Content writing is a powerful tool that you can use to communicate your message online. I’ve spent the past four years as a freelance content writer – helping online businesses create impactful blog posts, landing pages and site content.
In this post I’ll be covering some aspects of content writing that will help your site rank better on Google, and speak more clearly to your viewers once they arrive at your site.
Google is constantly changing the way they rank websites (usually for the better). Almost every update involves rewarding websites with great content, and punishing those with poor content.
So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to increase your site’s reach, content writing is always a good investment. If you’re already bored with this article, just remember: Google will reward those who regularly publish epic content.
Your Content Writing Should Focus on Something You’re Passionate About
If you want your blog or website to stand the test of time and earn your brand a ton of new followers, you need to fill it with content on subjects that you are extremely knowledgeable about. Remember, you’re competing with every other blogger with a laptop and internet connection.
The content you publish has to be more engaging and meaningful than theirs. And that requires passion. Passion will help you inject your content with enthusiasm. Plus, it’ll fuel the long hours of research required to learn about the things your readers care about, which brings me to my next point…
Keyword Research will Help You to Focus Your Articles on the Things Your Target Audience Cares About
Keyword research is an important process that I will cover more in-depth in a separate article. But, I’ll help give you a basic framework while you’re here.
Keywords are the terms and phrases that your customers type into Google when they’re looking for your company, your products or helpful information about your products.
There are multiple tools for discovering the keywords your customers are typing into Google everyday:
- Keyword Explorer from MOZ is very user-friendly for beginners, and starts at $99 per month.
- SEMrush is another great tool, more suited for advanced users, and also starts at $99 per month.
When you input a keyword into these tools, they’ll suggest other keywords that are related to your terms. You’ll be able see average search volume, as well as the location and keyword competitiveness of the terms Googlers are using to interact with the web.
Keyword research is part art and part science. I’ll go into more detail in a separate article, but once you have your keywords, it’s time to put fingers to keyboard and start writing content designed to answer the questions your customers are typing into Google.
How do I create blog content that’s easy to read, helpful and generates new sales?
In the industry, you’ll hear the term “conversions” thrown around a lot. This is simply a way of describing the thing you want your site’s visitors to do. If you sell hand-knitted scarfs on your ecommerce site, your “conversion” would be the act of a visitor purchasing a scarf.
You can have more than one type of conversion – some visitors might buy a scarf, while others might give you their email address in return for a subscription to your knitting newsletter. Both are conversions that can happen on the same site.
Successful site content is targeted towards scoring a specific conversion. You need to give your content a mission, before you start writing.
The keywords you’ve identified will help. By strategically placing the keywords and phrases into your content, in a natural way (keyword stuffing is never good), you’ll be far more likely to earn the attention of Google. Keywords should…
- …appear in your URL, title and headers.
- …make up roughly 3% of your content. Remember, keyword stuffing is never a good idea.
- …be used in anchor links to your content.
Besides Including Keywords, You Need Actionable Content
The article that perform best are actionable. They provide readers with information they can immediately use to improve their lives, or do something more effectively. After reading your article, is the reader more informed? Do they feel that they can trust you?
A lot of novice content writers make the mistake of simply pointing out a series of problems, or providing surface-level suggestions. The best content dives deep and provides actionable steps on a narrowly defined topic.
If your website is dedicated to helping to save our waterways from pollution, your content should hand-hold readers through the steps they can take to clean-up our water. Create a how-to article that helps them install a storm drain filter, for example. Include pictures and even a video featuring your team completing the task, following the steps in your article.
Do You Need Help Writing Powerful Content for Your Site?
I hope this introductory article helped you to gain a sense for the broad strokes of what content writing means in today’s digital world. You can expect to see a few more articles like these on my blog, covering the topics we’ve touched on more in-depth. In the meantime, if you have additional questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
And, of course, you can always schedule a free content marketing consultation with me. I promise you’ll learn a thing or two from our chat – focused on the things that can help your specific campaign grow.