The primary reason to write any page, or add any content to your site must be to entice your visitors to do what you want them to do. That could be to subscribe to your newsletter, to buy from you, to contact you, or even just to get them to come back later on. The page/content is not necessarily the penultimate step in the process of getting you more business, but it could well be a ‘link in the chain’ and therefore needs to be carefully crafted.
You will note that I say the page needs to be written for the user, and not Google. This may seem to be a strange thing for an SEO Expert to say, but it is said with good reason. The fact is that Google, with its advanced algorithms (like Rankbrain) are now looking for content that answers peoples needs and questions, and not for a document liberally sprinkled with keywords and phrases. That is old school now and is an avenue no longer worth pursuing.
What Sort of Content Should You Write
It is pretty easy to write a 2,000 word article that says very little, provides minimal information and does not answer any questions. What is hard, is creating a compelling content that will stand out from the crowd and will meet the user’s expectations.
For instance, this article is designed to help you know what to write about, what to include in your page at a technical level – the headers, titles and descriptions – and why this is needed. It also must give you some idea of where to start, that is, what you should be writing about in the first place.
What to Write About
So, lets start here, what should you write about?? The first thing, when you can, is to write about something that you know and care about, something that perhaps you can add your own personal view on, one that may not be in tune with others. Of course, this is not always possible, so when you are ‘forced’ to write about something you do not know enough about, the first rule is to do the required research. This will enable you to create an article that is worth reading, it being, (hopefully) factually correct, whilst at the same time providing the reader with your own slant on the subject.
But before you can start writing, you need to know what to write about. One of the best ways of helping your users (and attracting Google’s interest) is to start answering one of the thousands (millions?) of questions being asked every day online.
Finding the Questions to Answer
One of the best sources for questions is provided by KWFinder – https://app.kwfinder.com . This app allows you to search for the questions being asked as well as carrying out conventional keyword research.
As you can see, many of these searches are not used very often, but that is the case for any ‘long tail phrase’ (longer than 3 words) and is of no matter. What is important is that you KNOW that someone is searching for the answer to these questions, and that, if you write a good enough article, that it could answer a lot more than one question. It should also be kept in mind that people who use these long phrases are often far further down the buying cycle and therefore much more likely to purchase something. This means your article could well result in a sale…
Now You Have Your Topic
Once you have decided upon the topic, you can start writing the copy. This will be easy for some, but very hard for many, and is no doubt a skill in itself. However, even though you might not be Shakespeare, I am sure that you can have a pretty good go. All you have to do is to remember what question you are trying to answer and to break down that answer into simple steps and ensure that the layout does not present the user with a wall of text. Break up the copy with images and whitespace as needed.
Titles, Descriptions and Headers
The Title of a page is always in the <head> block or the beginning of a web page’s source code. The title tag is text wrapped in the <title> HTML tag, this being shown (in most cases) as the headline of the search listing on results pages, as well as on the user’s browser tab. Its purpose is to describe the overarching intent of the page and the type of content a user can expect to see when they visit the page. You can use up to 70 characters here, but many experts recommend a maximum of 60.
The Meta Description is used by the search engines to provide a bit more information about the page, this being shown underneath the Title in the SERPS results. It does not directly affect the ranking of that page, but as it is used as a factor in the overall ‘quality’ of a site, it is something that deserves your attention.
Paying close attention to three things when writing a perfect meta description can provide dividends, the three areas being branding, user-intent, and what’s working well in your market place for others. It is in effect an ‘elevator speech’ and these 180-300 characters offer a special opportunity for your page to stand out from the crowd.
Headers are the next thing for you to consider. These ‘section headers’ (H1-H6) were originally intended to size text on a webpage, with the H1 being used for the primary title of a document, it being the largest text on the page. The others, H2 to H6 being progressively smaller. However, the advent of Cascading Styling Sheets (CSS) in the late 90’s, meant that few designers used them for this purpose (indeed many misuse them today). Now their main purpose is to assist Google to understand the importance of each element on the page, i.e. what is the most important and what is the next most important.
Internal and External Linking
The purpose of any link on a page should be to enhance the user experience of any reader. In many cases this could mean linking out to an external site, which could mean you lose the visitor, but if it helps the user to better understand your message and to answer the question, then it should be used.
It may also help the SEO / ranking of the page (because Google is said to like pages that help others), but this is a debateable point, so it is best to use external links ‘where you think it helps’ and for no other reason.
As for internal links. Again these should not be used for SEO, but instead to help users move around your site to better understand the answer to their problem.
Hopefully this will have provided you with some idea of what to write and how to construct the page in a way that will impress your visitors and Mr Google…
About the author
Graham Baylis was born in 1957 and has therefore seen the birth of the Internet and experienced at first hand, just how it has changed the World we live in. He has been involved with computers since 1983 and helped set up the first electronic mail system used by the Civil Service in 1986. He has gained several qualifications in Computing and Marketing and has written hundreds of blogs which you can find around the web, many being on customer’s websites. He has over 19 years of experience with Pay Per Click and SEO and has an answer for most Search Marketing questions, and, for those that he hasn’t is quick to find one. Continually coming up with solutions, Graham is one person it is worth having a chat with.