How your customers can add content to your website

As marketers, we can spend all day writing about our fantastic products and services; how it works, what the benefits are and answering FAQs. But customers are increasingly savvy – they understand that any company can create great marketing copy, and where can they find content that they can really trust; customer generated content, of course.

“More than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online—the third-most-trusted format.” – Nielsen

Word-of-mouth marketing should be at the forefront your online strategy. Embrace user-generated content with effective strategies including testimonials, case studies, social media feeds, enabling comments and social sharing.

User generated content

Testimonials

A classic; written testimonials. There are plenty of tools available to help you collect and manage reviews. Choose from third-party suppliers or review plugins to generate review ratings, testimonial sliders, rating badges and more.

  • Ask your customer directly, share with them how delighted you’d be to receive their feedback.
  • Make it simple, provide customers with a direct link and ensure the process is as straight-forward as possible; the less a customer has to do, the better.
  • If you have physical premises, setup in-shop tablets to collect reviews then and there, ideal for service providers.

Case Studies

Create ‘case studies’ by working with your customers to share how your business helped them. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your work and how your products or services have impacted the lives of your customers.

  • Consider the title of this section, ‘case studies’ isn’t necessarily the most enticing tile. Consider ‘recent projects’, ‘customer stories’ and ‘clients we’ve helped’.
  • Introduce your ‘case study’ with a testimonial from your customer, whether it’s captured on video or written in a quote, this creates an engaging introduction for your potential customers.
  • Briefly outline the challenge or problem, relating the story to other users.
  • Provide a summary of results, driven by facts, statistic, graphs or photographs. Use colourful, custom images. A picture is worth a thousand words; even stats can have visual appeal.
User generated content

Social Media

You’ve probably spent months, even years building great social profiles by engaging with customers daily. Don’t miss the chance to showcase this social proof on your site using social feeds. You may even increase your social follower count at the same time – it’s a win-win.

  • Add social feeds to your site, pulling through social engagement. All those likes and comments you’ve received demonstrate just how popular your brand is.
  • Start a #hashtag campaign on Instagram and add the feed into your website. Push bright and vibrant user-generated content to your website.

Enable Comments

Written a great blog post recently? Allow your customers to express thanks and contribute thoughts by enabling comments.

  • Enable comments in WordPress discussion setting.
  • Allow for nested comments, letting customers interact with each other and allowing you to reply directly.
  • Communicate with customers, keep an eye out for any questions they have or show your gratitude for their engagement by replying.

Social Sharing

Whether it’s a product, service or post give your user the option to share the page on social media or email it to a friend. Pages with high levels of social sharing help to capture users’ interest by portraying positive engagement for other users.

  • Add social sharing buttons to your posts and products.
  • Demonstrate social proof by choosing social sharing buttons that display the number of shares received.

It’s all about the conversion

Combine user-generated content with clear and bold requests to users. Improve your conversion rate by capturing users who have engaged with your content.

  • Add calls-to-action to your case studies
  • Tell users to share your page.
  • Take the next step after checking out a ‘Recent Project’

Keep track of your feeds, ensuring content displayed on your website hits the mark, but don’t be afraid of a challenging review or comment. Embrace the opportunity to show customers that you care by replying and resolving.

Enjoyed this topic? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts about customer-supplied content.


Man on a laptop

How to perform a content audit

Man writing content on a laptop
Performing a content audit can be extremely valuable. It can help you to improve your website and plan marketing activity, and it is something that almost every business could benefit from. Here at Artemis we regularly carry out content audits for our clients – if you are interested in having one conducted on your site by professional content and SEO specialists, please get in contact with our team today. In this blog we look at some of the benefits of content audits and how you can carry one out for yourself.

What is a content audit and what is its purpose?

A content audit takes a look at all of the content on a website to assess its strengths, weaknesses and performance. It is an evaluation of data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you to understand how well content is doing the job it is intended for, as well as gaining insight into how content could be improved and to guide potential new content creation in the future.

More than just an inventory of the current content on a site, a good content audit establishes the performance of all aspects of content and helps to guide future marketing activity.

