I frequently hear that you have to create up-to-date content in order for your website to be found by search engines. Generally, that may be correct, but I also come across many websites that don’t have fresh content and yet retain good positions in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). While fresh content is important, good content is just as important.
When creating your content, keep in mind that site visitors will end up on your website because they searched for something specific. My golden rule for good content is to “Answer the search!” For that, you have to know what the search actually is.
Content keyword research.
Similar to the initial Website Design, keyword research should form the foundation of your content. If you can put your finger on the words and phrases that your target market is typing into a search engine, then half the battle is won.
Search engines will want to find meaningful content for every search. Today’s searches are increasingly geared to finding information. While this is a generalisation, pitching your content at searches that start with “how to ..” or “where can I …” will give you a good indication of how to write your content.
Website Content inspiration.
Creating content takes time, and I often hear from my clients that it’s just too difficult to write articles and blogs on a regular basis. My response is that, as an expert in your field, finding something to write about should not be too difficult. Also, don’t set your targets too high. If you want to produce something fantastic and “read-worthy” every week, then you may be over-extended. Set the target at once a month, or even once a quarter.
For some time I got my inspiration from my breakfast meetings. Every 2 weeks each of us was tasked to present something about our business for 2-3 minutes. What better way to find something to write about.
How long should your website content be?
Again, there are guidelines that between 300 – 900 words are good for a blog or a website page. I break that rule frequently. On the home page of a website, for instance, your design may dictate the amount of content; and frequently the home page design demands fewer words. My view is that you should follow the design, but ensure that you have some informational content about how your business can be beneficial to your clients.
Remember to “answer the search” in your website content.
There is one other rule that I never break. Even though I get my inspiration from other websites, I never copy anything. If I say that I’ve never had an original thought in my life then I mean that I’m happy to learn from others, but copying content is not only sinful, it also does not do your Google ranking any favors.
If you’re a small business, then write your content in a personal way. For instance, rather than talking about yourself in the third person, use I and we, as though you were speaking directly to the client.
I also believe strongly that you should be honest about your business. Don’t try to make yourself look a bigger business than you are. Your clients will soon find out that they are being fooled.
What about media content?
Here I admit that I’m breaking my own rules. I understand well that not using stock images takes a special effort. Photography can be costly and time-consuming and difficult to produce. I’ve employed a photographer or a graphic designer on many occasions to create something special for a website. That first impact can be very powerful and elevate your website above those of your competitors.
The same applies to video content. I’ve tried this and if you dare to look at the videos on my own website you’ll see my failed attempts. I’ve seen excellent amateur videos produced.
I still say that, unless you’re prepared to spend much time on producing videos, get a professional to help.