Category Archives: Website Copywriting

Working in the search engine optimisation industry we know that great content can really add value to your website. Therefore it was really interesting to read that a recent SearchMetric report has shown that natural, relevant and high-quality content is a must have if you want to help improve your website’s ranking in the search engines. The key focus here is on high-quality content, which must be one of your main priorities if you really want to make an impact on how the search engines perceive your site.

What the search engines are looking for at the moment is not only lots of content, but also content that is truly relevant to your customer’s wants and needs. They want to see you offering something of real value to your readers. SEO experts have noted four main criteria that you should include in order for your content to meet all of the requirements of the search engines. So if you can keep these in mind when planning and writing your website, then you’ll know that you are providing the quality content that Google wants to see – and that your potential customers want to read!

In this blog we’re going to take a look at these five factors and talk a bit more about how you can use them to improve your website content.

  1. Make sure your content is covered in a rounded and comprehensive way

When you write your content, you need to make sure that you think holistically about the general topic as a whole – rather than simply focusing on just one keyword. It means that as well as writing about the key topic, you also need to look at related issues and sub-topics and include those as well. As the Google algorithms get more sophisticated, they are now able to work out words that relate to each other and are likely to be relevant to each other. This is known as co-occurrence analysis. So, if you were writing a blog about bridal hair styling, it would recognise that hairdryer and hair salon were complementary phrases. However, if you included the word restaurant in the same blog, the search engines would pick up that it was not relevant to that topic.

It’s all about context and so before you write your content, consider which subjects complement each other, and think about the other sub-topics that your readers may want to find out about, which could be a good fit within that article.

 

  1. Ensure that your content is the right length

It’s very tempting to think that because people are often time-poor these days, that this means that content which is short and snappy would be more popular. Statistics show that this is not the case, and in fact, sites which have longer content are more likely to rank higher in the search engines. It’s also really interesting to note that content which had between 3000-10000 words actually received more social shares too. The reason for this could be that the longer an article is, the more value it actually adds to your readers, as you can include far more in-depth information and a greater and more helpful level of detail.

 

  1. Include engaging images and videos

Research has shown that including engaging images or interactive videos in your content can really help your search engine rankings. Google can tell when you have enriched your text with images and it definitely correlates to a higher ranking for sites that take the time to do this. It has also been found that posts which included videos or pictures gained twice as many social shares as those without. When you add images to your text, make sure that they are optimised as well to make them easier for Google to find.

  1. Make sure your text is readable

We all know that consumers want websites which are easy-to-use, and a user-friendly website is valued highly by Google too. Part of making a site usable is ensuring that any text or content is easily readable. When high-ranking websites were reviewed, it was found that they all had content that was easy to read. When you have written your content you can review it using one of these readability tests. It’s also worthwhile re-reading any old content on your site to make sure it meets the readability requirements that the search engines require.

  1. Encourage social sharing

Although Google says that they don’t currently use social signals as part of their rankings, it has been noted that many articles which do have a high Google ranking also have a large number of social shares on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. We feel that encouraging customers to share your articles on social media still has an influence over your site optimisation as it means that more people visit your site, and it will help you to build and increase your brand profile.

As you can see the quality of the content on your website can have a huge impact on where your business sits in the search engine rankings, and there is a lot that you can do to review and improve your content to support your online proposition.

Firstly, think about your content holistically and consider the sub-topics that might add relevance or bring real value to your readers.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to make your content longer and in-depth.

Thirdly, add images or video clips that will bring your articles to life for your customers.

Fourthly, when you have finished writing your content, check it over for readability to make sure that it will be easy for people to read.

Finally, encourage online influencers to share your content on social media to get more clicks to your site and improve your brand profile.

By focusing on what your customers want to see on your site, you’ll also be giving the search engines what they want to see and helping your business to rank higher in the search engines.

If you are planning on helping your website move to the top of the search engine rankings then you will always be told that content is a vital factor in optimising your site. However, we often get asked just how much content business owners are expected to write as the thought of having to fill web pages with interesting and engaging copy can be quite daunting! There will always be debate amongst the SEO industry as to the optimum length of web content and there can be pros and cons to both short and long articles. This means that there are a number of factors that you should consider when planning the length of your web copy.

At Wagada we are experienced in writing user-friendly web copy that adds real value to your customers and, in doing so, will give your website a boost with Google too. So here are our guidelines on how to decide on the ideal length of web content for SEO and our top tips for how to write effective online copy.

Understand what Google wants to learn from your web copy

Whilst there is no limit to the maximum word count that you can use we would always recommend keeping to 500 words as a minimum ideal length of web content for SEO. This is because Google can class any article or page below this word count as having ‘thin content’. This means that they feel that if there are not enough words on the page there is a risk that there is not enough information to help the customer effectively. By using this as a minimum word-count guideline you will know that Google should view your content as giving more value to your readers. It also means that your articles will be long enough to include a good amount of information, and you can fit in your keywords easily without making your page look over-optimised which Google definitely doesn’t approve of!

Google’s bots and algorithms are becoming more sophisticated all the time and they are now looking for web pages and articles to clearly demonstrate their intent and the field that they are in. You should make sure that your web content is of a good length as you will need to include relevant information to show that you are an expert in your field – and that you can convey a high level of knowledge to your customers.

One thing that has also become increasingly important to Google is the usability of your website. This means how easy it is for your customers to find what they need on your site. With more and more customers shopping online and more products available online it’s all too easy for customers to make a quick decision to leave your website if they can’t find what they are looking for. Therefore you need to make sure that your copy is focused on helping the customer find the information that they need quickly and effectively.

