Content for Websites: How website content works
Creating content for websites can be your greatest asset, and at the same time it can also be a thorn in your side. If you are a follower of Gary Vaynerchuck you will also be familiar with the term ‘Content is King!’ However, is all content created equal? Of course not. One of the things that can get overlooked is how to create good content. Gary Vee tends to lean towards the social platforms, and they are part of the lifeblood of your content strategy. Though, many of you who share content on social media will know how hard it is to get noticed. All that effort you put into that piece gets sucked into the vacuum that is the news feed and the algorithm can push your hard work further and further away from your viewers.
So what to do? First let’s clarify some things.
Content for Websites vs Content for Social Media
For the purpose of this article we are going to cover content for websites. By understanding how to create good content for your website first. You can then go and translate that content into more valuable pieces for Social Media. This is known as the ‘sawdust’ effect whereby working one masterpiece of content (sawing the wood) you ultimately create by-products (the sawdust and offcuts) that can be used in other areas such as social media. Effectively, you are working smarter and not harder.
When you create well planned out website content it has more staying power than most of the social media content out there (with the exception of unicorn viral content). Moreover, you can continually take snippets of your website content and share these across social media whilst pointing back to your website each time. This is a brilliant way of driving traffic to your website, but creating content isn’t always easy and some ask where do you even begin?
Researching the type of content for your website
Rather than spewing out your thoughts onto a page, a small amount of time and effort into research can go a long way to helping you create what's called ‘evergreen content’. This is really valuable content that doesn’t disappear, hence the name evergreen. The most-read articles and blog posts get cited time and time again. Fortunately, you do not need to be a genius to know how to research this. In fact, I was able to demonstrate this process in 5 minutes if you watch the video below.
Tools for researching content for websites
The video above is a live demonstration using the tool Ubersuggest which is a free tool provided by Neil Patel (arguably the world's best marketer). There are some other more complex research tools that require a subscription but this will be for more advanced users that really want to dive into SEO. These tools help you search content ideas by scanning other websites. From there, you can find out what the best content may be for your website. These tools are:
- Ubersuggest : Free and the easiest way to start learning about your website and content ideas.
- SEMrush: Paid subscription with a 1 month free trial that does not require a credit card. This is a great option to take a deep dive into the more technical side of creating website content.
- Ahrefs: Paid subscription with a $7 for 7 day trial. This is very similar to SEMrush but has some features that some SEO experts prefer. I have personally used this tool to research competitors website content and generate my content ideas from this research.
How website content works
It is important to understand how website content works so that you maximise your creative potential and your content research. There are many signals that Google uses when returning a search result (too many to discuss in this short post). But the very beginning will be your seed keyword. Think of your seed keyword as the main topic of your content. It can be one word, but more often than not it will be a few words put together as this is what people type into the Google search bar when looking for an answer. Your ability to use that keyword in an informative and constructive manner throughout your content will help increase your chances of being seen.
Now, this is grossly oversimplified and we will dive deeper into this topic in the coming weeks. However, if you are new to this, (as every content creator once was at some stage), then using your seed keyword as your reference point is a great start to writing great content for websites.
Can you guess what this article's seed keyword is?
Tips for writing content for a website
- Blogs and articles should be between 750 and 1500 as a minimum standard. It is ok to write more than this so long as your blog is highly engaging or informative.
- When trying to ‘scatter’ your keyword throughout the article, make it sound natural. Remember, Google aim to return genuine search results for their user, not fake results from articles ‘stuffed’ with keywords
- Try to use the keyword no more than 3% of the total article (on any one page). If you are not able to do the math you can use the tool below to check your writing.
- Try to include your keyword in your main heading and subheadings.
Now you have the best website content. What's next?
Now it is time to publish! Or is it? It pays to take a little bit of extra care and attention to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. Make sure someone has proofread your work. Also, be sure you have some great images to serve with your blog or article as this will keep the reader engaged (side note: for SEO image file size needs to remain small - more on that in another post). Make sure the format is easy to read, ie, small paragraphs, simple sentences, bullet points and lists. If you decide to get a little more advanced (without the help of an expert) then put time into your Social Share Image and Social Share Description as this will be what is seen when you or other people share your article around - remember the sawdust effect?
With a little bit of pre-planning and tenacity, you can create great evergreen content that will serve your website for months if not years. Remember, you do not need to be an expert to begin content writing, you just need to follow a few simple steps. The expertise of a professional content writer and/or SEO expert may help you with the technical fineness of the final piece, but the main idea should come from you as you are the expert in your niche.