Writing quality content for your website for Search Engine Success. By Clickingmad. Website designers and promotion experts.
If you are interested in the performance of your business website you will have heard many times that the “quality” of the content is of paramount importance. Certianly Google has been saying this for many years. I also think its good practice to read your own content and be very harsh on yourself and ask; “Does this page really provide the information in the best way for the visitor”?
I want to explore this further and provide some tips on writing good copy for Search
Engines to index (record), because if they index your content then you are much more likely to be found higher in the search results, which of course is what everyone wants.
As a professional website development company the team at Clickingmad is asked probably 9 out of 10 times questions by clients on how to write effective website copy by our clients. The answer is often easy to come by, dependent on the subject, but still eludes many a website owner.
What does “rich content” mean? (It’s a phrase used by Google, Bing; aka Microsoft and other search engines). I believe rich content to mean several things;
C) Easy to read.
A) Unique content is not a quick fix, you have to think about your product or service perhaps a little differently than you do indoors so to speak. Think about how your customers talk about it. What words do they use to describe your goods and services? How does your trade body talk about them? Use different terminology to describe them. Above all it has to be your own language, do not copy your content from anyone else. Look at competitors by all means, perhaps for inspiration, but always re word what you say so that the search engines couldn’t possible have read it anywhere else. If the content is already in their database, they will know and the will penalise you for it. One way to do this is think about the conversation you light have with a prospective customer or client. Think about the words and phrases you use when talking to them. Use some “unique” selling points that I bet spill easily off your tongue, but that you struggle to write down. Sound familiar?
B) I’m sure you will agree that we can tell when content has been written by someone who is not very good at English, or who doesn’t really know about the subject. I can also tell if it’s been written by a marketeer. Too much spin and not enough substance. Too many buzz words and not enough facts. It feels similar to hearing a script on a telesales call from a call centre; they’re reading the words but they don’t know (or don’t care) what they are saying. Making content interesting is not easy. But it’s doable.
Here is a fictional example of a standard product description for a website selling hotel breaks.
Boring: 2 nights bed and breakfast at the Dorchestering Hotel, Central London. River views and top class service. Book now.
Interesting: Fancy a break at a top class London hotel with all the trimmings? How about watching the sunset over the famous river Thames and looking forward to a sumptuous full English breakfast the next morning after a relaxing comfortable night in your beautifully decorated room? All included. Why not take in a show or museum visit during your 2 night break. Be welcomed in style by clicking here to book now.
See my point? Yes it’s waffling a tad but the facts are all there and it’s SELLING the trip.
Here is a real life example in my inbox from Groupon, a broadcast email provider for retail deals. “When life’s a bed of roses it usually means you have things sweet, or you’re a particularly messy gardener. Blossom into bedding with today’s Groupon for memory foam Silentnight pillows distributed by (name deleted). These Silentnight pillows can be bought as a single, pair, quad, or happy group of eight to provide a soft spot for weary heads. The multi-layered, Memory Foam pillows have been created to react to individual profiles and provide a soft yet sturdy support, allowing folk to sleep easy.”
Now that’s flowery alright, but I think it’s brilliantly written. Quirky, funny and still with all the relevant facts in the offer. That’s what I mean by interesting.
C) Ease of reading may sound a bit obvious. I always read out loud anything I write, well apart from my shopping list!
This is more aimed at your real website visitor but is also relevant to search engines as they often will present an excerpt of your text in their results. Therefore if your content is easy to read the user will get the gist straight away, which is of course what you want. Try not to use too many technical, industry only words. Be very careful over the use of nonsense marketing terms that everyone falls foul of. Examples of which might include; leader [in], holistic, turnkey, outside the box or blue sky thinking, robust, seamless, groundbreaking, empower, proactive, best in class, turnkey, mission critical, ground breaking, iconic, stakeholder(s), industry standard, win-win, best of breed. The reason I don’t like these type of words is that they seem to imply that the companies that use them have a totally unique way of doing things. Which is clearly not true as everyone has competition and some are more than likely able to do things in a similar way to you. If therefore they are being used to pretend to be unique, then that pretence may lead us to the conclusion that we can’t believe anything they say in their website, or press release (where these types of words are most commonly used).
What I want to see are facts, details and proof. Well written and concise, after all none of us have much time anymore to be “flannelled”.
We need (or expect) instant results, accurately describing the product or service that we seek. If highly descriptive or even misleading terminology is used we immediately mistrust the source. Maybe I am becoming cynical in my (not so) advanced years. But tell it like it is. Try to get your website visitor to trust you by telling them the truth even before they make contact. Our main website on www.clickingmad.com is proof of what people really want to see. In our case our Portfolio is the most visited page, after the home page. Clearly visitors want to see what we have actually achieved rather than us saying we are just brilliant etc.
Surely that’s a better way than shallow over used “speak”. Apologies to marketeers (who disagree) out there. Finally, for SEO success write interesting, unique content. For your website visitors write interesting and unique content. For assistance on SEO as a business tool contact a professional company or spend about 4 years learning the subject. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s either cheap or quick, but be assured that it does work, over time.
Clickingmad Ltd is a Website Design and Website Promotion Agency. Started in 2000 we now have 10 dedicated full time staff based in Shropshire and Birmingham offering a wide range of website design, website promotion, ecommerce advice, hosting, search engine optimisation and related services to our business clients. All with a consultative approach. We never sell you something that you don’t need, only what your business needs. Our advice is often as important as any service we provide you. Our principal Shaun Carvill is an acknowledged expert in the Internet, having been involved right at the start of the commercialisation of the web in the UK some 20 odd years ago. If you mix traditional Marketing experience with technical development and programming then you get the Internet. The Internet is not just for Geeks. The Internet means Business!
Our services are taken up by companies large and small and in nearly all sectors. From Estate Agents to Schools, Charities to Engineering companies. Manufacturing and Service sectors alike all receive the same quality Clickingmad treatment. As quality mark holders and members of the UK IT Association (our Principal; Shaun Carvill is also on the board of UKITA) ISO9001 accredited and rigorously tested by many Government and Public Sector purchasing consortiums, we have been accredited to be able to create, build and supply a comprehensive suite of Internet related marketing products and services for our clients.
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