How to write SEO content for website

How to write SEO content for a website

There’s been an awful lot written about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on the internet, and there’s good reason for that. Optimising your site for the search engines is one of most impactful things you can do to get targeted traffic to your website that’s genuinely interested in what you do.

So that’s why you want SEO content for your website, but what is SEO content?

We’ve covered this in far more detail in our article on what is SEO copywriting, but here are the basics:

SEO copywriting is, very simply, writing for your ideal audience first, and writing for the search engines a close second.

In 2017, SEO content writing isn’t a case of stuffing your keywords into your content as much as you possibly can. You need to write naturally for your audience and give them the type of persuasive content they can’t wait to read, with the aim of getting them to take action, either by actually buying something, or signing up to your mailing list.

But in addition to that, you need to carefully use your keywords and phrases throughout your copy, so that the search engines gauge your site to be useful on your subject matter, and your audience can find you when they put those keywords into a search engine.How to write SEO content for website

Bruce Bendinger, in his book The Copy Workshop Workbook, defined copywriting as:

“Copywriting is a job. A skilled craft. Verbal carpentry. Words on paper. Scripts to time. And one more thing. Salesmanship.”

SEO copywriting is a part of your wider marketing strategy to satisfy the search engines, drive traffic to your website, build your brand, engage your customers, and persuade them to buy.

Now here are the practicalities of how to write SEO content for websites:

1. Know your keywords

Working out what keywords you want to target and why has got to be the first step, before you write any content.

Luckily, there are plenty of keyword tools you can use to find the right ones for your business.

Free keyword tool

Google Adwords Keyword Planner – This is the planner you would use if you want to create Google Adwords, but it’s free to sign up and to use, without having to create any ads.

Free to a point, and then paid

SERPS Tool Keyword Research – Another Google keyword research tool, which still gives you search volume, cost per click, and a whole list of related keywords that you might want to target, too. You can do 3 free searches before you have to sign up, but even then, there’s a 30-day free trial before you have to pay, which should be plenty to get you started.

SEMRush – This one’s brilliant in terms of how much detail you get, with related keywords, keywords for ads, long-tail keywords, analysis of what works on desktop and mobile, and even keywords in other languages from 26 countries. The downside? You can’t even search for one keyword to try without having to enter your email address, and the paid version starts at $99.95 per month. However, if you’re truly serious about getting your keywords right and you have the budget, it could well be worth it.

SERPStat – Similar to SEMRush in many ways, but if you sign up, you have 30 free searches per day, and plans start at only $19 per month. You get competitor analysis, organic and paid keywords, long-tail keywords, and cost per click.

SpyFu – Want to know what keywords your competitors use? Of course, you do! Well, here it is. SpyFu can bring you up to 11 years of data on where your competitors are on Google, the keywords they use, ads they’ve run, and a lot more. You can even export the results as a PDF. And for all that info, prices start at a pretty reasonable $33 per month.

Try using SERPstat and SpyFu together and comparing the results so you know you’re getting the best possible information.

Now you know what your keywords are, you’re ready to plan content that wows your customers and the search engines.

2. Know what your customers want

There’s no point in writing brilliant, perfectly keyworded content if it’s not going to attract and engage your ideal customer.How to write SEO content for website

If you’ve done your research and you have your buyer personas already worked out, you’re likely to know a lot about your potential customers, from their tastes and where they shop, to what they like to read.

If you haven’t done that exercise yet, here’s a fantastic article from Optin Monster on how to do just that, with plenty of examples and templates you can use.

Now you’re well on your way to being able to write perfectly targeted content that converts.

3. Create content that your customers can’t wait to read and share

Having done all that preparation before you started writing, you’re now in the best position possible to write content that hits the spot with your customers, and the search engines.

A mix of videos, audio/podcasts, infographics, short tips, short blogs and long-form content tends to work well. People learn and absorb information in different ways. Some people like to watch a demonstration, others like to listen to the information, and yet others prefer to read. A good mix of all of those formats gives you the best chance of reaching a wide, engaged audience.

Where to get content ideas

This could be an article all on its own, as there are so many sources of inspiration around, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Look at Quora. When you sign up, you get to choose the topics you are interested in, and there are thousands of questions being asked every week on a huge range of subject. Look at the questions being asked, and there are your topic ideas.