Understand your goals

To get as much as possible out of a content audit, it is first important to understand why you are performing it and to establish the goals you are hoping to achieve. There are many different reasons to carry out a content audit:

  • SEO – you may be conducting an audit to help you to identify areas of potential improvement for search engine optimisation (SEO). In this case it would be important to focus closely on aspects such as keywords, image optimisation, word count and current page rankings.
  • Content marketing – it could be that you want to gain insight into the success and failures of your content marketing. Here you could take a look at visit metrics, social shares and user behaviour.
  • Conversion rate – you might be most interested in improving the conversion rates across your site – a content audit can help to achieve this too

Create a spreadsheet listing your content

The first step in the actual auditing process involves finding all of the content on a website. This is where it can be useful to use a crawling tool such as Screaming Frog, as this will find all of the URLs associated with a site and provide them as a list, along with helpfully listing many of the relevant details about a page – such as its word count, headers and more. Many of these tools allow you to export the list in full, so this can allow you to easily create a spreadsheet with the content details you will be needing.

A more time consuming process could be to manually enter all of the pages and their details into a spreadsheet. Clearly for larger websites this would be impractical, but it might be possible if you are auditing a smaller site.

Analyse your data

Gathering relevant data is also an important aspect of your content audit. You will need to utilise various tools to pull in key facts. As discussed above, this will depend on the goals of your content audit, but you may wish to get data such as the last time the page was updated, how the page ranks on Google and how many conversions or goals that the page has achieved over a set period.

Once again, how you analyse the data is based entirely on the goals you are trying to achieve from your audit. But as an example, if you are looking at the conversion rates of your content you might be able to look at key metrics such as average time on page, bounce rate and completion of goals.

You can then see which pages are doing well, and which need improvement. It might be prudent to arrange the pages by those which get most clicks, so that you can focus your future content work on the areas of the site that are most active, but that convert at the lowest rate.

Look at the competition

You can take your audit further than the current content on your site by examining the content of your competitors as well as the most popular content found in the subject matter. Tools like Buzzsumo allow you to explore content in a niche to understand which is the most successful. No matter why you are carrying out your content audit, it is always beneficial to understand exactly what you audience is looking for.

If you would like to learn more about content audits or you are interested in having one carried out, please contact our experienced team today.


Person typing on laptop

Five tips for creating evergreen content

Writing evergreen content
Evergreen content is sought after by digital marketers and businesses because it is more likely to remain valuable over a long period of time. This makes it more valuable for SEO than short-term content, potentially helping to improve your search engine rankings as well as continually bringing in new visitors and users to your site.

If your business can create a piece of evergreen content that answers questions and provides useful information to potential customers, it can additionally be a valuable tool for building your brand and profile. Here are five tips you can follow to create fantastic evergreen content for your website.

Content that stays relevant

The traditional form of evergreen content is anything that covers a topic where the information will not change over time. This means that you write the page once and then it will remain relevant for many months or even years. Take an example like ‘A Guide to Driving Safely’ – the basic information on road safety and smart driving will likely remain the same for a long period of time.

On the other hand, something like ‘Five Upcoming Apps You Need to Know About’ clearly has a defined time period where it is relevant, but it is unlikely to be useful or interesting a couple of months after it has been written.

So when you are planning your evergreen content, take the time to choose topics that are going to have the longest shelf life. An article giving user advice on the iPhone X, for example, will have a shorter shelf life than one that gives user advice on mobile devices generally.

…Or content you can refresh

There is a second form of evergreen content that you can create – that is content that needs to be periodically updated. For example, a list of upcoming SEO and digital marketing events can be evergreen as long as it is continually updated. While this kind of evergreen content takes a little more work than the other, it can be just as effective.

In fact, it can be hugely valuable if you can get users to return to your page because they know it is an often-updated piece of useful information.

Put your evergreen content centre stage

It is important to make sure that your high quality content gets the attention that it deserves. Too many websites will create a fantastic piece of evergreen content only for it to be hidden just a few days later as they post more content to their blog. If you are going to create your content as a blog it is important to make sure that it is still easy to find.

For example you could have a ‘Top Posts’ section in your blog to ensure that it stays near the top of the main page, and in the case of refreshed content, you can always re-post it to bring it back to the top of your blog. Additionally you can re-post the content on social media regularly to give it extra focus and attention.

