People who have visited our site regularly may have noticed some changes. We decided to follow our own advice and optimise our web content for SEO.
Over the course of one week:
- The number of visitors to our site increased by 184%
- Pageviews increased by 546%
- Each visitor spent, on average, two and a half minutes longer on the site
It’s proof that paying a professional web content writer for a few hours of their time is a really good idea. Here are a few things to consider first.
1. Analyse your existing web content
Have a look at your existing website. Be critical. Even better, get a friend (who’s not in your industry) to have a look. Get them to try to contact you ‘blind’, or place an order. Are the links and buttons where they should be? Is the content presented well? Do the buttons stand out?
From one visit, could they tell you exactly what your company does?
Sometimes the most obvious information is the hardest to find, and sometimes the most important pages, like your About and Contact pages, are the most neglected. You never look at them, so it’s easy to forget that they’re usually the first place a new visitor will go.
2. Monitor your stats
Before having your web content re-written for SEO, it’s a good idea to install some tracking software to collect data about your visitors. If you have an idea of how many people are visiting – and where they’re coming from – you can compare the whole picture before and after the re-write.
Of course, you can go ahead without this information, but analytics software will help you to measure the value of good web content. It will give you some feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool and is easy to install. (We can help you if you’re not sure how to go about it).
3. Balance your budget
This blog post is around 1,000 words long; great for an article, but not for a web page. When we quote a price for web content, we try to give a number of options based on the length of each page, but we urge people to stay between sensible limits.
If your budget is tight, you can drop back to 250 words a page; any less than this and it won’t really be worth doing for SEO. More than 500 words looks intimidating, and with most layouts, it will force your visitor to scroll.
If you have extra money to spend, keep your content simple and informative. Pump some money into regular blogs and articles, or ask your web content writer to come up with additional landing pages to match your marketing and Adwords campaigns.
4. Choose your copywriter
Different copywriters specialise in different things. Not all copywriters are familiar with SEO, so it’s advisable to ask for a portfolio example or check their blog for evidence of SEO. (Don’t ask for a free sample.)
Then, check the background and experience of your writer. For example, a writer without technical writing experience may not be a cost-effective choice for a technical subject like cloud computing or gadget blogs.
Be wary of exceptionally cheap content, particularly if it’s written by a non-native English speaker on a freelancing site. We are increasingly asked to re-write poor content from people who charge as little as $1 (70p) per hour. The copy produced for these prices is very easy to spot. If you’re serious about having a decent website, pay a reasonable rate for professional website writers.
5. Collect your keywords
Keywords are actually phrases. They are, in effect, search terms. You need to figure out what people search for when looking for a business like yours, refine those terms, then use them throughout your content to reinforce them. They should be used subtly so as not to affect the flow of the text.
Keywords are really more of an issue for SEO consultants than web content writer; ideally, you should have them all in hand before the writing starts. If you don’t, gather data from your Adwords campaign or your analytics tool, or use one of the many free keyword tools on the web to get ideas.
Try to stick to a small set of keywords so that your web content has focus. And if you’re targeting clients in a particular area, make sure some of your keywords include the name of your town or city.
6. Hire a blogger
We get thousands of hits on our blog from organic Google searches; way more than we do from Adwords. A blog is a very worthwhile companion to web content as long as it is updated regularly with fresh blog posts.
Many small businesses feel they don’t need a blog, or find it hard to dedicate the time to writing one. Some people feel self-conscious about what they see as a ‘diary’, or feel that their blog posts would be dull. If that sounds familiar, hire article writers instead. They will update your blog on a regular basis to ensure your keywords are used consistently and naturally. For an extra fee, some companies will install, host and manage your blog if you really struggle for time.
7. Promote personally on social media
It’s possible to automatically send out links to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (as well as many other social networks) when you post new blogs on your site. This should be the bare minimum you do to engage social media fans and followers. If you can, try to interact personally on social media; organic Facebook shares are particularly important for SEO, and the best way to inspire sharing is through personal interaction.
Hopefully this blog post will have inspired you to consider ways you could improve your web content. If you need any advice, we’d be happy to help: contact us today for a chat.
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