• Special days and events. Every year there are days celebrating all sorts of subjects and occasions. While the main holidays, such as Christmas, are obvious, have a look at these calendars for inspiration: Awareness Days and Days of the Year.

• Remember SERPstat that we mentioned above? When you do your keyword research, have a look at the search terms under Content Marketing. Why? Because those terms on their own could be great topics for your blog, and if you cross one or more topics, you can easily come up with new content ideas.

• Check your competitors’ blogs. We don’t mean that you should steal their ideas, but there’s nothing wrong with getting inspiration.

• Look at your blog comments and your competitors’ blog comments. What are people asking? What points are people raising? Those could make brilliantly targeted blog posts, too.

When you’re looking for content ideas, always go back to your buyer personas and double check that your idea fits with what you know they want.

And for more on how to write great content, check out our guide.

4. Check how you are doing

How to write SEO content for websiteThe search engines never stand still. They’re always updating and refining their results to give users a better experience. That means you can’t stand still either.

Here are a few activities you should employ to ensure your website stays fresh and relevant – meaning you stay in prime position in the search engine rankings:

• Keep reading and staying up to date on the latest SEO developments, and continuously improving your results.

• Check Google Analytics regularly to see how you’re doing in terms of gaining traffic, what terms people are searching for when they find you, where your traffic is coming from, and more.

• Keep checking SpyFu to see how your competitors are doing.

• Regularly give your content an SEO audit.

For further reading on SEO, here is a superb checklist of SEO tips from Pixel Kicks.

Getting your content right is a whole lot of work. It’s worth it, but it can take up a considerable amount of time. If you’d like those results, without quite so much effort, why not hire a content writer?

 

Main image credit: NOGRAN s.r.o.
Image credits: Perzon SEO, Elaine SmithPerzon SEO

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What is content writing - Copify blog

What is content writing?

Content writing can be a very powerful part of any business’s marketing plan, with many benefits for companies, including the ability to attract their ideal customers and better rankings in the search engines.

If you needed any more proof of the value of quality content, DemandMetric states that “Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.”

Definition: What is content writing?

Content writing is a particular form of writing online, which has very specific aims. As part of an overall content marketing strategy, content writing is web writing which is focused on engaging an audience and retaining their attention to sell or raise awareness about a product or service.

What is content writing - Copify blog

Well-written content will almost always involve search engine optimisation (SEO), with the writer adding keywords and phrases that the company wants to rank for in the search engines. And it will usually be written to fit the client’s brief, which defines the aims of the content, the target audience, suitable keywords and other information the writer will need to produce a successful piece of copy.

What content writing can do for your business

Let’s start with some statistics:

According to Social Media Examiner, “58% of marketers said, ‘original written content’ is the most important type of content, outdoing visuals and videos.”

KEY Difference Media, meanwhile, affirms that “78% of consumers will trust your brand if you create more customised content”.

Well-written, properly targeted content can be the difference between a business getting the exposure it deserves, being found easily within its niche market, and not even registering a blip on the radar of Google.

Here’s how you can ensure you fall into the former camp:

1. SEO

Excellent content that contains your keywords and phrases will always do well in the search engines and get your business found. The point of content writing, though, is that it must be engaging – written for people, not for search bots. Natural, entertaining writing will get people reading, keep them on your website for longer, AND build your search engine rankings.

2. Traffic

Following on from optimising your content for the search engines, well-keyworded content can also drive traffic to your site and increase your visitors over time, allowing new audiences to find you who wouldn’t otherwise have heard of you, and bring repeat readers back over and over again.

What is content writing - Copify blog

3. Social sharing

Good content on your site is ripe for sharing, and that solves one of the biggest problems businesses have with doing social media well – what on earth do you post? If you always have fresh content on your site, you’ll never run out of things to say on social media. You can share your posts regularly using Hootsuite, Buffer or similar apps, take quotes out of your posts and make memes to share, use Canva to create infographics, and much more.

4. Gain expert status

If your blog is always full of brilliant content that’s really useful to your target market, over time, you’ll become known as an expert in your field. And what could be better when you’re trying to make your company distinctive and unique, compared to the competition, than to be seen as the go-to expert?

That’s guaranteed to get you more customers.

