Writing great content requires some prior preparation to get you started off on the right foot. Here's a short guide and some useful links to help you along.
Create your writing style guide which covers areas such as:
- Tone and style (e.g. professional, conversational)
- Buyer persona (e.g. who the audience is, their pain points, how your company values play to them)
- Commonly used words with misspellings (e.g. e commerce v ecommerce v e-commerce)
- Graphics and images (e.g. font colours and sizes for headers, subheaders, image sourcing and alignment)
- Approved / Disapproved Content Sources (e.g. list of sites to draw content from, list of sites or topics to avoid)
- Source references (e.g. how you link to external sources, footer notes, bibliographies)
- Examples of great articles using the style guide
Use A Content Writing Method
It is important to follow a standard process for writing and optimising your content.
Read Content Writing For Bloggers from Moz for full information
What is the goal of the page or post?
e.g. reach a new audience and tell them about your service
What is the required outcome?
e.g. generate a lead via form or call / make an online sale / get the article shared
What is the audience you are targeting?
e.g. business people of large corporations in the insurance sector
Do your keyword research
Identify 3 - 5 main keyword phrases that relate to your content and work these in to your content in a natural way without "keyword stuffing". Ideally these will be high search volume words that have a low difficulty level for ranking. This then gives the best chance of appearing higher up in search engines and driving relevant traffic that will be engaged with your content. Pick phrases that share the same searcher intent e.g. "designer kids clothes" and "luxury childrens clothing". Consider using tools to discover semantically-related keywords like LSI Graph, plus Google Trends to see waxing and waning in keyword popularity and discover new terms.
Google Instant Search (Autocomplete & Suggested searches)
Search the web and your competitor's sites to see what is being written about and shared that is relevant to your content. Make sure what you write is not a copy of content elsewhere and adds value to the reader.
Using Page Meta Data Properly
When you write your article and get it indexed by search engines, it appears on search results pages effectively as a small "advert" - your chance to get people to click on your link rather than someone else's. It is therefore important to set up page meta title and meta description so it captures people's attention. Meta keywords is now ignored by search engines because they work these out from crawling the page content nowadays.
Inverted Pyramid Writing Style
This is the tried-and-trusted approach used in news sites and press releases to present data by importance in an "inverted triangle" with the headline grabber at the top, backed up with key data and then general information. Read more on wikipedia
Include Strong Call To Actions (CTA's)
Make sure that you have compelling CTA's in your content. If you are writing long articles, then you might need to repeat CTA buttons throughout the page in case readers give up part way through. You can check this by using a scroll map to see how far they get before abandoning.
Check Your Content Is Optimised Once It's On The Page
Within REC+, click the SEO Report button to analyse the page's keywords and SEO.
You can also use our Simple SEO & Trends tool.
Refreshing Or Overhauling Your Website Content
Here are some quick tips to follow If you are overhauling your website:
- Re-acquaint yourself with your existing website by reading it again and noting good and bad points
- Check your analytics to list your popular pages and how engaged users are (Bounce Rate: less than 50% is pretty decent)
- Look at the flow in analytics to help plan your user journey and draw out how pages link to each other and the navigation
- List out your current services to see whether you need to add new pages
- Likewise, you may need to remove or redirect pages for deprecated services or ones that have changed
- Re-think your navigation in line with your popular pages and user flow
- Review and re-write each page so that the content is most meaningful for today's reader with strong call-to-actions
- Discover semantically-related keywords like LSI Graph, plus Google Trends to see waxing and waning in keyword popularity and discover new terms.
- Add or refresh your testimonials, case studies and success stories to the site and on the pages to which they relate
- Re-work your contact forms if they are too long or you need different information
- Revise, re-purpose and lengthen popular blog posts for better reader engagement and improved SEO results
- Freshen up images on pages, remembering to get your image SEO right too
- Check your general SEO is good, such as page titles and meta descriptions being unique for each page
- Set up re-directs for pages that have been deleted or had their URL changed.
- Use our Simple SEO & Trends tool to check what keywords we are spotting as now being predominant on a page
- Remember to browser check your pages once they are published
- Perform usability testing to ensure that people can use the site without issues and find what they are looking for
- Check your analytics to see if you have improved engagement, traffic and keyword performance
- Record where your enquiries are coming from and see if you have an uptick since the new changes were put into place
- Keep adding new case studies, testimonials and success stories.