Somebody important must have said that creating content isn’t a main focus point for a website. There must have been someone, somewhere, on some conference, in a book, or on tv. It must have been said. Why? Because I meet website owners all the time that seem to be afraid of content. It’s either the ‘I’ll send over some brochures and you can copy that content’ attitude or the ‘everything we have ever written should be published on our website’ point of view (including that fabulous newsletter from 2002).
Nobody wants to be bothered with content, it seems. Why is that? Isn’t it the single most important thing on a website?
Companies have a super strong focus on search. On ranking, specifically. Their website has to rank high in Google. That’s basically the main demand. It almost seems that they’re satisfied just for getting this accomplished. They Google their own keywords, see their website appear on the SERP and seem happy. But should they be happy? Not yet. It’s what happens after the click that matters most. Google may define where I shop, I still decide where I buy. And buying (or converting) is what counts right?
Google needs to like you, but your customer needs to like you even better. I love to think of this when writing content. Of course it’s really easy to say that a landing page needs good content. Everybody will agree. But too often it (literally) isn’t there. No product descriptions in shops for example. I love to read about a product before I buy it. Everyone does! The one moment nobody cares about a nice big chunk of quality content is when they have already made up their mind about buying the product and just blindly want to ‘add it to cart’. And that is when a mind is made up. That is after all the hard work. First you have to persuade your new visitor. Give him a warm welcome to your site and product by telling him exactly what he wants to know. Sounds easy right?
Yes. I think it should indeed be easy to write what your customers want to hear. Need inspiration? Ask a Sales Rep.. They can tell you exactly what their customers like about their product and the reason they bought it. The questions they have before buying and, why they will buy it again. Ask them , tape it, and then write it down using your vital keywords to tell your story.
A few tips that have helped me greatly in writing content that is appreciated by your target audience and by Google:
- Know who you are talking to. Writing for personas can be a great help. When you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know what to say.
- Engage with your audience: write in the language of your customer. Use the words they’re using. Use the terms they’re familiar with.
- Don’t write the story you wish to tell, write what your customer wants to hear. What is important for them?
- Get to the point as quickly as possible. Your website is not a diary where you can start with your adventures of the morning and finish with the evening. Keep your readers attention by giving them what they want quickly.
- Don’t be afraid that your text may be too long. Be happy with loads of content. A search engine certainly is. Make your text easy to scan and use good headlines for your paragraphs that will attract the right attention.
- Always include a call-to-action (at least one above the fold and at the bottom of the page). Take the lead in where you wish your visitor to venture next.
Don’t think that putting all that energy into writing good quality content remains unnoticed by Google. Google cares. I think that what Google says about content and search is true: When you create a great website for your customer, you’ll create a great website for search engines. When you don’t write about anything, you can’t be found for anything. Don’t put all your efforts solely on high ranking, focus on what you’re saying too. And even better; how you say it. No need to be secretive or shy. So, what can I say? Say it with words!