5. Build your tribe

Another excellent way to stand out from the competition is to build a community around your blog and your social media. Good content writing is a vital part of community building, engaging and entertaining your viewers and allowing them to feel a part of something. If they can interact with you and feel heard, enjoy your posts and feel that you really care about them as customers, why would they shop anywhere else?

Types of content writing

Content writing doesn’t have to be used just for blog posts on your site. There are so many possibilities that can build your business in different ways:

1. Lead magnets

If you’re trying to build your email list (and you should be – it’s one of the best ways to market to your audience), having an enticing lead magnet to get people to sign up is essential.

What is content writing - Copify blog

Write something with an eye-catching headline that people can’t resist and outstanding content that makes your readers wonder how amazing your paid services must be if your free content is this good!

2. Case studies

What better way to show people what you can do before they buy than to put together a case study showing off your testimonials from actual clients, with the juicy details of all the results you got for them.

Highlight the benefits and the bottom line results, talk about how you work and your quality systems to reassure potential clients that you know exactly what you are doing, and you could have them queuing around the virtual block for you.

3. Ebooks and printed books

It’s easier than ever to self-publish a book. Still, ‘author of…’ still holds a certain cachet that you can’t get from anything else.

Having a book out can take your business to the next level, establish your reputation and even get you speaking gigs. Who do you think potential customers are going to pick? ‘Joe Who Knows What’ over there, with no content on his blog, no reputation and no reasons why his business stands out, or you with your thriving blog and your published book?

4. Reports and how-to guides

Well-written guides can educate your clients on how to make the most of your services, what you actually do for them, why they need you in particular, and why they should buy.

A good report can also demonstrate your knowledge, build trust and give your readers a reason to stick around and sign up to your newsletter, so you can continue to market to them.

A high-quality, targeted content marketing plan ensures that your content writing is always on point, hits your specific aims for your business and contains enough variety on a consistent schedule to keep your ideal customers coming back for more and keep the search engines happy.

There’s no doubt that content writing can make all the difference for your business, but it is a lot of work. Perhaps you simply don’t have the time to continuously generate good content for your site, and you certainly might not have the time to write a whole book. Or maybe writing simply isn’t your strong suit?

All isn’t lost, though. Hiring a professional content writer can still bring you all of the benefits of a good content marketing plan, while you focus on your core strengths and building your business.

 

Main image credit: Nathan Oakley, ‘Typewriter’
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How to write press release - Copify

How to write a press release

Press releases are a great way of communicating your latest news or updates with members of the news media, who will then relate this information to their wider audience if they think it will be of interest. It can sometimes go by the name of either a ‘press release’, ‘media release’, ‘news release’, ‘press statement’ or ‘video release’. It is typically a written document, which needs to have some level of newsworthiness. It is usually between one or two pages in length.

Although lots of people require a press release, not everyone recognises or understands what it takes to write an effective one. So if you’re wondering how to write a press release, read on…

Make it newsworthy

For The Guardian, one of the most important aspects is that your release actually contains news. They suggest asking yourself questions such as what is ‘new’ about your story, whether there is anything unexpected or unusual about what you have to say, whether it would be of interest to anyone else outside of your business, and whether anyone will actually care about the news.

Although the latter may seem harsh, they suggest this is one of the most important questions as you need your story to resonate with people. Otherwise, it will simply flop. In essence, you need to try and find a new angle to your story, product or company, or link it to a current trend.

The headline matters

When considering what might be of interest in your headline or structure, imagine whether it would capture your reader’s attention while scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. HubSpot suggests your headline should be ‘irresistible’.

How to write press release

At Forbes, they note that the headline is the most important feature given the vast quantity of e-mails that reporters will receive. They suggest getting to your point quickly, noting what the story is, why they should care and why now. With an effective headline, it will make it easier to organise your thoughts.

The subject line of your email should feel personal, without being all capitals or either super formal/super casual. Often it helps to show you are specifically trying to contact the journalist of that specific publication, rather than just sending out generic news blasts.

Write in the third person

When writing a press release, it needs to sound impartial and as though someone else is talking about your company, rather than like a personal message or e-mail from your business. It should refer to your business name when talking about your company, rather than using words such as ‘we’ and ‘our’. It should almost feel as though a stranger or journalist is reporting your news – in the same tone you would expect to read it when reported on.

