How to Write Content for Your Website that Will Rank in Google
In this article we’re going to look at how to write SEO optimised content for your website.
Beautiful images, great UI, and page speed are important too, but it is the written content that will:
- Determine if your website shows up in the search results
- Convert the visitor into a paying customer
In this guide we’re going to focus on the Search Engine Optimisation aspect. (Though there’s actually quite a lot of crossover between the two).
Time needed: 4 hours.
5 Essential Steps to Write Content for your Website that Converts
- Define your Mission Statement / USP
It’s essential that you define the Unique Selling Point of your product or service.
What is it that makes your product or service special?
Why should people choose your product or service over those of the competition?
If you already have customers it’s a good idea to survey them to find why they chose you. Sometimes they may identify benefits that you take for granted but in fact set you apart.
If you can’t answer these questions, you need to have a very hard think about your business plan.
Read my in depth guide to finding an online niche for your business here.
- Do “Keyword Research”
You know your product or service inside and out. You know exactly what it does, how it works, what it’s called… Your potential customers might not!
So, whatever your niche, you need to do “Keyword Research” to find out:
What terms people actually use to search for products or services like yours?
What kind of demand there is for your product or service?
Build up as long a list as possible of search terms that potential customers might use to find your website.
Read my full guide to keyword research for small businesses here.
- Scope out the competition
Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You need to find out:
Are there other websites offering the same products and services?
Are your USPs really USPs or are competitors offering the same (or better) product or service?
Google the list of Keywords and Phrases you came up with in step 2 and see what comes up in the results.
A. Google serves up very personalised results, so switch into incognito mode so your search and browsing history doesn’t influence the results.
B. Results are location dependent and vary greatly depending upon the country, city and even street, in which the user is located at the time.
The latter isn’t an issue if your website is for a local business, In fact, it’s a bonus. If you are planning on targeting nationally, or internationally, however, you need to learn how to see search results from different locations.
Try to make an assessment of the websites that come up on the first page of the results.
Are they competitors? How powerful are they? How different are the results for different terms?
Learn more about researching your competition here.
- Find the “longtail”
Competition is tough. Getting into the first page of google, let alone the top few results, with the Keyphrase “Hiking Socks” for example, would be a challenge.
Established sites have “Domain Authority”. Lots of positive reviews, incoming links, and shares on social media.
Your sparkly new website saying “Definitely the best socks ever, according to me” is not going straight to number 1. You need to sneak your way in the back door. You can do this by targeting less common keyword combinations for which there are less competition.
“Colourful HIking Socks made with Sustainable Alpaca Wool” would be an example of a “longtail” search query.
These search queries account for only small percentage of total search volume. But as there are 5-6 billion google searches per day, a tiny percentage can be more than enough to sustain a small business.
Over time as your business builds its reputation with these longtail customers you can start to climb the ladder and gradually increase your market share.
Important: You must genuinely satisfy the longtail queries you are targeting. Don’t try and rank for “Colourful HIking Socks made with Sustainable Alpaca Wool” unless you actually have Colourful HIking Socks made with Sustainable Alpaca Wool to sell!
For a more detailed look into how to target the longtail check my guide on keyword research.
- Optimise your Writing for SEO and Mobile
Once you’ve decided on your keyword phrase, you need to optimise your text for Google.
Good SEO is about structuring your written content in a clear and easy to understand manner. Doing so helps both humans and search bots understand what your content is trying to say.
There is no substitute for having a top quality product or service, and writing engaging, interesting original content. You can however help google (and readers) find your content by including your Keywords in:
>Your page or post title (and url slug)
>First paragraph of text
>Excerpt / meta description
>Headings and subheadings
>Image titles and alt text
>Somewhere in the middle and near the end
Don’t overuse your keyword phrase, or you may be penalised for “Keyword Stuffing”.
Also, remember that many visitors will be scanning your website on their mobile phone. Avoid using lots of long sentences and unbroken paragraphs. Try to be relatively concise, and break the text up with plenty of subheadings and bullet points.
Be sure to read my comprehensive guide to writing SEO friendly content here.
This article gives an overview of the most important SEO factors to consider when writing content for your website.
Before hitting the keyboard, be sure to checkout the following more in depth articles:
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