Content Strategy Guide: Creating SEO Content That Sells
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Whether you represent a multi-million-dollar corporation or you are the sole proprietor of a potential multi-million-dollar startup – you need content. And not just any content; you need content that will get you ranking and converting. You need content that sells.
Content writing services are not only the companies you hire to provide you with the content you need, but they are also the specific services that they provide. A content writing service may offer blogs or articles, web content, descriptions, and more. It all depends on the service you hire and what their writers specialize in.
Many content writing services today are content marketplaces. These companies simply act as a middle-man between you and the freelancers that signed up for their service. When it comes to freelancers, sometimes you’ll find a diamond in the rough. But as you may already know, diamonds can be very hard to find.
Then there are in-house content writing services, such as Textworkers. An in-house service has privately contracted writers and your project is managed for a hands-off experience. Instead of feeling as though you are shooting in the dark, an in-house service provides a one-on-one experience, selecting the best writers for the job and working with them directly so you don’t have to. You can simply rest assured that your content is in good hands.
When it comes to maintaining rankings and visitor satisfaction or building a visitor base and customer loyalty, you should consider blogs or articles, website content, downloadable content such as guides, ebooks or white papers, and maybe even product descriptions. It all really depends on your goals, your business, and your products or services.
Blogs are very commonly referred to as just about anything you read online. However, weblogs, or blogs, are actually very different from articles.
Blogs can encompass personal views, opinion, and can promote a product or service. They can be fun and conversational, or they can have a professional voice. In any case, blogs are very versatile. They can be used for a number of purposes and primarily have content that can be generally limited, such as, SEO Methods of 2016. This blog can be highly valuable – in 2016. But it may not be very relevant in 2017.
Blogs can encompass a variety of voices or tones. They can include either in-depth or general information. Blogs are perfect for how-to posts, top lists, tips and more.
Blogs can help your website by adding valuable keywords to your site’s repertoire. Essentially, Google does not separate web pages from blog posts if the blog section is hosted on your primary website. Because of this, the more blogs you post to your website, the better for your overall website’s rankings – as long as they are high-quality and SEO-rich.
Not only that, but blogs also rank on their own, thus, giving you greater brand visibility and giving your website greater chances of being found online. They also help by keeping visitor interest, improving your bounce rate by keeping them on your site longer.
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Blogs, when written with quality and SEO know-how, are extremely valuable. In this case, Google and other search engines will never view them as spam. You can upload 500 blogs per week if you want. On the flip side, if they are full of grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and misspellings, they can seriously damage your website’s rankings.
As far as high-quality blogs, studies show that the more you upload to your website, the better.
In fact, according to Hubspot, “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.”
Articles are very different than blogs. Articles are perfect for news and magazine editorials and evergreen content. They are primarily written in a formal sense and use an unbiased tone. Articles do not generally contain opinions, personal views, or directly promote a product or service.
However, they can indirectly promote a product or a service through persuasive writing techniques. This is done in a way that the reader does not realize they are being led in a given direction. It is done through providing facts and verifiable source information that supports any claims made. It is for this reason that articles should contain hyperlinks and/or citations to source information to substantiate any claims made in the article.
Like blogs, articles can be keyword targeted for SEO purposes. More than that, keyword targeting lets readers know right from the start that the article has the information they are looking for. Optimization helps the readers and the search engines know what your article is about, thus, placing it in front of the people who need it most. Articles also provide great site visibility and help to promote brand loyalty by offering valuable information.
However, they must be high-quality and contain no errors. Articles that contain false information can hurt you in more ways than one. For starters, false information will show your readers that you cannot be trusted. It will also cause readers to bounce very quickly, showing Google that you have poor content. This will cause Google to de-rank your website.
Website content, or web content, is a general term for any content you place on your website. However, it is most commonly used to describe the actual content on your web pages. This content is extremely important. The bad thing is, too many business owners place the importance of this content very low. They prioritize their products, services, marketing, and ads. This is akin to placing the cart before the horse.
If you have great ad placement and have heavy site traffic, what is it going to get you when your web content is poor quality? It’ll get you a whole lot of bouncers. When a visitor comes to your website, it’s going to take a lot more than a pretty picture to seal the deal. It takes some finesse. It takes content that sells.
Website content is your website!
Without high-quality web content, you simply will not convert. Conversions, for those who do not know, is the act of turning a site visitor into a paying customer. In a more general sense, a conversion is getting a potential customer to take the desired action.
Web content should be a mixture of copywriting (sales copy), and SEO content writing (writing that is geared toward search engine optimization for higher rankings.) Basically, your web content should be keyword optimized, as well as optimized for high conversions. By doing this your website will rank organically – and it will convert your traffic.
This is a question we get all the time, and it is fairly easy to answer. It all depends on your goals and what kind of site you have, or want.
Some websites choose to provide in-depth information and dense content on each page. Others choose to rely primarily on catchy headlines and a brief overview with an option to read more. There is no wrong or right answer, it just depends on your preference and goals.
A product description is text that describes. Sounds simple, right?
