The Preparation Of Written Content
Let’s talk about written content and what is needed when it comes to the pages, blogs and articles on your new website. In this article, you will learn about the following aspects of written content and get some practical tips for content creation.
- The aspects you will learn about are:
- Writing Content For The Web
- Keywords & Keyword Research
- Titles & Meta Descriptions
- Social Media Snippets
- Sitemaps Your Guide To Structure
- Writing Content For The Web
When it comes to writing content for the web, it is most likely a different style of writing to what you are used to. When you are writing for the web, you are effectively trying to write high performing sales copy that won’t polarise your target audience. There is both an art form and skill to this style of writing and getting it right the first time rarely happens. If I can give you one tip here, it is that to get the best results you need to work with a copywriter.
For many, it’s about creating the right amount of content with the right amount of keywords that will help you get your message across. If you do all of the preparation work ahead of the writing task, you will find that your content will flow much more naturally onto paper. Once you have done your content research and are ready to write, take into account the other areas of content on your website and the other items in this article.
Make sure to write your content in short paragraphs of 3 – 4 sentences and use simple English as this will make the content more comfortable for the reader to digest. Make sure to use headings and images to break up the material as this will help to keep the reader interested in the page.
Several rules around content length will help you to create the best content. Keep in mind these rules do change from time to time, and it varies depending on the purpose of the material.
When writing general page content aim to write approximately 300 – 450 words per heading. For each heading on the page write the above amount of material. Make sure you don’t go overboard as it will make it harder to read.
When writing a short blog article or post aim for between 300 – 900 words per article and make sure to break it up with images and headings to make it easier to read.
When writing longer articles and content for your website aim for between 1200 – 2000 words as this will give your site the best chance for being picked up by search engines. Studies show that long-form content, that is articles above 1200 words outperform shorter articles in a head to head comparison.
Keywords & Keyword Research
When it comes to every page and post on your website you are going to need to look at keywords and keyword research. First things first sit down and look at the pages and content you have planned, and one by one make a list of keywords and phrases for each page.
A keyword or phrase is the piece of content you want to rank for in search engines. If we go back to our DIY example from last weeks post, Frank the massage therapist is based in West End, Brisbane, Queensland so some typical phrases he might want to rank for are:
- Massage therapist West End
- Massage therapist Brisbane
- Massage therapist Queensland
- Remedial Massage Therapist
At this stage, we are merely making a list, so there is no limit to the number of keywords or phrases so take some time and be comprehensive once you have a thorough and complete list its time to do some research around the search volume for each keyword.
Search volume is the number of searches completed on that specific keyword or phrase each month. You can get this information by using tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Bing Keyword Tools as well as any number of other paid and free tools in the marketplace.
By completing these searches, you will have access to information about each keyword or phrase that will help you to choose the best keywords to use in your content.
When creating written content for a website, there is a structure that can be used to help showcase the importance of items and help to break up the page. Headings come in a variety of sizes including H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6. Each of these steps down in size from H1 being the largest font size to H6 being the smallest.
Headings should be for breaking up the page into topics and sub-topics and should be used every 350 – 450 words for maximum effect. You should also try to use your chosen keywords and phrases in these headings where possible. By adding headings to your content, you are also making it much easier for someone to find the content they are looking for quickly and efficiently.
Titles & Meta Descriptions
Choosing titles and meta descriptions for your website content are potentially the single most straightforward way to grow your content reach. By choosing catchy titles and providing high-quality stories you will attract readers from within search results. There are a few key things to take into account, however.
The title you choose will need to be descriptive and appeal to your target audience; after all, we want them to select your article over your competitors.
After the title, you need to showcase what the content is in the section, by using good quality descriptive content that ensures a reader will click through to read more. It may take some time to find the right balance and the correct titles and description so experiment and measure. Don’t forget to check your analytics and see what is working and what is not working when it comes to content.
Social Media Snippets
Just like the titles and meta descriptions help draw people in from search engines your social media snippets will help on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. These snippets are very much the same in that they require a title and a description but also an image. When these are set correctly on the website, then you will be able to make sure that content, when shared, will always display the selected image and content. These settings are important because if you don’t set it, the platforms will take information from the first few lines of the material and the first image used on the page.
Sitemaps Your Guide To Structure
When it comes to knowing what content needs writing I find it easy first to make a sitemap on a piece of paper. Start by listing all of the top-level pages on your site such as home, services, contact, etc. Once you have listed those high-level pages, record the subpages for each so an example might be that the services page may have subpages that include massage, remedial massage, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage etc.
Once you have listed all of those pages down, it’s time to start creating and writing content for each one. TIP: Don’t forget the legal website pages such as privacy, terms and conditions etc. You can use your sitemap as a checklist and check-off each page as you create the content. This strategy will drastically help you to achieve your content writing goals in record time and help you to meet the deadlines for development.