When it comes to communicating effectively with customers and ranking well with Google, the content on your website is the single most important aspect.
"Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer."
Using the correct terminology, relevant keywords, and impeccable spelling and grammar, you’re able to show your mastery of the industry you work in. Google reads each page as a human does, and this is why all of the above aspects are vital. At Web.com, the copywriting team that I work on are all educated to degree level or higher. As a team, our job is to take your content and transform it into something that Google classes as well-written, relevant, and unique.
No matter the sector you operate in, there’s a lot to say about every company. For traditional trades, such as plumbers, electricians, and roofers, customers want to know what you do, how much it costs, and why they should trust you. Google and other search engines scan your website for this information and, providing it’s accurate, ranks information-rich websites better than those with minimal content. Using specialist keywords, for example, “builder”, “local builder”, and “home extensions”, along with relevant geo-targeting i.e. “Colchester, Essex”, “Colchester”, or “Essex” gives you the best chance of being found by prospective customers. This keyword-rich and location-targeting information is what we class as relevant, and this subject is further explored throughout the blog.
Writing Content That Google Likes
When the internet was first launched, lots of companies engaged in a process now known as keyword stuffing. In simple terms, this is where web creators use a keyword so much search engine SERPs couldn’t help but rank them highly. One reported example in the 90s was a band called The Barenaked Ladies, most popular for singing the theme song for The Big Bang Theory. By using “bare”, “naked”, and “ladies” in their band title, people were accidentally drawn to their site and consequently heard their music.
As you’d expect, the search engines grew wise to this process, and engaging in similar practices now costs you ranking places. As alluded to previously, you should use unique, relevant keywords wherever possible. Ensure that they’re used in prominent places, including titles, call to actions, and page descriptions, and you’re to be on Google’s good side.
One of the big things that search engines look for is authority and mastery of your chosen industry. If you write content in a way that shows you understand it, then as well as a search engines liking it, your customers will get much more from it. You know your industry better than anyone else, and this should show in the content that you publish on your website, as part of your social media strategy, and through all of your other content marketing.
When writing websites, content creators have the option of using two types of SEO; white-hat and black-hat. These terms aren’t as well known as others in the industry, but they are incredibly important, especially when you consider Google’s update in November 2018. This algorithm update focused on ensuring customers were finding relevant information, rather than misleading or false web pages. Let’s look at the two terms to see how Google did this:
White Hat SEO
In simple terms, White Hat SEO is staying within the rules while improving your website. This is the polar opposite of Black Hat SEO, which is described below. Features of White Hat SEO include, but are not limited to:
- Quality Content
- Fast Loading Times
- Mobile Friendly
- Descriptive, Keyword-Rich Meta Tags
- Easy Site Navigation
These techniques keep you on the right side of search engines and help to boost your rankings above sites that don’t follow these processes. Black Hat SEO has the potential to get you banned from sites like Google, and this greatly reduces the impact and influence of your website that you’ve worked so hard to produce.
At Web.com, the copywriting team exclusively uses White Hat SEO to ensure that your website ranks and performs as it should. As well as performing well and opening up the potential for more customer engagement, you can also rest easy in the knowledge that your website is ethical, sustainably successful, and in-line with all of Google’s guidelines.
Black Hat SEO
Most commonly defined as practices that go against search engines’ terms of service, Black Hat SEO is an attempt to trick search engines into featuring a page highly. While it’s not illegal, this technique has been openly denounced by the Webmaster Guidelines of Google and Bing. The use of Black Hat SEO can also result in a lifetime ban from Google, and this would be a huge disadvantage to any website.
Some of the most commonly used techniques include:
- Content Automation
- Doorway Pages
- Hidden Text or Links
- Keyword Stuffing
- Negative SEO
- Link Manipulation
Despite this information, people still use Black Hat SEO as a legitimate way to garner new views and customer interaction, and this is because of the short-term results that it can provide. If you’re looking to build a long-lasting, sustainable business, then you should stay away from using any of these techniques and other dishonest practices.
Creating Content That Customers Want
As well as making sure that search engines like the content, I also make sure that customers enjoy reading whatever goes onto a website. To do this, I use a range of online tools to check relevancy with regards to keywords, content, and the way that sites are written. I typically check which keywords customers in the target area are searching for, and then use these throughout the content, especially in titles and other prominent areas. Using these keywords is one of the best ways to rise up the rankings, and this, in turn, helps to boost customer engagement.
Once the customer is on the site, the content I create needs to pique their interest and keep them on the site. To do this, content is written into bite size chunks, which makes it easy to scan for potential customers. The most relevant keywords, the company name, and the target location that are to be used are included at the top of the page and in prominent locations, and this increases their impact.
