The more time you spend talking to marketers or ‘SEOs’ (Search Engine Optimisers) the more you’re likely to hear the word content thrown about liberally. There’s a good reason for this, it forms the foundation of everything we do online.
What is content?
In a nutshell content simply describes the substance of a page or website. When users search in Google they’re looking for information. The content we create needs to be designed to answer these queries.
Content can take the form of images, videos or, of course, the written word. Whilst users these days are much more likely to consume content via video and images, it’s written content that holds the key to much of what we do.
For example, if I post a video online about how to build a website, it’s the title text and the context of the page it’s on that will make it findable for users. So in this case what I’m interested in initially is the written content that will get my video in front of the right users. But it doesn’t end there. If these users go on to watch my video and it doesn’t answer their question, or is too long or just not engaging, then they will undoubtedly go back to their search and try another link.
How to create the right content
This is the real core of what we can do to improve your presence online. Creating good content boils down to a few key principles:
- Keyword Research
- Optimising content
- Formatting and structure
This is the most important step, but for many seems frustrating or long-winded. If you’re a competent writer then SoftStone Digital can do the research for you. But, if you struggle to find the time or just can’t find the inspiration then we can write professional quality content for you.
Essentially, Keyword Research is finding out what real people are actually searching for online relating to your products or services. By creating a list of questions, search terms or topics you can quite literally create a list of blogs or pages to create for your website.
Optimising your Content
Optimising your content doesn’t need to be complicated. It used to be about ‘Keyword stuffing’, but Search Engines have become wise to this practice now. This will actually harm your efforts.
An example of this might be: “TurboLofts is a loft building, development and construction company based in Guildford, Surrey, near London. We build and construct lofts in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Sussex, London…” You get the idea. Does this sound familiar to websites you’ve visited? It’s a bad experience for the user, and it just doesn’t work!
Optimising content is actually really simple. If you’ve done your homework and found a specific question to answer; “How to re-wire a plug” for example, then all you have to do is write a concise article which actually answers the question. Most importantly, your article should read well for humans, not robots.
Search Engines have become so clever now, that they can tell the difference between a piece that’s written with the user in mind as opposed to a Search Engine.
Formatting and Structure
It might seem strange that formatting your content is so important, but it can make a huge difference to a Search Engine, as well as your users.
Search Engines will ‘crawl’ your website and index it for quick reference later on. This allows them to produce enormous numbers of search results in a fraction of a second.
Have you ever noticed underneath the search box in Google it shows you the approximate number of results for your query? Yes, that says 2.6 Billion in 0.59 seconds. Impressive right?
To make this feat possible Google (in this case) needs to have an idea of what is important on a page, and what is simply a passing mention. It wouldn’t be much use to us if the top result was an article about a local pet shop that briefly mentioned that it didn’t know what ‘Digital Marketing’ was.
This is where formatting and structure comes in. Google will take into account things like titles and bullet points as well as where on the page a piece of information comes. Therefore your focus for the page should be mentioned in your page title, your URL, a subtitle or two and in the opening paragraph. That way it’s pretty clear what you think is important.
Remember though don’t sacrifice the readability just to tick a few boxes. It needs to work for your users first and foremost.
If all of this sounds too time consuming then drop us a message and we’ll talk about your options. Producing a single blog article can take as little as half a day and can start to make a big difference to the feel of your online presence.