Understand the different forms of evergreen content

There are lots of different kinds of content that you can make evergreen. If you are struggling to come up with ideas, here are some of the most popular:

• ‘How to’ guides
• Beginner’s guides
• Case studies
• Original research
• Lists of resources
• Useful products or software
• ‘History of’ a topic
• Top tips and advice
• Tutorials
• Glossaries

Create content that matches your brand

Finally, remember that one of the most important aspects of evergreen content is that it can be a tool for promoting your brand. Make sure that you write your content in your brand voice, so that people can associate that content with you.

Here at Artemis, we have a dedicated in-house content writing team to help our clients achieve the best possible content for their business. From writing web page content to blogs and articles, why not contact us to find out how we can help?


Writing on a laptop

Great Content Deserves Great Links

Writing on a laptop
 
Here at Artemis we have always focused on helping clients acquire the highest quality and most relevant links to their websites. Links are still a very critical component for successful rankings, particularly in competitive industries.

Ever since Google became the dominant search engine with its links-based algorithm, people have tried to fool Google into ranking their websites using spam driven link building methods. Over the years, Google has become exceptional at recognising spam backlinks and demoting websites that don’t deserve to rank because of their spam link profiles.

As Google now understands what constitutes a spam backlink, the attention has very much shifted towards rewarding “earned” links. Links cannot be bought, bartered or acquired in an unnatural way that contravenes Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Getting links to a website today is much more time consuming and complicated than ever before. The standards required for links to have a positive effect are now so high that many agencies no longer offer link building services.

Earning Links

In 2018, a link is no longer a link; a link has to be earned and the website receiving the benefit of that link must be deserving of it. Link building, on-page optimisation and content cannot be looked at in isolation.

When Google finds a new link to a website, it will calculate both the value of the link where it is and the value of the page that it’s linking to. From this it will then determine what value, if any, to pass through the link from one site to the other.

A link on an irrelevant website, or in an unrelated context, or in a badly written article or where it appears that it may have been placed there for SEO purposes, this type of link will just be ignored by Google.

However, should the link appear on a good website, in context, in a good article and not appear to be for SEO purposes only, then Google will look to see if the receiving page for that link deserves to benefit from that link.

The receiving page needs to:

• Be of a high value
• Have relevant and useful content
• Have unique content
• Have fresh content

In other words, why should the receiving page merit the benefit of the link? There has to be a reason. Freshness signals are particularly important. In many cases, static, often outdated content, should not be worthy of a fresh new link.

Links cannot be looked at in isolation. Links must be earned and that means that pages that links are pointing to need to be regularly refreshed with new, up-to-date content. Alternatively, creating new pages with new content that is “link worthy” is a natural way to build fresh links to a website.

Websites never get penalised for having too much great content! Great content deserves new links.

Here are at Artemis we are constantly working with clients to ensure the continuous generation of quality content for their websites to complement the high-quality links that their websites are earning.


Are you using jargon responsibly?

Many megaphones shouting at a businessman

Want to know what’s killing your content conversions? One word: jargon.

We’re all familiar with management speak, like being asked to employ “360 degree thinking”, or to reach for “low hanging fruit”. Jargon isn’t just limited to these meaningless clichés though, and if you’re not careful, it could be costing you customers.

‘Jargon’ refers to any language that can only be understood by those familiar with its context. It’s often used to talk about technical terms, and may be found in similar contexts around the world or used exclusively within a single company. Jargon can be constructed in all kinds of ways, including acronyms, shorthands and the re-purposing of old words.

For example, if you overhear digital advertisers talking about leaderboards, skyscrapers and banners, you might understand the words you’re hearing, but may not be able to follow that the discussion is about specific spaces for adverts on a webpage.

Why do we use jargon?

When we’re talking to someone with the same level of contextual understanding as us, jargon is usually used to quickly and precisely communicate situation-specific ideas. This is particularly common in workplaces (the medical community often uses phrases that confuse the rest of us), but it can also occur between hobby enthusiasts, for example.

Jargon not only makes communication more effective, but it can strengthen bonds between those that understand the language. It shows that we share knowledge, think similarly and can be helpful to one another. This is true of jargon that we use with each other face to face, to our colleagues over email, and for our customers via our websites.

So… why is it bad?

There are a number of reasons why it’s a bad idea to use technical jargon or ‘occupational dialect’ on your website.

1 – You’re sabotaging your search traffic.