Well, not exactly. Some of the most complex content comes in the form of product descriptions. By the way, just because they are referred to as product descriptions, they are not limited to products. They can be used as category descriptions, service descriptions, and more.
There are numerous types of descriptions, but can be generally narrowed down to three base categories – Technical, Persuasive, or a Blurb.
Technical descriptions are used most commonly with tech-based items.
Persuasive descriptions are used most commonly with general items such as sporting goods and furniture.
Blurbs are usually just a short sentence, very succinct. They are about 10-15 words or less.
The most common description type, however, combines all three categories. They usually begin with a short blurb under the product image, followed by about 75-100 words of persuasive copy, and ended with some technical specifications such as material, wattage, etc.
Product descriptions, may they be category descriptions or service descriptions, highlight the need for your product or service. That’s right… the need. Too many businesses today are under the false assumption that a nice image is all they need to sell their product. This, however, would be wrong.
Descriptions validate the brand to the visitor. Look, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies selling the same thing.
What makes yours better?
This is where some say, “I have a better image!”
And this is where I say, “Riiiiiight.”
Sure, a nice image of what the consumer will receive is important, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these images out there. It’s not as big a selling point as some would have you believe. In light of the competition out there, it all comes down to the description. It has to be content that sells. Point blank.
A good description describes. A great description paints a picture. You want your descriptions to elicit excitement, creating a sense of urgency. You want the consumer to buy now, instead of shopping around.
You should have product descriptions any time you have a product or a service you are selling. This is especially true for online stores or even agencies. Real estate and travel agencies can benefit greatly from descriptions which highlight properties and packages. eCommerce websites can absolutely benefit from descriptions. Any online store should have product descriptions.
Simply put, guides are any form of detailed instructional content pieces that provide the reader with exceptional value. They most commonly teach the reader something. The goal is informational value.
Guides are sometimes created as a pillar article. Pillar articles are basically a long-form article that contains a very high word count and provides in-depth information on one or more subjects. These are very valuable content pieces and provide a measurable ROI. They are also referred to as pillar articles because they form the structure for an entire line of smaller articles or blogs. Spinoffs, if you will. These smaller articles or blogs provide more a detailed look at specific sections or points made in the pillar article. Essentially, they are a fantastic way to kick-off a great content strategy.
Guides can either be uploaded to your blog section, added as a high-value web page, or used as downloadable content. The format allows for a wide range of usage.
As downloadable content, you would first have the guide written. Then you would have the blog or article spin-offs written from the guide’s topic or specific section points. Simply upload the blogs to your blog section with a link to Learn More. This link will provide them with the free download.
You can also advertise a free download just for opting in! Or you can sell the guide for immediate and direct monetary gain.
There is honestly a myriad of ways you can market a guide. The trick is ensuring that the content is in-depth, highly valuable, and very interesting. If it is not consumable and engaging, full of great information, your guide isn’t really going to be worth much.
Yes, and yes, but indirectly.
If the guide is uploaded directly to your website as a web page, definitely. If it is added to your blog section, absolutely. These options will provide your website with direct SEO benefit, of course as long as your guide was optimized by way of keyword targeting.
However, if your guide is being used as downloadable content, then it depends on the manner in which the guide is resolved to your website. Even if it is in PDF form, and it is hosted externally, then it would have no direct SEO value. The indirect value would still carry fantastic benefits, though. Indirectly, a free download or a paid download is still valuable and will give visitors a reason to stay on your site longer. This will improve your bounce rate, thus, showing Google your site is valuable to your visitors. This results in increased search rankings.
A white paper can have a whole lot of value and can be a lot of fun. Now, most people think of a white paper as a strictly authoritative piece, stating only the facts in a straightforward way. And the truth is, it can, but it doesn’t have to.
A white paper can provide extremely valuable information about a product or subject, but it doesn’t have to be boring. It can persuade the reader in an engaging manner. You see, a white paper can be used to sway a reader by offering factual information, yet presenting it in a way that addresses an issue, then resolving it.
For example; if you sell baby shampoo, your white paper can provide ingredient information. But it can also explain how these ingredients help the baby. The white paper can present the issue of cradle cap. It can do this in an in-depth way. It can also go on to explain how the ingredients in the shampoo can alleviate cradle cap, among other common conditions.
Essentially, a white paper can provide valuable information, address an issue, and present a solution.
A white paper, being very valuable and informative, can be used in a myriad of ways. It can be sent as a print marketing device along with purchased goods. It can be offered as a download for ingredient or product details. It can be uploaded to your website as a web page.
While it can be optimized, a white paper’s strength does not rest on SEO or ranking factors. A white paper’s value comes in its ability to market or upsell.
There are numerous types of content you can purchase from a content writing service. Copy including newsletters, ebooks, marketing text, and more can be used for all kinds of purposes. From email marketing and advertisements to promotions and direct sales; a reputable content writing service should be able to offer your business sustainability, growth, and brand building.
Only experienced, professional, and qualified writers in your industry will research your company, collecting a representation of your brand’s voice. By doing this, they are able to provide your target audience with relevant content that matters to them.