When COVID-19 hit, many businesses turned to the online service model, even when earlier they were reluctant to do so. That’s meant an increasing demand for online content – specifically blogs, social media content, and online newsletters.
Content creation is one part of a comprehensive online marketing effort. It also includes pay-per-click advertising, retargeting campaigns, and using tools like MOZ to track your online rankings. However, the SEO ( search engine optimized) content is the foundation that all your other online marketing efforts will depend on.
Most of the content you write for your blogs will become fodder for social media posts and email newsletters. Search engines are going to be assessing your website on the newness of content, and blogs are the best way to keep refreshing your website content.
If you are a business or an individual looking to promote yourself online, here are 6 tips for writing SEO content and designing an SEO website.
1. Concise First Impression
Write a website landing page that is absolutely clear in communicating your key service offering. Keep the design simple and unique, but add headers that can quickly answer the second level of questions that visitors have.
- What services do you offer?
- What makes your business unique or worth hiring?
- How can you help someone and, at what cost?
- And how do they reach you?
Excessive visual content on the landing page (videos and animation) can be distracting. It may also impact the time it takes for the website to load on mobile devices.
One aspect you should pay attention to is the website font and flashing text content. Often, I see websites with font size or font color that is not reader-friendly, or show content that appears and disappears before it can be read. Unless your target is a young audience ( < 25 years of age), ensure that your website content is presented in a font that is easy to read and doesn’t strain the eyes.
2. Keep Your Website Fresh
When was the last time you changed the look for your business website? If it’s been more than three years, I’d recommend that you look at revamping the design. Even with the same color scheme, you can change the layout to make the design more uncomplicated and your content more searchable.
Your website copy should be updated to reflect the experiences and accolades you have acquired over the last few years.
Look at the keywords trending for your business right now. Do you have adequate content on your website to attract traffic for those keywords? As I mentioned earlier, blogs are a great way to add fresh content and answer questions that your target audience may have.
Research keyword phrases that your target audience is using to look for content related to your business. For instance, if you own a baking business, the phrases that your target customers may be using are – top anniversary cake designs, birthday cake designs, cakes for mother’s day, cake designs for boys, or birthday cake for girls. Use these keyword phrases to create SEO content for your business.
As a person in the business, you must have a pretty good idea of what your target customer wants to know. Write all the essential ‘how-to’ blogs your clients would be interested in.
I also recommend looking at the top keyword searches on Google trends. Review competition business websites, look at what the more prominent players are doing, and review trending topics on sites such as LinkedIn and Quora.
Save potential blog post ideas ( in a diary or an MS Word sheet) as they occur. Before you start writing a post, ensure that you have noted the keyword search phrases that you will include in that post.
3. Use Common SEO Content Hacks
It’s always the simple rules that get missed out. To draw traffic to your website, ensure that you follow these SEO content writing hacks.
Once you have the keyword phrases ensure that the keyword appears in the article headline, in the first paragraph, several times within the content, and in the image captions and subheadings in the blog post. The keywords should be in the meta description, which is the two-line summary Google displays when someone lands on a link to your article.
Tags are popularly used in WordPress sites. Tags are ‘hashtags’ which describe the kind of content that is there in the post. For example, for a post on anniversary cake designs, the hashtags you could use are – anniversary cakes, cakes, wedding cakes, marriage anniversary cakes, cakes for couples, chocolate anniversary cake, etc.
Always include high-quality resolution images. For a post of about a thousand words, including two to three images are a good start. Add alt-text using keyword phrases for images used in the post.
We live in sensitive times. So be careful in the kind of imagery that you use. Use images that do not show sexism, racism, that are not derogatory to any particular group of people and do not depict acceptance of violence.
I know it’s trendy to write quirky stuff, but your business page is not necessarily the best place. You could use that kind of leeway in your social media posts.
4. Create Multi-Media Content
As a content marketer you must be dynamic in the type of content you make. So blogging and social media is now a given; and what you also perhaps must get into is creating podcasts and videos.
YouTube is a massive body of visual content. And it’s going to be very difficult for people to find your video, but you have to start somewhere and if you’re going to start making videos, I suggest making videos of at least five minutes. Shorter than that would make your YouTube video look more like a promotional video. I would recommend that you do 5 to 6 videos that are at least 5 minutes each. If you can, make the videos both entertaining and informative.
Starting podcast is something which is also on the rise for all types of businesses. I started listening to Michelle Obama’s podcasts and she is such a joy to hear. And in fact, that’s also kind of what inspired me to make audio logs for my business.
Podcasts make it easier for someone to consume your content while they’re helping kids with schoolwork, cooking in the kitchen, or maybe waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
If you love writing, create blogs. If you have a camera presence, make videos, if you have a voice for radio, make podcasts. But the trick is to do it consistently .
5. Be Transparent
I’ve been reading this book called Content Machine by Dan Norris. It’s one of the top-rated books on Amazon on the subject of content marketing. The author talks about the need for businesses and individuals to project transparency and honesty.
One way to achieve that transparency is to share data about your business revenues, create visual content on your customer satisfaction scores, or share the path you took to grow your business. Even your personal story can be depicted visually on your “About Us” page on the website. So, if you are a baker, share the story of how you got into baking. Is it a full-time business? Is it something that you do when you have time to spare? How did you get your first client?
Share information that will help your audience know you and your business better.
6. Address Different Customer Types
Your audience can be divided into three categories: people who respond to emotions, people who relate to factual information, and those who are motivated by logic. So your website must have information that appeals to each of these ‘thought’ segments.
For instance, video testimonials are a great way to help potential customers identify with your brand. For those driven by pricing, bulk purchase discounts or competitive pricing are an appealing factor. Case studies and information on the types of customers you have worked for is better for convincing a person driven by rationale. When you have content on the website that appeals to these different categories of people, you have a better chance of engaging visitors.
Keep these six tips in mind as you get ready to revamp your website. Write SEO content that speaks to your target audience.
Also, I’d like to leave you with one final thought and I hope you will apply it to every aspect of your business and life. Perfection is overrated – Make a start and move towards perfection!
Let’s stay connected!