Your financial services might be focused on assisting with stocks and shares, and mutual funds… but your potential customers are all searching for ‘savings’ or ‘investments’. Trying to be clever – or even just more technically accurate – about the products you offer can prevent genuine customers from ever finding your site.

Using Google Analytics can help you choose better keywords, and you might be surprised at the difference in traffic just a few small tweaks can produce.

2 – You’re alienating people.

As much as jargon includes those who understand it, it quickly excludes those that aren’t in the know. Using technical terms without an explanation will make it difficult for the everyday reader to understand whether your product does what they need it to, making it more likely that they’ll shop elsewhere.

If you’re producing your own web content, try to look over what you’ve written from someone else’s perspective. Would it still make sense to someone that had never worked in your industry? If not, re-write the most confusing parts in a more conversational way, or use a common analogy to explain them.

3 – You look shifty.

A study conducted at New York University asked its subjects to read two sentences, one which used plain language and the other which relied on complex terminology. Despite conveying exactly the same facts, readers judged the simpler sentences to be more reliable, because they could better visualise the ideas involved.

In many industries, using complex language is only going to convince your reader that you’re trying to hide your shortcomings. Being able to explain what your product does in layman’s terms is far more accessible.

Is it ever OK to use jargon?

Yes, as long as it’s used sparingly and appropriately. Jargon might be a part of your product’s identity, driving you to use a specific term to differentiate yourself from the competition. For example, Apple choosing to advertise a ‘Retina’ display is a decidedly better choice than trying to market ‘a screen with a higher pixel density than most other screens, making text appear sharper’. See what we’re saying?

Maybe you’re writing for a niche audience. If you sell specialist labels for laboratory test tubes, your customers are probably interested in whether they’re made from vinyl, polyester or polypropylene – even if everyone else would just see ‘plastic’. There may also reach a point where your jargon becomes part of a lingua franca. Computing terms like ‘byte’, ‘download’ and ‘RAM’ used to be alien to most of us, but over time they have entered our accepted vocabulary – few people need to have them explained.

Abusing jargon is what will drive your customers away, not the words themselves. We see this every day in SEO, where technical terms aren’t going away any time soon. While more people are becoming comfortable with the concepts of PPC (pay per click), CTR (click through rates) and UX (user experience design), we know that a few reminders here and there help to keep everyone on the same page. Consider your target audience, your business goals and, if in doubt, dial it back.

If you need assistance with writing content for your website, website design or search engine optimisation, we would love to help. Why not give Artemis a call on 01444 645018 and book a free consultation?


content is king

How to write great blog content in 5 easy steps

content is king

What’s the secret to writing a successful blog? This isn’t a trick question and neither should the answer come as a great surprise: Content is king. It’s obvious when you think about it from a reader’s point of view. Why would anyone read a blog post that’s boring, too difficult or too long? Wouldn’t they click away from the page in search of a more interesting blog elsewhere?

It’s a competitive world out there in cyber space. Every blog post faces stiff competition from hundreds of other posts written about the same topic. The quality of your content largely determines whether or not your blog post will be successful.

Of course, Google knows exactly how long your readers spend on your page. Say your post comprises 1,500 words of beautiful prose but the average dwell time is only 10 seconds. The search engine is bound to conclude that you must be providing poor quality information, which in turn will affect your page ranking.

Conversely, great content will not only captivate your audience, it will improve your site’s visibility in search engine results and drive traffic to your site. It’s a tried and tested organic SEO technique to produce tangible online results.

In order to make your content stand out from the crowd so that the reader chooses your blog over the competition and reads it from start to finish, follow these 5 steps to boost your Google ranking.

1 – Write original content

Cartoon Thief in Mask With Sack

The first golden rule is that your content must be unique. Don’t ever be tempted to copy other people’s work or indulge in the dubious practice of ‘spinning’. Such unethical ‘black hat’ SEO tactics will be punished by Google, meaning your rankings will plummet head first into the abyss and may never recover.

On the other hand, if you choose to regularly post fresh, original and highly relevant content onto your site, not only will your readers thank you, Google will reward your efforts and you’ll see your site climb up the rankings. While a good content writer should, of course, research the web far and wide to help produce a great blog post or article, it’s essential to ensure that the end result is all your own work.

