Updated: Aug 4
If you’ve read any blogs about SEO and website conversions, boosting visitors, decreasing bounce or any of that other techno babble lately, you’ll no doubt have seen those shouting from the rooftops that ‘SEO is dead and content is king!’
I’ll be honest, when I first read 'SEO is dead', I had a minor panic. I wondered how, overnight, everything had suddenly changed and the tactics we’d been employing successfully for several years were now yesterday’s news.
After reading a good 500 more blogs and taking in the info from the big guys, like Moz, I started to breathe again and threw my foot on the shredder to help pull out our now ratty looking strategy.
It seemed ‘SEO is dead’ was a little of an overstatement. Rather, people were restating what a lot of us have known forever – regardless of how well you optimise, it’s also of vital importance your content isn’t sheer and utter nonsense delivered purely to pull up a few spots in search engine results.
In essence, it appears that when your website is going out looking to pick up, good SEO is its best wingman, while content is its main A-Game.
The big question is, how do you make sure you’re bringing your A-Game?
Swap one liners for spiels with substance
Like picking up, throwing in a one liner, or what you think is a short and sweet sales pitch is not going to work with an ever-increasingly savvy market. First of all, forget the sales pitch entirely – it’s not the point of content, the point is to add value to the service or product you offer.
Google, similar to your audience, is looking for substance. The general recommendation is to hit at least 1,000 words – and to make them quality. Ensure they are relevant, interesting and provide something that no one else can.
Break it up – don’t do all the talking at once
No one likes someone who is going for the pick up by talking your ear off without giving you a second to think. Content is not an essay or an opening argument in court, it should be designed to promote thought and stimulate further conversation. When writing content, break it up into bite-sized pieces with explanatory sub-headings so people can more easily contemplate it and get hooked in your story.
Create a persona – present a consistent front
The tough bit about being out and trying to pick up, is getting rid of all that bravado, so you can just be yourself. Similarly, when creating brand content, you’re wasting your time trying to be something you’re not.
You’ll have heard multiple experts advising you to tell your story – and this doesn’t actually mean continuously telling a story. What it means is understanding and developing your brand persona, identifying what you stand for and how you want to be positioned and perceived, and making sure these fundamentals underpin each piece of content you create.
It’s just like working up to ask for that second date, you don’t want to create this unreasonable, ‘I’m a United Nations peacekeeper who volunteers with orphans in my spare time,’ persona, rather, if they pick up on the fact you’re a genuine, honest, normal person, you have more chance of keeping up the act!
Don’t be boring – content should be interesting
This is an easy one. If you’re on the prowl and you’re telling stories of how, every weekend, you like to sit on the couch, eat pizza and play ‘patience’, you are not going to get very far.
On the other hand, if you show some pictures of a recent trip, share some of your favourite tunes or even have a giggle over a hilarious YouTube video, you break the ice, create conversation and have something to keep chatting about.
When creating content, words aren’t everything. Think multimedia – words accompanied by images, video, sound or interactivity…and when you’re getting creative with imagery, don’t forget your alt tags.
Bring your wingman back to insert relevant conversational enhancements
At the end of the evening, it's time for the closer (get your mind out of the gutter!), it's your chance to score a second date, or go home numberless. But what can you do -- you can't just keep gabbing on about how awesome you are once you get to know you.
Cue wing man!
And in content, this is where SEO comes back into play. Using tools like keyword planner, and Ubersuggest, pick out the relevant words with low competition, and insert them naturally into your content. You don’t need to stuff them in, but just make sure they are in the important spots, like your title and H1 tags, headings and alt tags. These little gems will enhance your content by making it easier to find in the first place.
Looking for content for your website or blog -- or maybe you need a print brochure, presentation, speech or report. Talk to us at Write Way Up -- we're a great SME wingman!