If you just want to get your feet wet with Content Writing then rattling out some blog articles, reworking your priority landing pages or firing off a weekly email are all great places to begin.
We have free Whitepapers with specific tips on blogging, landing pages and downloadable content, which you’ll find useful if you plan to handle Content Writing yourself. But if you want to start with some general advice, these are our top ten tips.
Landing pages are the pages on your site that you want potential customers to visit. Whether you get at your audience through organic search, emails, social media or paid ads, you need great landing pages if you’re going to convert visits into leads and sales.
When we work on creating landing pages or landing page optimisation for clients they tend to fall into two categories: pages intended to compete in organic search (we call those “search landing pages”); and pages set up to convert visitors from paid ads, emails, social media or referral sites (we call those “conversion landing pages”).
SEO content writing tends to begin with creating some solid website copy for search landing pages. These are the pages that will compete for your priority keywords in Google’s organic search results. Putting together content for SEO campaigns doesn’t just mean stuffing pages with your favourite search terms (anymore). Increasingly, the signals Google’s algorithm is focussing on are about quality.
Landing pages that provide great answers to questions or give the richest, fullest explanation of a particular topic are getting real traction in organic search results. That means content writing for SEO and content writing for real people is becoming more and more like the same thing.
If you’ve got your SEO content writing down pat and your search landing pages are killing the competition you might be tempted to send traffic from all your campaigns in their direction. In our experience, though, landing pages that work well for SEO won’t necessarily be the best fit for other channels, like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
Broadly there are two reasons for this: first up, you need a lot of words on the page to get your landing pages ranking in search. Google looks at over 200 ranking signals but the length of your website copy is still among the most important on-page factors.
When the traffic is coming via an email or an ad you can ditch some of the space you would usually assign to your website copy and keep users focussed on your conversion goals. With our conversion landing pages we prioritise trust factors like USPs, testimonials, awards and marquee clients. If users trust you, they’re much more likely to click on your calls-to-action (CTAs).
Content marketing strategies should always start with landing pages, but once those are sorted you can get stuck into life as a business blogger. Every business needs a great blog. Whether you call it a blog or something fancy like “Resource Centre” or “Inspiring Stories”, your blog is the engine room of your Content Writing activity.
Your blog can help your business on a number of levels from boosting your SEO to nurturing potential customers. You can create content that digs deeper into topics already covered on a higher level by your landing pages, which is great for mining longer-tail search terms. And you can keep your sales team happy by doing a quick turnaround on answers to questions they’re getting from their prospects.
Back in the early life of Castleford, blogging for any business meant producing a high volume of keyword-focussed content. When we look back at some of the numbers we were delivering for clients in 2011 and 2012 they seem pretty crazy, but that used to get good results.
Nowadays it’s about quality over quantity. You can get better results with 20% of the output if the content you write is carefully targeted at gaps in search results. That’s not to say volume doesn’t matter, but with pretty much every topic having been covered already, usually hundreds of times, the gains are usually to be found with a scalpel rather than an axe.