There has been a saying within the SEO industry for many years that ‘Content is King’ However, the type of content and how it is delivered is really key to making content work for your website.
Why do I need content for SEO?
When a user visits your website they will often have a problem and be looking for a solution.
For example – They want new shoes, as theirs are worn out. The solution, visit a website that sells shoes to buy new ones. The customer lands on a website with really great compelling content selling them the best, most comfortable, desirable, affordable must-have shoes. They are lead through good content and purchase the shoes. Happy customer! The website sells the shoes = Happy business owner!
However, the first step to many people’s journeys, when looking for a solution to their problem, is to use a search engine.
The search engine will use the same content on a webpage to show in their index but they’re not looking to buy shoes. Their problem is that they have a customers searching for a solution. The search engines solution is to show the best website to their customer that has the best chance of selling them the shoes.
If you were a shoe retailer, you would include content about shoes. The words that you put on your web pages help search engines to understand what your web pages are about. The words/keywords help the search engines know who to show in their results when someone is searching for the products that you sell.
How to write great content for SEO?
My number one tip and piece of advice is to not think about writing content for SEO. You need to write your content first and foremost for your user. For your audience.
The user goes to the search engine with a ‘search term’ i.e ‘New Shoes’ and the search engine has been to websites and crawled the webpages and finds lots of content about ‘new shoes’ it’s a really good match on both sides.
But if your user lands on your website and is greeted with content that reads ‘We sell shoes because shoes are great and everyone loves new shoes as when you wear old shoes you feel rubbish but new shoes make you happy because everyone loves shoes’ Your customer will disappear off of your website quicker than they arrived. This is bad for the customer. Although getting those keywords through search engine crawls affirms the page is definitely about shoes, search engines won’t really like this type of content either as it’s giving a poor user experience to their customer, the searcher. It’s bad for both your customers and search engine customers.
To find the sweet spot of including keywords for search engines and including value for the customers visiting your website is to always put your customer first.
Below are my top tips for writing the best content on your website.
Is the content relevant to your users?
The content that you are producing should be relevant to your target audience. If you are selling shoes to an elderly audience. Think about the types of words that resonate with what they are looking for. Comfortable, affordable, easy to put on shoes.
If you’re trying to sell shoes for the elderly but cramming in keywords like ‘Nike Air Zoom Shoes’ just because it has great search volume and brings lots of traffic. Your traffic and customers won’t hang around on your website to purchase because what they searched for doesn’t align with what you sell.
Is the content formatted well?
Nobody likes to read a long large paragraph of copy. Whether your writing product listing descriptions or blog posts. Format your content with good headers, bullet points, quotes, and tables where necessary.
Have you included an image?
Good content isn’t just written words. Good content can be broken down further by using good formatting and images. Try to include at least 1 relevant image within your content. Make sure that the image used has a descriptive file name and alt text description that supports what your are trying to convey.
Are you utilising your content for internal linking?
If you talk about another product or category. Link to it within the content. Adding internal links helps search engines crawl between pages of your website. Try to add at least one internal relevant link to your content.
Are you utilising your content for external linking?
When writing content for both your customers and search engines. It is often a good idea to link out to external sources. If you quote another website or talk about another authoritive person in your niche. Link to them. Search engines build trust when you link out to similar trusted and respected websites. If you start linking out to payday loan websites and gambling websites, this might have the opposite effect.
Your content needs to be unique.
If you copy and paste your content, it is bad for the user and worse for the search engines. If you are a retailer that uses the boilerplate description from the supplier. What sets you apart from all of the other competitors selling the exact same product with the exact same copy?
Equally, how will search engines decide who to rank first if every website selling a particular product has the exact same copy?
Make sure that you are writing unique content. Specifically in your tone of voice for your business, speaking to your customers. Even if 100’s of other retailers sell the same product. make yours unique and stand out.
If you spend too much time thinking about keyword volumes and tactics to win within the search engines you may fail to win over your customers. Write your copy with your customer in mind. Answer your customers’ queries. Be the solution to your customers’ problems.
Think about your customers first and search engines second. Be aware that search engines need to find some keywords within your copy to be able to show your website when customers are searching. But don’t focus so heavily on cramming in keywords that you miss the most important part of your job to serve your customers.