A Team of Highly Trained Copywriters
To ensure that the content that is produced is high-quality and well-written, Web.com employs a dedicated team of copywriters. I work as part of the team, creating engaging content for websites, social media accounts, and other content marketing campaigns. All of the writers on the team are trained to degree level and higher in relevant subjects, including Journalism, Public Relations, and English. The team also have vast experience in writing for customers like you, and this allows us to produce excellent content at all times.
As well as writing the content to a high standard, the team of copywriters work with the Quality Control department to ensure everything is perfect. This means that all of the content on your website, social media page, or other content marketing publication is fit for purpose, grammatically correct, and targeted to your chosen audience. The meticulous process undertaken by the QC team also ensures that your brand is properly represented throughout the website. This is vital, given that any website or similar online presence is an extension of the business you’ve created.
Undertaking Extensive Research
As a copywriter, I utilise a number of tools to ensure that I’m making your content as good as it can possibly be. Starting with the initial content that you provide, I pull together everything that there is to know about your industry, the work you do, and what customers who use this industry need. To do this, I use Google’s latest algorithms to choose relevant, industry-specific keywords that work best. By using these keywords, rich content, and tried-and-tested standards, I give your website the best chance of ranking highly on major search engines. Higher ranking typically precedes increased customer interaction and conversions.
How You Can Help
In short, you need to provide the groundworks for excellent content. Copywriters can only work with what they’re given, so this initial content is vital in shaping how your page is going to look, perform, and ultimately, rank. In-depth text about your chosen subject is preferred by all of the major search engines because of the information that it is able to convey to customers.
So, whether you’re providing content for someone like me to write, or you’re planning on writing the content yourself, you need to have more than a few bullet points to make an effective start. One of the best ways to start gathering content is to look at what you do and to find out which of those services customers are actively searching for. There is a number of tools you can use to determine this, with certain companies and writers opting for their favourites.
These keywords are typically split into three categories; short-tail, body, and long-tail keywords. All are equally important, and you need all three to create high-quality, readable, and rankable content. Each type of keyword has individual benefits, and these are laid out below.
These short-tail keywords are typically one-word phrases that cover a range of subjects. “Insurance” is an example of this, and it’s something that people would search if they were looking for a wide range of insurance products i.e. life insurance, car insurance, home insurance etc.
Body keywords are more in-depth and are typically more likely to lead to greater conversions that short-tail keywords. Still using insurance as the main focus, you could use “Life Insurance” as a body keyword. People would search for this specifically if they were looking for cover, or were after a quote.
A long-tail keyword packs the most information into a phrase. If we take “Life Insurance for Dads”, we can see why people would search for this, especially if they had a child on the way, and wanted to protect their family. Long-tail keywords are the most likely to secure a conversion or sale, but they attract fewer customers. This isn’t a bad thing, it simply means that the customers on the page are actually interested in your specific services.
What a Page Needs
To be effective and relevant, a website page needs several key elements. These are set out below along with explanations of what they are and why they’re so vital.
A customer will search for a specific term, depending on their needs. For example, if someone wants to book a taxi they’ll Google “local taxi”, “taxi service”, or simply “taxi”. Using these words in your on- and off-page content means that you’re more likely to be one of their primary results.
Specific Location Targeting
If you’re a local business, you’ll get the best results by specifically targeting areas close to you. For example, if you’re a plumber based in Colchester, you’ll want to use “Colchester”, “Essex”, and “Colchester, Essex” in your content. This means that when people search for “Plumbers in Colchester”, you’re more likely to rank.
The Company Name
As with relevant keywords, using your business name means that people can find you easily with a Google or Bing search. Using your company name throughout the content means that you’re difficult to miss if someone is looking for you specifically.
Call to Action
By using an interactive call to action, you’re able to enthuse customers into doing something with the website they’re on. A simple “call us today to learn more” or “get in touch to enquire about our services” could lead to that all-important conversion, so don’t miss out!
What We Can Take away
To conclude, professional copywriting can be the difference between ranking well on Google and becoming just another indexed site. If you use White Hat SEO, targeted keywords, accurate location targeting, and information-rich writing, customers and search engines alike are much more likely to flock to your site. Using Black Hat SEO and bland, generic information has the potential to do the opposite.
Being knowledgeable about Google’s latest updates, SEO best practice, and the way that websites are read by search engines means that you’re in the best position to climb the rankings to a favourable position. No matter what your business does, from plumbing to creating jewellery from ammonites and fossils, the theory behind ranking well doesn’t change.
This knowledge and experience are instilled into every copywriter at Web.com, and this is how you know you’re getting the best content for your site. By using a comprehensive standards document, tried-and-tested processes, and a customer-focused approach, the team create relevant content that is well-liked by search engines, customers, and businesses. In theory, this then boosts your rankings and improves website visibility, which is the overall endgame.
Take control of how your website performs today by taking a closer look at the on- and off-page content that you have.