Content Writing – What’s all the Fuss About?
Being a writer I have an awful habit of over-thinking everything, particularly when developing a new piece of content writing. I’ve been sat here for half an hour typing out various witty sentences to kick this piece off with, and then deleting them impatiently. Why? I’ll tell you why; because if we were to print the internet there would be approximately 305.5 billion pages!
I know! And what percentage of those 305.5 billion pages do you think are particularly thrilling to read, eh? How much of that information do you reckon is even remotely useful?! That’s why I’ve been ‘umming and ahhing’. Because I’m terrified about adding to the internets’ ever-thriving repository of crap content – and you should be too!
Understanding the true value of quality content writing
Content Effects Every Aspect of Your Online Presence
Content writing one of the most valuable components of an effective SEO campaign. That and it’s the narrating voice that guides your audience through your brand-journey. Every blog post, Tweet, Facebook status and press release that you share, reflects directly upon you.
The content that you produce determines whether or not a potential buyer stays on your website or ‘crosses off’ to one of your competitors. And, it effects your credibility both in the eyes of your target audience and the major search engines.
In this post we are going to highlight the major benefits of creating high-quality content, its various forms and what you can do to improve the content that you create from both a user and search engine perspective.
The Basics – What is Content Writing?
Content Writing is the discipline focused on developing unique and ‘industry relevant’ information for the sake of guiding your target audience towards a positive conclusion. For example, this conclusion could be in the form of research, making an online purchase or hiring a particular service.
Some individuals or businesses decide to handle their content writing personally (or in-house). However, many people prefer to hire professionals instead, given there is an awful lot of work that goes into producing well-written, ‘SEO friendly’ content.
Content writers vary significantly, particularly when it comes to quality and price. You can pick up content writing for next to nothing and the unfortunate thing is; there is a staggering amount of people who pursue these ‘budget’ avenues for the sake of saving a buck. What’s worse is that low quality content does very little for your online awareness at all – In fact, often it can be detrimental!
What Does Content Development Have to do with SEO? (Search Engine Optimisation)
Content development is arguably the most important aspect of your Search Engine Optimisation campaign. If you are serious about getting ahead of your competitors and climbing the rankings on Google for your favoured search phrases, then you’re gonna need a lot of quality content!
That being said; many people make the mistake of thinking that sharing huge amounts of content = instant results. This isn’t the case if you’re churning out large amounts of low quality or duplicated content, that’s for sure. In fact, you could be producing the best content in the World, even then it takes time to experience a drastic positive effect on your rankings.
Remember that SEO and Content Marketing is very much like running a marathon. For starters, you have to be in it to win it. But, if you’re cutting corners in a pair of tattered trainers, you’re ultimately putting yourself at risk of disqualification – that and the audience isn’t going to be all that impressed with you either.
The likes of Google and the other major search engines are looking for quality, relevance, volume, credibility and authenticity. Not only that but they are looking for content in a wide variety of forms. This means that you should try to cover as many bases as you can, but doing so in an organic way.
So, don’t be writing a press release for the sake of it if you genuinely have nothing particularly note-worthy to write about. And in the same breath, if you’re going to blog regularly, make sure that you are producing content that is engaging, purposeful and unique.
Google rates websites based on whether or not they provide an authentic and positive solution for their visitors. They also judge you based on how many credible links (or votes) that you have pointing towards your website. This means sharing interesting and engaging articles on reputable resource websites.
What defines ‘SEO Friendly’ Content?
I’ll tell you what it’s not: taking a piece of text from a competitors’ website and jam-packing it full of keywords. In order to produce high-quality and SEO friendly content you need to place your keywords with careful precision – but, that’s not all! Here are just a few of the factors that you must carefully consider when producing content for your business:
- Appropriate language: The readability of your text is very important, therefore using transition words where appropriate will improve its overall flow.
- Sentence beginnings: Mix it up as much as you can when developing a piece of content. Something as minor as having 3 sentences in a row starting with the same word can have an incredibly detrimental effect on a piece of writing.
- Paragraph length: Large paragraphs can be overwhelming and will often put some people off reading a piece of text all together. Take care when structuring your writing.
- Sentence length: There is such a thing as overdoing it, believe me. I’m terrible for going way over the top with an excessive amount of grand language intended to over-embellish a point which could have been made using significantly fewer words. BUT, if you can find the right balance, you’ll be alright.
- Relevance: If you’re targeting a regional keyword, then you should produce a piece of writing that is relevant to that particular location. Your keywords should occur as naturally as possible.
The list goes on, though ultimately it is about solving problems. All of the writing that you produce must serve a purpose, otherwise, what’s the point?
Become the Authority in Your Field
You know you’re doing well when people come to your website not only for your products or services, but for information as well. So many businesses neglect this golden opportunity to engage with their customers. Even something as simple as sharing one blog post a week goes a long way towards building authority and credibility for your business.
This technique is effective for attracting new customers and establishing your company as a leading expert in your field. Information is power, right? Use it to your advantage because if you don’t, your competitors almost certainly will!