2 – Write a killer title and intro

Woman reading on her laptop

Spend as much time crafting a great title as you do writing the body copy. Why? If the title doesn’t inspire curiosity to click through, no-one will read your post and all your efforts will have been in vain. A killer title, on the other hand, is the bait that hooks the reader into the article, which is exactly what you want. It’s worth making the extra effort.

Once on the page, focus on delivering a powerful opening sentence or two to keep the reader engaged. Unless interest in your blog post is sparked and maintained above the fold, your reader may get bored and hit the back button.

3 – Write for short attention spans

yelling business man at the office on white

No-one reads long pages of text anymore, not online anyway. To accommodate the online reader’s notoriously short attention span and impatience to find information quickly, written web content must be scannable and easy on the eye.

Break up your writing into bite sized chunks – no more than 5 lines of text per paragraph. Use visual text aids such as subtitles, bullet points or numbered lists. Make use of photos, illustrations, infographics, pie charts, tables – anything to help break up long text passages and supply the information in a user friendly format.

4 – Write for people, not search engines

A cyborg reading a binary code.

It’s all too easy to lose sight of the fact that blog posts should be written for people, not bots, since it’s the reader who ultimately decides if the content is any good. The reader’s behaviour on the page will inform Google’s judgement about the value of the blog content which will have direct impact on your rankings.

Gone are the days when keyword stuffing and content over optimisation were a sure fire way to Google’s heart. This popular SEO trick may have worked in the past, but these days you’re more likely to be penalised for what is now seen as a dodgy tactic. Instead, focus on creating useful, information rich content that provides real value to the user, while using keywords appropriately and in context.

5 – Write for everyone

Yawning Businessman

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that good content writing is not the same as academic writing or creative writing. Instead of being tempted to show off your superior knowledge of vocabulary or syntax, use a level of language that’s easily understandable, inclusive and to the point. You want to keep you readers engaged, not alienate them.

Don’t forget that the internet is accessible to everyone regardless of education. Make sure the tone is upbeat and friendly, while short sentences and simple words are the way to go. That way you don’t risk losing your audience for reasons for TLDR!

If your business needs help writing effective content for your website or online marketing campaigns, Artemis can help. With a talented team of in-house content writers at our disposal, why not let us do the hard work for you? Contact us for a free consultation today.


Writing good content

5 tips for writing irresistible opening sentences


 
Creating content that goes viral is every writer’s dream. It’s not just the headline of your blog post, article or web page that needs to convey your message and draw readers in. The first sentence will determine whether your readers engage with your content or bounce off.

After your headline, the first hurdle of copywriting is in writing an irresistible opening line. If writing isn’t your thing, get an expert to help you. Otherwise, follow our 5 tried and tested tips to write a tantalising first line your readers will love and share.

Did you know that Artemis has a dedicated in-house content writing team that can help with anything from a blog post to a whole website? If you’d like to find out more, just call us on 01444 645018.

1 – Make your reader your imaginary friend

Before you start writing, picture your ideal reader. What makes them tick? What makes them laugh? What sparks their interest? Imagine the questions your reader is asking (you can answer the questions in your copy). Your reader needs to become your best imaginary friend. Once you understand your potential readers, you are in the right headspace to craft your opening line.

And remember, your readers don’t want fluff. They want to be spellbound, and you want your audience to become addicted. Your opening line should spark curiosity and intrigue. Most of all, you have a short window to connect with your reader, so show that you understand him or her, and that what you have written will provide comfort or assistance. Try using a sentence to conjure up a feeling your reader recognises. Emotion wins followers.

And yes, in case you had pondered the idea, you do need to be a psychologist to understand your audience. Well, not really, but almost.

2 – Keep it short and snappy

What is the aim of your first sentence? It’s simple – to get your reader to read your second sentence. That’s all. The easiest way to do that is with a short, snappy sentence. It can even be a single word. Imagine. That was an example by the way. Or use a question. Do you know how easy it is to write an irresistible opening line?

Long, undulating first sentences are the domain of literary geniuses. Unless you are working on a novel, forget the lengthy prose. At least until you’ve hooked your reader in, then you might just get away with the odd long and beautifully crafted sentence. But, only dabble if you’ve already managed to hook your reader.