If you want to add a personal face to your company, it’s recommended you include a quote from either a key figure in the organisation or from the company spokesperson. Quotes add depth to a story which is why they are usually favoured by journalists and can help get your release featured.

Consider the structure

HubSpot have a very clear structure and layout for how an effective press release should be written. It is an official announcement so should be laid out in a formal structure. They suggest that the heading should include action verbs, while the first paragraph shouldHow to write press release specifically answer four key questions – who, what, where and why. Along with these, Marketing Donut suggests adding the questions of ‘when’ and ‘how’ to this list as well, to include the timing and significance of when it came about.

For the structure, HubSpot also reiterate the use of a quote and highlight the value of using easy to grasp language. They also point out that audiences are not the same as they were 10 or so years ago – therefore, you’re no longer feeding the traditional news cycle. Your press release needs to appeal to an attention-starved, busy audience used to getting their news in soundbite nuggets from social media.

Don’t shy away from data

It is important that your press release is interesting, and this comes through being concise and to the point. However, it is also important for your news release to contain all the necessary information for a journalist to write a story without needing to contact you for further details (although many may want to).

It can be very beneficial to add key data, which the Huffington Post also notes, as this may help the journalist find the hook needed to want to produce a write-up based on the press release. It may help them identify trends with other similar stories to then group it all together. Adding hard numbers will help to verify everything you’re saying, improve its credibility and establish a colourful narrative. Make sure you have evidence for everything you’re saying in case you need to verify it and try to keep it compelling.

Include your contact details

In the eventHow to write press release that the journalist writing about your press release does want to contact you for further information or an interview, it can be very helpful for them if the contact information is added at the end for the person in question.

Whether your own company or another’s, this should include an e-mail address, phone number and full name – plus the person’s job title. Typically it will be someone in the marketing or press team, or the CEO or communications manager in smaller companies.

Add context, background and flavour

Through putting your story into the wider context, it helps to show your audience why it matters and what is going on within your industry that they may not already be aware of. This includes quotes from other sources or data that previous research may have found. It may include linking to relevant news reports or even quoting an article that the journalist has previously written. It helps to show that you understand exactly why it matters.

Short, sweet and to the point

With any news release, it is important that you don’t waffle. It can be tempting to add lots of descriptive and flowery language and repeat the same point in various ways. However, that’s not your job to do this. It’s for the journalist to add their own spin on the news. All you need to do is report the facts in the clearest, most concise and comprehensive way possible.

Try to keep what you’re writing to a few paragraphs, and no longer than two pages. Adding pictures, sub-headings and sending appropriate images (in a variety of resolutions) through email attachment can greatly improve the chances of getting your press release published.

The first paragraph is most important, so get all your key information in there. The second paragraph should then expand on this, with a third paragraph for the quote, and a fourth paragraph for final information and any insight into what else is coming up next.

The quotes included should be interesting and great sound-bites that a journalist may actually want to use. When it comes to how to write press release, Marketing Donut suggest keeping your sentences to 25 words in length to ensure they have punch, without any lengthy explanations.

And if you want to include any extra information about your company or about opportunities for a photo shoot, for example, include these in a ‘Notes to Editor’ section at the end.

 

Main image credit: Rob Sinclair
Image credits: Robert Couse-Bakerbhavya999Jason Bagley

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How do you get paid by blogging about your business? Copify blog

How do you get paid by blogging about your business?

There are many reasons businesses, start-ups, freelancers and individuals can benefit from having a blog, from increased traffic to attracting and converting more customers. While the main focus of your blog will be to build your brand and gain attention for your business, did you know you can actually bring in more revenue by blogging, too?

We’re not saying it’s easy or that it doesn’t take work, but done right, your business blog can actually become another solid income stream for your company.

Here’s a statistic from HubSpot that’s an eye-opener on what having a blog can do for you: “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads and 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.”

So, how do you get paid by blogging?

1. Plan out what you want to achieve

If you’re already blogging and it’s not working for you, then it’s time to take stock and set out a plan for what you want to do with your blog.

If you’re new to blogging, you’re in a good position, as you can make a plan before you start and decide how you want to move forward.

Carol Tice from Make a Living Writing has some straightforward and practical advice on planning your blog, getting started and being realistic about it.

