Your Website Needs Content

Your Website Needs Content

Content …oh yes. You have to have content. Lots and lots of content. Righty-o then…

The C-word

If you’ve had a chat with your web designer recently, the topic of content would have come up. It’s all we can think about right now.

So, what’s the fuss about? You’ve already got a website. There’s plenty of text and a smattering of images, perhaps even a photo gallery. Surely that’s enough ‘content’. Well, the simple answer is no, probably not.

Let’s Get Fresh

Google wants new, up-to-date content, as much as you can muster. But not just any content. It has to be high quality, useful and unique.

Not much to ask. Just cast your mind back to your days in Fleet Street and channel your inner hack.

Okay so I’m being facetious but that’s the long and short of it. You must somehow generate a constant stream of interesting and engaging features, articles, blogs etc But whatever you do, don’t pander to the search engine. Any new content most have the reader and not the search engine in mind. And don’t even think about keyword cramming.

Google tells us to pause mid article, journal, top ten list, etc and ask the question "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?" It goes on to say that we must make our websites ” …stand out from others in your field.”

It’s a call to arms fellow websiters (is that a word?). We all must strive to make our websites the best they can be. Little diamonds shining in a sea of mediocrity. The reward? Why, higher search engine ranking of course.

Problem is we are all a bit busy. There are businesses to run, families to manage, dogs to walk and life’s curveballs to dodge.

How am I going to do this?

Just do it. Make a start and aim to write at least 300 words. Be kind to yourself and choose a subject you already know plenty about (this negates the need for research). Then think of an interesting angle that makes the writing process more bearable. For example:

If you run a B&B, write about a local attraction or a little-known beauty spot.

If you're a roofer, consider compiling the "Top 10 Signs Your Guttering Needs Replacing". You get the idea.

Talking of top tens.

My Top 10 Tips for Writing Website Content

  1. Jot down ideas for articles/posts as and when you think of them. A list of possible titles/subjects can really help jump start your imagination when you're lacking inspiration.
  2. Get ideas from your customers/clients. What question are you most often asked? Can you build an article around your answer? For example, I’m frequently asked about spam email so I wrote Seven Signs it's a Spam Email (I never pretended it was rocket science).
  3. I know you dance like nobody's watching, so now write like no one will read it. By this I mean just write - don't agonise over every sentence (most people skim-read anyway). This approach will free you up, make the writing process faster and help you find your voice.
  4. Be consistent. Set aside an hour a week to add something of value to your website.
  5. Check that whatever you’ve written makes sense and is typo-free. Run it by one of the online grammar/spelling checkers.
  6. You’ve had an idea but before you start to write ask yourself “Is this really of interest to my audience?” Put yourself in your readers shoes.
  7. It’s not all about the written word. Videos and photos count too.
  8. Here comes the science bit, there go your readers. Cut the technobabble and use plain English.
  9. Make it conversational. More like a chat with a friend than a speech.
  10. Keep sentences/paragraphs short and snappy.

Useful Writing Tools

Grammarly

Ginger

The Guide to Content according to Google

Settle back and treat yourself to Google's Webmaster Guidelines