Digital Boot Camp: 5 Tips for Writing Content with SEO in Mind

The biggest difference maker when it comes to helping SMB’s improve SEO is content creation. The good news is that online marketing is also not a single event. During a breakout session at the Digital Boot Camp, Shawn Pfunder from GoDaddy discussed the importance of continued content creation and optimization in order to discover what works.

First, learning to develop content and just getting started takes time. Everyone’s writing process is different, but to help get started, Shawn talked about the writing process. He suggested following a few steps – draft, rest, review, revise and publish, and keep these five concepts in mind while writing:

  1. Focus on someone – write to a specific individual or create a profile that might consist of everything from demographic information to favorite music or tastes.  You can have multiple distinct profiles for different products or parts on your website, but by focusing on one profile per piece or page, your writing will be more compelling.
  2. Use your voice – the primary way that SMB’s get the word out is word of mouth. So your character and personality need to shine.  The problem is that many of us adopt a different tone when we write that doesn’t sound like the way we talk.  Yet we are most effective when we sell face-to-face. Don’t lose those uniquely personal traits when you write.
  3. Count your words
    • From an SEO perspective, the search engines are businesses that need to serve great results that people want in order to be successful. And through time they have programmed their search engines on what to look for based on their experience of what results are wanted.  While we don’t know what the exact algorithms are, your job is to prove to a computer that you are worthy and have sufficient content to justify being listed in a search result.  E.g. pictures/images – a computer needs a description or title to know that that is.  GoDaddy has determined that 300 words per page is the approximate number that is ideal for SEO.  Sufficient word count shows that you are legitimate and have real content on your site.
    • On the other hand, word use should be somewhat constrained.  Limiting word count to 300 words also helps you cater to users who can be overwhelmed with overly voluminous content that doesn’t focus on what’s important.  The volume of information available on the internet has led users to demand concise content.  Lengthy content will lose readers.
    • Search engines also recognize keyword stuffing and keeping your content to 300 words will help you resist the temptation to do so.
  4. Chunk your content – Definition: chunk – bite size piece of a larger total.  Content should be divided into pieces that emphasize what is important through headings and provide more detail in chunks. Both users and algorithms will read headings to determine what is important on your site.  From newspapers to online content, people consume content in chunks.
  1. Test it (with robots) – Readability can be tested using mathematical formulas.  A couple of free websites allow you to paste in your content to calculate a reading or readability score.  Try these two websites out:

Surprisingly, lower grade level readability receives higher reading scores.  On average Americans prefer reading content of between 2nd to 5th grade reading level. Good reading should be effortless and the reader should forget that they are reading.

Don’t forget the Call to Action.  What do you want the reader to do?  Some tips from GoDaddy:

  • Use only one call to action.
  • Control the path the user follows on your website
  • Demonstrate how the user will be better off if they take the action

Here’s a few different types of calls to action:

  • Buy Something
  • Sign up
  • Check this out
  • Download this
  • Try this
  • Contact us

Lastly, measure the results of your content and website so you can see what is working and what is not and make changes based on those measurements.  Don’t just use Google Analytics to measure.  Also, play consumer and see if you can find your business based on keywords commonly used to search for your business.

  • Do searches using keywords to see what pulls up and look at what those businesses that pull up as results are doing to be successful.
  • Check out which shows where your business ranks for specific keywords.

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