You want your website’s pages and posts to compete in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). That means ensuring your written content is of the highest quality. You’re competing with all of the other sites on page one and they’re stepping up their game, which means you need to do too.
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to writing great content for your website or blog.
DO – Quality Above Everything Else
Producing content for both readers and search engines isn’t difficult, but what that doesn’t mean publishing sub-standard content on a website is okay. Yes, it might be passable to the reader, be well-optimized and rank, but if you’re not providing the best experience for readers then you might find your overall quality score diminishes.
Over time, this means Google and other search engines will start to analyze that the user isn’t satisfied with the quality of your copy (when users bounce quickly back to the search results pages).
You might also find that if a page users land on is there to generate affiliate commissions and you’ve been a little slopping with low-level copy and encouraging people to click on the link, then you might find you’re sent a lower number of visitors. This results in less clicks on your affiliate links and less money in your pocket.
So, the foundations of great content on your website is important.
Do – Keep Focus
Research for a content piece is an important foundational step. Once you have that part finished it’s important to actually write the piece. But, it’s also sensible to not use 300 words to make your point when 150 will do.
Think about and keep focus on the topic or area you’re writing about. You can so this by choosing certain keywords (to keep your density at optimum) and mapping out the journey you’ll take the reader through by using written words.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll want to stay on topic and keep your writing concise (some individuals tend to miss this part and are only interested in getting more content out there to encourage Google to rank their website).
Do – Unique Content Wins
Want winning content? Choose to product content that isn’t copied or plagiarized from other sources.
This means that during the research phase it’s important to take hints and pointers from the sources you read and gather information/data from, but it’s also important that these don’t become consumed into your written words without appropriate attribution.
And, Google and other search engines will always rank your page higher if it sees that your content is unique or the strongest publication of the content (which most people see as the first source published).
Do – Include CTAs
Calls to action help to encourage readers to take some form of action (whatever that might be).
These can act as the funnel through which someone moves from reading the words in your article or blog post to ending up in the place you want them to be (clicking a link, signing up for a lead magnet or completing a contact form).
These aren’t necessarily going to be just buttons, but can be written links in the text, photos or other elements.
Lots of people add them at the end of an article, which gives a clear end and next-step action for the reader.
Do – Use Bullets and Headings
Correct format and structure of content helps the reader. Someone may consume your content by scanning the page and these bullets and headings help them find the parts they are most interested in.
That can result in them doing what you want: filling in a consultation form or clicking that buy button.
Why use bullets and headings?
- They help skimmers consume the content
- Headings help people find the answers quickly
- Numbers and facts can stand out
- Bullets help keep things concise
Encouraging a reader to take the action you want them to will be helped by a properly structured piece of content.
Don’t – Write Boring Content
Content that just bores the pants off the reader is bad. Words written just for search engines or spun gibberish isn’t good for anyone. Longer form content is all the rage in SEO circles at the moment and lots of people believe that 10,000 words should be written when, in fact, 5,000 words would be enough to get the same point across.
If you’re writing in-depth guides or downloadable ebooks then word count is important, but it’s also sensible that this content gets your message across in the least amount of words possible.
Being concise and telling a story is good. Being overly boring and adding in more words just to reach a certain word count is not.
Don’t – Over-optimize
Over-optimizing a piece of written English content can have a dramatic effect on your rankings. Panda was introduced a while ago as a separate update, but is now part of Google’s overall algorithm which means that once the GoogleBot crawls your pages it will analyze how well the content sits against others on the internet.
Now, how it then takes your page and ranks it depends on lots of different factors, but if you use different tools like Cora, POP or SurferSEO then use those to help tweak and change things so that it stands the best chance of ranking high in the search engines and getting the most clicks.
Keyword cannibalization can also be included with over-optimization, but that is more on a website level than a page level (where two pages [or more] compete for the same keyword term) and it’s beyond the scope of this blog post.
Don’t – Publish Tons of Pages
If you find that you have a group of keywords you want to write about after discovering they all have a good amount of search volume then don’t decide to write one article on each of them. Lots of times, if we write lots of these pages they’re not going to have the amount of content that is considered reasonable.
Instead, they will all be considered thin pages and might start to compete with one another (cannibalization) and that will just frustrate you when you don’t see the outcome you imagined.
A handful of “mini-articles” are always best combined into one larger guide that has a reasonable word count for the topic and will help you rank for lots of different keywords.
Don’t – Forget About Copyright
This includes images and content. Plagiarism is the copying of content from another source without actually attributing that source (or taking a significant amount of content from that source when it isn’t reasonable to do so).
This isn’t the same as duplicate content, but it is in the same area: just as you shouldn’t plagiarize other sources you also shouldn’t plagiarize your own content. That’s known as duplicate content and the Panda effect in the algorithm may devalue any content on the page you’re trying to rank.
That means researching the topic, coming up with a title, and writing unique content for the page. Once that’s done, you’ll want to add some pictures and maybe some charts and graphs, and before hitting publish check that you’ve met all of our dos and don’ts for writing.
If you’re interested in presenting the best written words on your website then why not try the help of an English content writing service like Write Stop? Not having the time or wanting to write content for your blog can mean that it’s easier to hire a team of professionals to do it all for you.