t like the way your competition has done something, their clients may not either and this could be the way to set yourself apart!
One thing when checking on the competition. Under no circumstances copy their work and claim it as your own. It is plagiarism, it’s lazy and it is terrible practice. It won’t give you any credibility or help you. Don’t do it.
(On this point – you don’t have to do everything your competition is doing, don’t be afraid to be different!)
9. Be original *cue eye roll
I know, I know, it is really hard to be original when there is so much content and there is so much competition in the world. I completely understand and have come up against it myself! What I mean by being original is do your research, find a different angle to your competition, don’t copy and if you are taking broad ideas from somewhere else then give credit where credit is due.
10. Have patience.
You will not sit at the top of the search engine rankings at the end of week one. It takes time for any search engine to find you, work out that you’re genuine and that the information you are providing is relevant. Depending on your target market and your subject matter you may need a professional to get your rankings moving.
So finally, here’s a bonus tip!
Seek help or guidance if you need it. If creating content is hard for you then why not get someone else to do it for you?
If you’re not sure you’re on the right track, why not consult with a professional to make sure you’re creating great content. That’s what copywriters are for!
If you think I might be the person to help you with your next project or refresh of your website, get in contact and let’s chat!