3 – Ditch the exclamation mark

Yawn. No more unnecessary exclamation marks PLEASE. Overuse of exclamation marks is a sign of laziness. There are of course appropriate places for exclamation marks. Think of duck! or duck. One of them is a life saving call, the other a cute bird on a pond. So, yes there is a place.

But these days, exclamation marks seem to be used like confetti. Peppered through content, they are used frequently to big up a word, when really all that is needed is a bigger word. Let me explain. Take ‘It’s big!’ ‘It’s enormous’ does the job without the need for an exclamation mark. She’s beautiful! But, she’s breathtakingly beautiful, removes the need for an exclamation mark. Penny dropped?

If that argument doesn’t convince you, Donald Trump is a fan of the exclamation mark. According to the Trump Twitter Archive, from January to October 2017 inclusive, the @realdonaldtrump posted 2,127 tweets. They included 1144 exclamation marks. I rest my case.

4 – KISS: Stick to simple language

Pompous language doesn’t speak well to most audiences, and especially when you are writing for the web. Keep your writing simple. That includes sentence structure and the words you choose. Opt for help, rather than facilitate. Or get, rather than obtain. Don’t flummox your reader with flowery prose in your opening line. It’s unattractive visual noise that’s a real turn-off. If you want your opening gambit to be truly irresistible, you’ll need to pack a punch in as few simple words as possible.

5 – Offer hope

It’s pretty obvious no-one wants to be bored to tears, and unless you’re reporting for a news channel, staying positive is essential. Being playful with your words is one way to make your writing irresistible, but most of all offer hope. Are you about to chuck your stapler at your boss? The question infers you understand what a terrible day your reader is having and suggests you may be about to tell them how to change that. Offer something hopeful, interesting and thought provoking in your first sentence and you’ll clinch the deal.

At Artemis, we’ve been marketing websites and our clients online since 2004. If you need help with effective content writing for your business, website design or search engine optimisation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Content is King Illustration

Is content really king?

Content is King Illustration

We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king.” But what does it actually mean? Is it just another meaningless digital-age phrase, banded about to impress those who are digitally clueless?

Well ladies and gentleman, it’s probably no surprise to learn that content is still king, and that king has never been more powerful. When it comes to websites, content is, in fact, the king of all kings. And here’s why.

RankBrain

Google’s philosophy is based on great user experience. They want you to find exactly what you are looking for every time you use their search engine.

To achieve this Google are putting artificial intelligence centre stage and it’s this that is cranking up the pressure on content quality for Google rankings. RankBrain is Google’s name for its machine learning artificial intelligence system that is being used to help process search results.

So what exactly does RankBrain mean for content? Google trawls sites to figure out which pages are the best fit for a search. It looks for signals (there are around 200 different major signals, with potentially 10,000 or more sub-signal variations) including title tags, keywords, keyword prominence, grammar and spelling to name but a mere few. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is complex, and it’s why businesses employ experts such as digital marketing companies to improve their website’s ranking.

But it’s not just the SEO tricks that websites need in order to rank highly. Google’s algorithms are increasingly sophisticated tools, and RankBrain, along with the Panda and Penguin algorithms, are dramatically affecting the extent to which content quality impacts search results.

Google are investing heavily in AI to understand the intent of the search engine user and to deliver better results. This means content quality is more crucial than ever before. Quick fixes and tricks when it comes to outwitting the Google algorithms are a thing of the past. And that is why content really is king.

5 top tips to create content fit for a king (and RankBrain)

It’s pretty obvious that good content contributes hugely to any successful website – catchy taglines, and thoughtful, clear, well-laid out content with great calls to action, as well as enticing link bait, all lead to better Google rankings, potential customer conversions and ultimately profit. To give your content the edge, here are 5 things you simply must do.

1 – Get clever with keywords

It used to be easy to affect rankings simply by adding keywords to poorly written text. RankBrain has a more sophisticated approach. Poor content rich with keywords will no longer suffice. Content not only needs to be of great quality, but the combinations of keywords within the content also need to be constructed wisely. Keywords with different combinations of suffixes, prefixes and phrases (known as long tail keywords) are essential to rank. Voice search is also gaining popularity so the combinations of diction are growing. Now content needs to include concepts and combinations of words that include keywords, as opposed to single keywords.

