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I’ve been working on an industrial client’s web site where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is going to be one of the key ways that we are going to generate new leads for his business.
This past week my team and I were on a conference call about this client right after I said — “pay attention to the keyword phrases”, my SEO expert said “Don’t write for the SEO phrases! Write for the reader first!”
I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve heard this advice — I’ve heard it and I know it. And as Google continues to modify the way it gives you search results there is only one thing that will remain unchanged — the incredible value of quality content.
What does quality content look like?
- It’s?grammatically correct. ?Let’s start with the basics. Good content builds credibility and content that isn’t grammatically correct doesn’t work. Consider having someone you know and trust read over your content first. Checking for grammar and spelling errors. Spell check won’t flag incorrect words that are spelled correctly.
- It grabs the reader and gives them something. ?This is rather hard to explain, but you know it when you read it. In fact, that is exactly my tip for you. Take the time to cruise through sites you love to read. Stop and write down what you love about the content. Your notes should look like this : Headline uses puns, written in the second person, tone is conversational…. It might even help for you to cut and paste example phrases that you like. So that you can start incorporating the style into your writing.
- It’s concrete. Have you noticed something about the articles that are out there — they dole out advice like “Start a blog” or “Write an eBook” or “Go to forums to build your list” and then when you decide to take on any of these actions — somehow you’re stopped. You just don’t know what to do, or something gets in your way or it’s hard. So you stop. Good content recognizes what stops the audience and then takes them over the hump. It’s like giving very specific directions to your house — “You’re going to drive over three hills and then you’re going to see this road that looks like it’s a dead end road — don’t freak out — just follow it…” See, these directions take into account what the audience will most likely experience.
You’re going to think this is crazy, but the way to improve your content and conversions is to take on a craftsman’s mentality about it. The idea is to create something, then get feedback and edit, get feedback and edit. This will be a painful process, for sure and you will feel like you suck and your stuff sucks and you will get better and better.
One of the first places I went to learn how to create great content was Copyblogger.com Back in 2005 it was just a blog about how to write great online articles. Today, they are a virtual content marketing mecca of resources (and the blog is still there).
I’ve found their materials and their advice invaluable in improving my writing as well as my online content. They’ve recently launched a new series you might consider:Scribe Content Library. I’ve just signed up for it and will be getting several online books that talk about how to improve your content. I’ll be sharing some of the insights with you, but you’ll probably want your own — so that you can enjoy every tip straight from the horses mouth.