Basically, you need to know why you are blogging, who your target audience is and be able to plan out an interesting and eyeball-grabbing editorial calendar that will bring in the audience you want to attract. Good, targeted traffic is essential if you want to earn money from your blog.

How do you get paid by blogging?
Perzon SEO (www.perzonseo.com)

2. Write fabulous content and be consistent

So much of the blogosphere is taken up by people writing boring, uninteresting blogs or people who blog madly every day for weeks and then don’t blog again for months.

Neither of those things will get you noticed, get you clients or bring in any earnings from your blog.

Your content needs to be highly attractive to your target market, beautifully written, engaging and with a clear call to action at the end. If you want your audience to do something, such as signing up for your newsletter or clicking an affiliate link, a clear call to action is essential.

Many people start off blogging with every intention to blog daily, but discover that it’s more work than they think and let their efforts tail off. A blog which hasn’t been posted on for months can make your business look like it’s inactive, so it’s important that you do blog consistently. Not only that, but adding fresh content regularly is brilliant for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and will help your site rise in the search engine rankings where it will gain more traffic.

3. Direct ways to make money from your blog

Here’s the nitty gritty on the ways you can bring in income streams from your blog. Most bloggers work a combination of all of these to keep money coming in consistently, and the great thing about this is that you can do what appeals to you, and change things up until you find what works.

• Affiliate marketing

As an affiliate, you sign up to affiliate programmes for other people’s products and services, and then you promote them on your blog and in your newsletter.

The way you make money is that when one of your visitors clicks your affiliate link (a link that is unique to you), the owner of the product you are recommending can track any purchases through your link and will send you a commission on an agreed basis.

It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to set up.

However, it does take work in choosing the right products and services for your blog. They must fit in with your aims for the blog and appeal to your audience, and you’ll also want what you are promoting to be of high quality, because if it’s not, it will reflect badly on you.

• Ad revenue/Pay Per Click

You can place suitable ads (also known as banner ads) onto your blog, in the header, footer or sidebar, or through your content.

Again, you need to carefully select the right ads that suit your audience. If you write about cake decorating, for example, any ads that promote sugar flowers or decorating equipment are likely to get clicks from your readers.

What is SEO copywriting? Copify blog
Perzon SEO (www.perzonseo.com)

You can take paid banner ads direct from companies you want to work with or sign up through an ad network, such as Google AdSense, BlogHer or Federated Media.

This works better for high-traffic sites, and you can certainly charge more for ads placed directly on your site if you have good traffic and an engaged community, but even a small site can earn some money from paid ads. It might start off as a trickle of small change, but as your site grows, it can add up.

• Selling physical products and services

Unless blogging is your business model, your blog’s main focus is to get attention for your business, and here’s where your blog can start making money for you by directing people to look at your product or service offerings.

You can also develop new products, based on what your audience wants, that fit in with your main business.

You might sell digital products, such as e-books, courses, audio books, or images; physical products such as paperbacks, gifts or clothing; or services like copywriting, web design or graphics.

Having an active and attractive blog is an excellent way to bring attention to what your business does, and to point people to your sales page.

And if you think it can’t be done, if your blog seems way too small and insignificant, read this interview with highly successful blogger Tsh Oxenreider on Entrepreneur who has some excellent advice: “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.” Tsh also offers good advice on how to start and keep blogging here.

Blogging can be hard work. If you’re not naturally a writer, it can be an increasing struggle to continually put out excellent quality content in line with your editorial schedule.

But you don’t have to do everything yourself. When you need to get writers for your blog, you could reach out to other non-competing but complementary businesses in your field and see if they’d like to do guest posts for your blog. That way, you get regular, fresh content that you didn’t have to write. Guest blogs are an excellent way to keep your blog relevant and up to date, as well as offer a different viewpoint and perspective.

If you’re not a writer but you know your business would benefit from a blog, and that extra income stream from blogging wouldn’t hurt either, then all is not lost. You can hire a writer to blog for you, while you concentrate on the aspects of running your business that you love. And, if done well, over time, the money you make from your blog will more than cover the costs of hiring a writer.

Whichever way you choose to blog, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to write for you, the benefits of regular blogging, both in extra income and increased awareness of your business and your brand, are clear to see.

 

Image credit: Tax Credits, ‘Money Plant’

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