2 – Create original, conversational content

It’s crucial to make your content original. Why should anyone be interested in your content if hundreds of others have said it all before? Content copied from competitors is a big no-no. Focus on user experience, and write content that sounds human. Tell your story, use case studies, and give it a personal touch. Perhaps even add anecdotes from your personal life. If you’re not a writer, get someone else to create your website content for you. Quality is just as important as originality.

3 – Create valuable content that’s easy to find

Give your readers and potential customers value added information such as an FAQ page, guides, a blog, industry news and case studies. Building a relationship with your readers and providing relevant and engaging content is a powerful way to entice links and keep up with RankBrain.

User experience is very important. If the content on your website is poorly laid out or is difficult to find your bounce rate is likely to be higher. Valuable, user-friendly content that is easy to find is essential for your business and for RankBrain.

Research your competitors. Find out what is trending and what your customers want. Find out which competitors are ranking well and why. Videos and visual content are popular. Valuable content offering practical information is the way to go.

4 – Don’t ignore mobile optimisation

If you only do one thing, optimise your website content for mobile users. Ignore this and you’ll be missing out on a huge audience. Make sure your content works on mobile devices, and keep up with changes. You’ll also need to understand what mobile customers want. Your mobile target market will have different needs to conventional computer users. Mobile friendliness is also a strong ranking factor.

5 – Review, refine and improve content (and the layout of your website).

The worst thing you can do is leave your website alone. No matter how good you think your website is, refreshing content is now more vital than ever.

The design and visual impact of a website is also very important. A poorly designed website will likely lead to higher bounce rates and, over time, RankBrain will rank the site lower in the search results because of it.

If website owners want to convert potential customers to sales and keep up with the Google ranking game, they’ll need to invest in improving their sites, including usability and quality of content, in order to engage visitors and get them to take action.

While strategies for SEO must continue to adapt and change accordingly, the spotlight is on content now more than ever before.


Writing good content

Six tips for perfect product copywriting

copywriting

 

Whether you’re creating brand new content for an ecommerce site or just refreshing your product pages, it’s worth spending some time to get the copy right. Too many businesses copy and paste the product description from the supplier’s site or just free write whatever comes to mind when they come to upload to their site.

But a good product description can be the difference between a customer buying with you or continuing their search elsewhere. Here are six great tips for perfecting your product content.

1 – Understand your audience

To write the perfect product copy, you need to know who you are writing for. Ask yourself: who is the product for and who is most likely to buy? It’s unlikely that you would use the same style of writing for aspirational millennials as you would for pensioners. But it’s also worth looking deeper into your buyer. Are they style conscious? Bargain orientated? Highly educated? When you have a real understanding of your audience, you can start to make decisions on style and tone of voice.

2 – Research your product

You also need to really understand your product and where it sits in the marketplace. Don’t think about getting started on the writing until you have conducted thorough research into the advantages of your product compared to the competition.

Talk to whoever you need to – take the time to call or email the manufacturer or supplier to get the most relevant details. This is the stuff that will make your product stand out from the crowd and promote sales.

3 – Write for humans

Of course it’s necessary to be aware of search engines and how to optimise your product content effectively – but don’t fall into the trap of writing for the benefit of Google. Firstly, Google’s algorithm gets smarter every day, and what it really likes to see is good quality content. But also because the true value of product copy is its ability to convert.

Yes, search terms and keywords are important but there really is no good in having people landing on your product page if they never actually, you know, buy the product. Focus on writing the best possible content for human beings to read, that is what will get you the sales.

4 – Don’t get caught up in word counts

There is a lot of talk about ‘thin content’ on the internet. It’s certainly true that pages with too little content can perform poorly in Google search results, and sites should always be aiming to improve their content. But remember too that we are talking about a product page. Ultimately, if they have landed on a product page, they are here to make a buying decision. This means that your content needs to be concise, crisp and lead them towards making the purchase.

No, your content should not be too short, but don’t ramble on making the same point over and over to reach a round 500 word count. Use as many or as few words as you need to sell the product to the audience and leave it at that.

5 – Be original

Filling your product page with cliché sales nonsense will do nothing to promote sales at best, and annoy your potential customers at worst. It’s a much better idea to take your time and create snappy content that someone will actually remember. Make them laugh or present your product in a way they haven’t thought about before. It will make a real difference.

