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How to write “rich content” for Google success

website rich content explainedIf 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.

I have this from google themselves:

Basic principles of Content Writing

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee.
  • Ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

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 you and everyone else wants.

Over the past 16 years and as a professional website development company the team at Clickingmad is asked probably 9 out of 10 times 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. I will firstly provide four golden rules about the subject of SEO, (search engine optimisation) that everyone needs to know.

I will state them as negatives. I.e. what SEO is NOT. I’m talking about “natural”, or “organic” results here, not paid for advertising such as Adwords etc.

Some “Golden Rules” for SEO success.

  • Effective SEO is NOT cheap. Effective work on promoting a website takes time. Time is money. Etc.
  • SEO is not fast, it can take months to get any results from this activity.
  • Any work done on SEO is NOT guaranteed. There is no way anyone can try to manipulate the complex algorithms used by the big search engines to their own benefit. Frankly there is no need to try as if you’re spotted your website will either be blocked or so far down the list as not to be relevant.
  • SEO is not a one time operation, as the ways in which search engines work, their predilection to shake up their database on regular occasions and the fact that your competition is also working on their web search results means that you have to keep doing it, as frequently as required.

When I talk about SEO to clients or groups of businesses I use the “plate spinning” analogy.

To get the best from the search engines you have to do many different activities, all at once. So you set your plates spinning and keep them spinning effectively. The plates could be labeled;

  • web page updates
  • website structure updates
  • news updates
  • statistical monitoring
  • meta tag research and implementation
  • competitor research
  • website speed monitoring
  • generic domain name effectiveness
  • more and more updates

The list goes on and on.

Important; if your not updating your website on (at least) a monthly basis you’re not giving it a chance at being attractive to search engines.

As usual I have digressed, so back to content.

Click here to read the next article in this series


How to “BUY” a website – free guide.

buying a company website a free guideWould you like free and unbiased advice on how to actually BUY a website? from someone who sells them?

I recently wrote a document aimed at IOD (Institute of Directors) of which I am a member, that goes into detail about how to do this. A step by step guide on ensuring you get the best website for your business, irrespective of what you do.

Sound a silly idea?

I have over 23 years experience in advising clients companies on what sort of website they need, want or will need in the future. Let’s face it, buying a corporate website is often a traumatic experience for the buyer. The task is often given to a “young” web savvy person, the in house IT folks, or businesses sometimes use an outside contractor to do the work for them.

However the person that SHOULD be involved is often not. A Director or Owner.

Most Directors feel they do not either have the time, or more often the willingness to get involved with such a purchase. If I can put it like this: If you were to buy a, lets say; vehicle, some machinery, a new factory or Office for your company you, as a Director would definitely be involved.


Because you know about those subjects and therefore feel comfortable when buying them. But how comfortable do you feel when thinking about your company’s website?

The document I have written gives you simple pointers, and is un-biased, i.e. it doesn’t sell Clickingmad. It just provides advice on what to do, when to do it and what I think are some good rational reasons why Directors should get involved in purchasing something that not only represents their company, but also can be a major factor in the marketing, client communications and indeed potential success of your own business.

I paste an extract here:

“Decide what the purpose of the website is. Many websites have been created without a good reason for their existence. Look at the following list and tick off those points that you want your website to achieve. I want my website to:
  • Be a good advertisement for my company
  • Sell my products and/or services online
  • Encourage enquiries in to my company for what we do
  • Act as a brochure or reference to assist my existing sales operation
  • Tell customers when we are open and closed
  • Show our customers where we are
  • Give our customer examples of what we do
  • Explain we are very good at making/providing/supporting what we sell
  • Explain how our customers can contact us in various ways
  • Give the website visitor a good idea of what makes us special and why they should buy from us
  • Tell visitors about the history of our company
  • Tell visitors about the staff in my business
  • We want visitors to see images & videos about my company’s products and services
  • I want visitors to download documents about my company, or my products and services
  • We want my customer to connect with us using social media
The above list is not exhaustive, but should be a good starting point. TIP: Give this table to your staff and see what they think.

I will be posting more excerpts of the contents over the coming weeks. If you would like your own copy of this free and unbiased document then email me at shaun@clickingmad.com and I will send it to you. No strings and no spam.

Does imagery used in marketing really matter?

website images convey messgagesI’m a rugby fan. There I’ve said it. Not football: Rugby.

My sons played football and I’ve been known to kick a round shaped thing around myself in earlier times. The image above is, of course, of some famous faces of the current Welsh international rugby team. In mitigation for aficionados of the English game; I grew up on the borders of Wales and had a Welsh rugby coach so you can forgive me for not using the boys in white. Actually it’s even more complicated than that as I am half Irish so depending on who is playing who, I will support a wide range of coloured jerseys.

I work in marketing; marketing using the Internet. My agency designs and builds websites for businesses. All sorts and sizes of businesses. Very often we are asked to provide images for websites that try to convey a sentiment, a mood, a feeling around the message that the page or the content dictates. You know the usual thing, bright white teeth – perfect complexions – or abstract meaningless shots of “something”.

Maybe it’s my age that is making me become very cynical about “stock” imagery. For years we have used the usual suspects – Istock, Fotolia, even Getty when the budget allows. Recently we redesigned our own website and I wanted to do something a bit different and not use the standard and often over-used images that are chosen by lazy marketeers. I thought; “how about using famous people to catch the eye of the web visitor?”

So I did some research as I already knew the sort of thing I wanted to say, which was along the lines of “picking the right team” having “great backup and support” and, well you can see what I was thinking. I was trying to convey that my team are brilliant at looking after the client AFTER the website has been completed and that the support they provide is honestly valued by our clients.

After several hours of pondering and searching for images I thought I would look at buying (and you must always buy – or photograph yourself – images to avoid breaking copyright. Who wants to end up with a bill for using someone else’s image from Google and the like?) an image that would have some impact. So I searched..

As a rugby ex-player and advocate for the finest points of the beloved game I ended up trying to get images of a try, scrums, line outs, tackles. The best imagery was taken by professionals at big matches, but could I get hold of them, legally? Nope.

I wasn’t going to give up. My business website is important. After all, it is what we do so I have to really care about the messaging that I want to convey.

After numerous emails to photographers and even photo agencies and the copyright owners themselves I was very lucky to be allowed to buy the rights to use this image, along with others.

My questions to you are these:

What does the image above say to you? If you had to write a strap line or two to reinforce your message what would you put on it?

If you come up with something that gets the message of “support” or “team” that inspires me, I will use it – and credit you if you like.

There’s your challenge, over to you, give it a go if you have a minute to spare. Email me at shaun@clickingmad.com.