Create a usable website that is focused on what your customer needs

As usability is so highly valued by Google then to make your site work for the search engines you need to make sure it works for your customers too. When you are planning your word count for your online copy never make arbitrary limits or feel constrained by numbers.  Instead concentrate on whether the length is right to provide the optimum online experience for your customers.

Begin by thinking about what your customer is looking for when they visit your website and what they will be wanting from each page. For example your Home Page will often be much shorter in terms of text than other pages. Customers come here to be signposted to the areas of your site that will help them and so they won’t want to have to wade through lots of irrelevant text to get there! If you make this page too text heavy you could risk losing them altogether.

Likewise there will be some pages on your site that you can use to really show off the knowledge and expertise that you have in your business area, and you will want to make these as detailed as possible. This is particularly relevant to blog articles or news pages which you should fill with lots of engaging web copy. Longer copy is often much more valuable for these pages.

Present your web copy clearly

Whilst the content of your web copy is key the way that you present it is also really important and can help your users to find what they need clearly and easily. This can be particularly important if you are looking to write a longer article. Although long articles can be great for your site optimisation one of the downsides to longer pieces of online copy is that often time-poor browsers just don’t have the time to read them and may be put off by an overly long page. Alternatively they might decide to come back and read them later when they have more time but this can lead to pogo-sticking which could give a bad impression to Google.

One way to get round this problem is to clearly pick out the main points of your copy so that customers can understand the key issues without having to read the whole article. Use elements such as sub-headings, bullets, bold text and links to highlight the most important areas of information in your text. This allows people to scan your article and pick out the elements that interest them without necessarily having to read the copy fully.

Write copy to encourage social shares

Social sharing is a fantastic way to get your content seen by potential customers and if your blogs or website are shared on media such as Facebook or Twitter it can encourage more people to visit your site – and may help to move you up the rankings.  Interestingly research from Paddy Moogan shows that the longer the post is the more likely it is to get social shares with posts of between 3000 to 10,000 words the most likely to get shared. You can see this in action in the below chart

So we can see that high quality content is vital to help boost your site’s optimisation and it’s important to think about the ideal length of web content before you plan your web copy. However whilst you should aim to keep your text above 500 words don’t get tied down by setting definitive boundaries to your word count. Consider each web page and blog post individually and review how it will help your customers and what they will be looking for when they visit your site. You can then tailor your copy to meet that need. Don’t be afraid to write longer posts as they can be really popular with customers and will help Google to see that you are a real expert in your industry.

Blogging is writing interesting articles about important topics. The blogger chooses the topic based on his or her own personal preferences and specialist subjects.

SEO copywriting is writing with the web searchers’ needs in mind. What terms or phrases are people searching for on Google? Write an article about them.

Then, when people search for that exact keyword phrase on Google, they’ll discover your website.

SEO copywriting will bring traffic to your website, blogging will only get your content read by your existing audience. So if you’re looking to use blogging as a way to boost your website traffic then make sure you think like an SEO copywriter.

How to write your blog with SEO in mind?

Keyword research is vital to discover what your audience is searching for on Google. Answer the questions and queries that people are asking. “What is..?”, “Why..?”, “How?”. Look for long-tail keyword phrases that you can rank well for in the search engines. Long-tail queries are the more specific, longer keyword phrases. These phrases have fewer searches, but as your content meets their needs, you’ll gain qualified search traffic.

Ultimately, it’s not necessarily a high ranking which will get people buying from your website, it’s getting more qualified traffic. So no link building needed, just target your content for more traffic and more leads. Your website will naturally attract links, so you’ll also benefit from a ranking perspective.

Targeted blog-writing is a great long-term SEO strategy to increase your website traffic and qualified leads.

Wagada offers SEO copywriting and keyword research.

Jakob Neilsen* published some research recently to show that users spend less than 10 seconds on a webpage before deciding whether to stay or to go. And if they stay more than 30 seconds you’ve got a good chance of getting them to stay even longer, maybe even 2 minutes or more.

So, to stop your customers going elsewhere your website has got to be engaging, convincing, persuasive and authoritative…at a glance. It’s also got to be user friendly.

It’s the words that count…

Your website copy reflects your business. The words on your site should convince customers that you can deliver what you promise and you know what you’re doing. Get the tone right and you can make your customers feel at home and keep them engaged.

Simplicity and clarity

If you keep the site simple, your value proposition and calls to action will jump out of the page. No-one likes to waste precious real estate on a website’s home page but white space is good, as it makes the important things stand out. If you keep it clean and keep it simple you can direct your customers where you want them to go, whether that’s to subscribe to your newsletter or buy a new pair of shoes.

Make sure it’s easy to use

Web users are very sceptical. They see a lot of bad websites and are on high alert for poor quality sites when they’re surfing. They’re also impatient so if they think your site is difficult to use, or your web registration form is too long, they won’t hesitate to go elsewhere.

Don’t break the mould…

Familiarity makes people feel comfortable and makes a website easier to use. So you’ve got to have a good reason to break with web conventions. If you underline your links, everyone will know they are links. If you keep the logo in the top left corner, people will know instantly who you are.

A professionally written website gets your message across and inspires trust. It’s also great to get an external viewpoint on your product; sometimes we’re too close to a project to see clearly what customers need. Wagada knows how to write for the web and offers professional copywriting services, including SEO copywriting.

Usability testing isn’t just about making sure that your website is working efficiently; it also helps you to improve your conversion rates by giving customers what they want. You can find out how your website audience views your online brand and what their expectations are based on their other experiences. Wagada offers usability testing and usability reviews, contact us for more information.

*If you’re interested in the maths, check out Neilson’s article How long do users stay on web pages.