6 – Use emotive language

Too much product content perfectly describes the individual features, but forgets to explain what it actually does for you. Consider the difference between describing an office chair as being ‘ergonomically-designed’ compared to content that explains the chair contains ‘back support to keep you in complete comfort’.

The difference here is the use of emotive language – the kind of language that allows the customer to understand how fantastic it is to own the product.


Don’t know what to blog about? 5 blogging tips for business owners

content writer tips

 

Believe it or not, a successful blog has the potential to become the most popular section of your website, read regularly by existing and prospective clients and widening your business appeal. In terms of SEO, a blog is the easiest way to add regular fresh content to your site. This, in turn, will improve your Google search rankings, especially if you use relevant keywords in your blog titles and posts, and share your content on social media too.

However, in order to reap the rewards you need to make a regular commitment. An underused blog with the occasional bland update is unlikely to move you closer to your marketing goals. And while many businesses set up their blog with the best of intentions, a large proportion run out of steam after the first few posts. If your company blog has gone a bit stale and you’re looking for ideas on how to bring it back to life, read on.

Blog posts can, and should, take many different forms. Who wants to read posts that follow the same old format every time? In an effort to keep your readers interested in what you have to say, and hopefully coming back for more, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Here are some tips to get you started:

1 – Knowledge sharing

As a business owner and specialist in your chosen field, no doubt you have a lot of expertise that you could share. If you’re a web developer, you could give useful advice on how to recognise and avoid the latest scams. A surveyor could publish a guide to the different property surveys available. A photographer might share tips on how to strike the best selfie pose. You get the idea.

Obviously, you’re not going to give away any company secrets, but sharing some of your expert knowledge with the wider world will help to position yourself as a leading authority in your field, which is exactly the image you want to portray.

For extra engagement, think about putting a ‘how to’ video on YouTube and embed it in your blog post. Not only is video a great way to connect with your audience – remember: a picture is worth a thousand words – it’s also great for SEO.

2 – Problem solving

Relate to your audience by identifying a common concern or problem they may share, then help them solve it. If you’re a professional cupcake maker, why not explain how to make gluten free or vegan alternatives? A gardener might give advice on weed control or how to spot tomato blight. A solicitor could give details of the new probate fees or Inheritance Tax changes.

By helping to solve a problem, you are engaging with your clients in a way that shows you’re approachable: you listen and you care. Make the most of the interactive benefits of a blog by allowing your readers to leave comments or reviews, then reply to them individually for maximum engagement. Blogging in this way can be a powerful tool to help you build trust and public confidence in your brand.

3 – Product promotion

Clearly, the ultimate aim of your website, including the blog, is to increase sales – but be careful. While a blog can be a great online marketing tool, this is not the place for hard selling. In order to promote your products and services, you’ll need to use the ‘softly softly’ approach.

One example is a post about a common problem (see above) into which you gently weave your new product as part of the solution in a ‘by the way’ kind of way. A dentist might promote his latest teeth whitening procedures in this way, or a bathroom designer could extol the virtues of underwater chromotherapy lighting!

Another trick is to write a review about a recent industry event (see below) which your company attended with a product launch or presentation, using a paragraph of the blog post to give details about the new product. It’s good practice to include an internal link to the product page so the reader can click through if he is interested to find out more.

4 – Industry news

Sharing and commenting on relevant industry news is always good value. It shows that you play an active part in the professional community in which you work, with authoritative views on what goes on around you. Whether you’re an accountant commenting on the latest budget, or a health & fitness club evaluating new functional workout regimes, this is a great chance to add your voice to the mix.

Of course, your own company news should form part of the strategy. If you’ve recently moved to swanky new premises, tell your customers about it in a blog post. Shout about any business awards you’ve been nominated for or have received, and keep thanking your team and your customers for their support. By sharing parts of your own story, your company will cease to be perceived as a faceless commercial entity and be seen as a team of caring individuals.

5 – Entertainment

Finally, don’t forget that you can make your blog posts entertaining. This is the place where you can have a bit more fun with your brand and show the human side of your company.

From charity events where you and your staff dress up in superhero costumes, to 10 fun facts about your industry, or examples of inventive uses of your products, there’s no reason why the occasional blog post shouldn’t be light hearted.