Some would argue that in the complex world of SEO, content is king. It depends on your personal angle. It’s a long-standing debate, but what can never be denied is that without quality content, your website is never going to hit the top spots.
Google in particular is a stickler for good content.
But what is ‘good’ content? And how can you go about working some into your site? Let’s take a look.
Quality and quantity
Quality and quantity do occasionally match each other in terms of importance. Over the past few years, search engines have started to develop a preference for pages of at least 500 words, preferably more. But it’s no good if it’s just waffle.
Having quality, informative content in your website is what sets you apart from your competitors. Creating good, SEO-rich content within your website is the key to boosting your rankings with the most popular search engines.
There are five golden rules of thumb when it comes to creating content for your website and we’ve broken them down for you below.
Standing at the top of the list – as it should – is the importance of keywords. There’s a subtle difference between clever integration of search terms and full-on keyword ‘stuffing’. If Google suspects your site of using keywords clumsily (“If you are looking for dry cleaner London click here) or gratuitously (“Need a dry cleaner? We’ve got lots of dry cleaners for all your dry cleaning needs”), it will certainly punish you for it.
Keywords and phrases are essential to the search engine’s ability to determine what your site is about and whether it’s going to be useful to the searcher.
Perhaps the best approach to crafting your website content is to write it first, then go back over it to weave in some keywords. If you approach the task with the sole purpose of finding homes for your keywords, your content won’t flow.
If you aren’t sure which keywords to use, there are plenty of tools widely available across the web. Try typing ‘keyword tool’ into your favourite search engine. You can be sure that the first few companies that appear have done their keyword homework!
Spelling and grammar
Good old Google is conventional when it comes to accuracy. If your site is littered with spelling mistakes, it will be spotted and affect your ranking. Really, there’s no excuse for poor spelling on your website so this is quite self-explanatory.
However, grammar is a different kettle of apostrophes. Some of the rules, even quite basic ones, are difficult for some people. After all, may have spent their careers building and developing the fabulous product for which they need this website, rather than burying their nose in grammar books.
This is where it becomes a very good idea to draft in a professional. Studies have shown that even a single mistake can knock your customers’ confidence in your brand and lose the sale for you. When you think of it like that, paying someone for their help becomes an investment rather than a superfluous cost.
If you’re pretty handy with a pen, write it yourself then pay a professional proof reader to check it over for you. Most will offer a range of services from simple error correction to detailed copy editing.
If the thought of writing your website fills you with dread, pay an SEO-trained copywriter to do it for you. The cost is negligible compared to what it’ll do for your sales. Copywriters not only know how to write well, they know how to sell. And when you team these abilities with an in-depth knowledge of SEO, you’ve got a three-pronged attack that’ll soon have you sitting pretty at the top of the rankings.
Update your site regularly
If you can find a way of regularly updating your site, whether it’s through a blog or a news section, this will help you no end in the eyes of the search engines. This also gives you a rich source of data that you can plug through your social media channels to customers and keep them coming back regularly.
Again, you can do this yourself or hire someone to write regular blog posts on your chosen topics to add to your site.
If you can find a way to make it work, adding a forum is a good way to keep your site regularly updated too. The downside to forums is that you have no creative control over the content, but if that doesn’t bother you then it’s a great way to get people chatting about current events relevant to your field.
HTML Markup and Structure
The organisation of your text is also very important.
As we’ve done in this article, follow the rule that paragraphs should be brief: usually no more than four sentences. Short, snappy paragraphs read more easily and search engines prefer them over uninterrupted reams of text.
Lists are also very important to SEO. You can break lists down with bullets or numbers as you please. This has the dual benefit of helping your SEO and making important information (such as benefits and features) stand out to the reader.
Sentences, like paragraphs, need to be snappy. Keep your sentences to fewer than 12 words where possible. And use a variation of longer and shorter sentences; it makes for a more interesting read.
Subheadings are a wonderful way to break up your text. While they don’t necessarily boost your SEO, subheadings help to pull the reader through your page with ease.
Creating SEO-rich content for your website is one sure-fire way to boost your listings in the most popular search engines. So it’s certainly worth investing time and, if you have it available, a little money in making sure your site’s content is working for you.
If it’s something you’ve been thinking about, don’t hesitate. It will take a while for your efforts to be noticed by the search engines so the sooner you can get started, the better!