Many people believe that creating their own content is better than nothing. After all, having something posted will engage readers, right?
They take this attitude with no regard to what is being published, if it is grammatically correct or even relevant to the end goal they have in mind. (For most, this end goal is customer acquisition or increased sales).
This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, low quality, irrelevant content can actually hurt an SEO strategy – quite significantly – causing a website to plummet in the search engine rankings.
The good news is there is a smart solution: hiring a professional content writer.
Helpful Tip: When you begin looking for a copywriter, know what you want – i.e. increasing traffic, growing brand recognition, etc. Knowing what you want will help you find the right content writer for the job.
Now you may wonder what the specific benefits of hiring a content writer – over a do it yourself approach – really is. Learn more about the benefits these professionals offer.
Creating SEO Friendly Posts
There are still a large number of website owners who believe that SEO is all about volume link building. However, the fact is, when you focus on high quality content with relevant links embedded where they make sense, you will likely see your position increase significantly and traffic steadily climb.
When you own a business and run a website, attempting to find the time to write quality, relevant posts can be extremely difficult. As a result, the content is either low quality, produced sporadically or abandoned altogether. However, regularly posting, on a weekly basis, will help to increase a sites ranking significantly – especially when the blogs are well-written and relevant to the site.
When you hire a writer, they can even be in charge of posting the actual content to your website. This minimizes the need to take time away from what you are doing to ensure the content is posted and presented to your viewers.
The average Joe will likely spend hour after painstaking hour trying to create content that is decent enough to put on a website. However, a quality, professional content writer can create the same (often higher quality) piece in as little as 30 minutes. Why spend hour after hour struggling with what you want to say, when you can hire someone and have exactly what you want quickly and at affordable prices.
Great Content = Killer Ranking
When you are able to post extremely valuable, well-written content on your website on a regular basis, you will likely see your position in the SERPs increase significantly. When you hire a freelance writer, or even several writers, depending on how often you want to post, you will be able to achieve this goal.
When hiring content writers, you need to remember that you will get what you pay for. If you are only willing to pay minimal rates for content, you are going to get sub-par results. However, for a reasonable but fair rate, you can get great content that is going to help to propel your site in the rankings. The key is to screen writers prior to turning them loose with all your content needs. This will help you weed out the less than ideal candidates.
Paying for quality content may seem a bit wasteful at first; however, when you begin this endeavor, you will find that the results will begin to be seen quickly and as long as you continue posting the quality content regularly, you will see the desired results.
So, you have a website. Maybe it’s your own, maybe it’s for your company—whatever the case, you’re in charge of running it and building an online presence. You know that it’s not enough to simply create the website, sit back, and wait for the web traffic to flow in. In order to guide potential readers to your website, you have to be proactive. That involves familiarizing yourself with search engine optimization strategies. You’ve probably already begun that process, and that’s why you’re here. The number one best thing you can do to boost your website in search rankings: create quality content. Here are some qualities you should aim for when deciding what types of articles to put on your website or blog, and why they’re important.
If you’ve been using something like article marketing websites to generate content for you or your blog, now’s the time to switch gears. The problem with buying generic, pre-written articles is that other people can buy them too. The Internet is saturated with these types of articles, and if you want your business to really stand out, you want to avoid publishing the same articles that other people are using too.
A much better idea is to hire a professional writing company to write specific articles that are tailored to the goals of your business. You won’t have to sacrifice SEO expertise in favor of good content; almost all professional writers have experience crafting web content that incorporates keywords and SEO strategies seamlessly into interesting, engaging articles that are unique to your website.
Publishing research-driven articles is one of the best ways to gain legitimacy in the eyes of your readership—and in the eyes of Google as well! Internet advertising has been around for years, and by this time most of us are able to recognize which articles have been written for the sole purpose of selling a product or service, and which ones actually have some substance to them. And search engines can tell too! The Google Panda update of 2011 has been working to filter out spammy content-farmed articles and prioritizing the ones that contain useful information with trustworthy references behind them. When you publish articles that make claims, be sure those claims are backed up with facts and research.
Incorporating research is only half your battle: you also need to be able to cite your sources for that research, and make sure those sources are credible. It’s unfortunately all too easy for companies to pay “experts” to endorse a product, whether or not the actual science backs it up. This has had the side effect of making readers far more skeptical and harder to convince. Citing trustworthy sources (like the New York Times, other major newspapers, or academic journals) is the best way to ensure them that what you’re saying is legitimate.
Not Too Short, Not Too Long
If your articles or blog posts are too short, you won’t be able to really cover your topic in depth, so your readers will only have a basic surface understanding of what you’re trying to convey. If they’re too long, you risk your readers merely skimming the articles or losing interest as soon as they see the length (ever seen the comment “tl;dr”? It means “too long; didn’t read”, and the fact that it’s so common speaks to the value of brevity). Aim for quality content that covers a subject efficiently, bringing in details but not info-dumping on your readers.
Remember these four guidelines when you’re deciding what kind of content should make the cut on your website or blog, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a trustworthy web presence that will keep your clients coming back to read more.
Writers generally don’t have to worry much about website design and layout when they write. Where mobile content is concerned, however, design is a major consideration and giving some extra thought to the wording and structure of content is imperative toward creating higher quality content for the reader.
It’s Like Fencing
If you need an easy way to think of how to write mobile friendly content, think of fencing. Lead with the point. Mobile devices have screens of varying size, but they’re all much smaller than a computer monitor, obviously. This means that you want to craft your content so that it can be easily broken up into small pieces. If you have any experience in journalism, this should come easily.
The article referenced above, from Site Point, mentions the “inverted pyramid” style of writing used by news reporters. It’s a particularly useful way to structure content designed for a mobile device.
The inverted pyramid style is characterized by putting the most relevant piece of information first. Supporting information follows. Here’s a quick example to drive the point home, no pun intended. The first example is not in the inverted pyramid style, the second is.
- A charming Italian bistro located in one of the most fashionable parts of town, Corleone’s offers affordable eating in the 6th Avenue Business District, located at the corner of 6th and Main.
- Corleone’s is located on 6th and Main. It is a moderately-priced restaurant serving Italian fare.
The first example would be great for a regular screen, as the reader has plenty of room to read the content and the few extra seconds it might take for a longer article to download isn’t an issue. On a mobile device, however, a reader is probably just looking for the address and wants it fast. Again, lead with the point, and then expand as you include more content.
Consider what They’re Doing
Mobile internet users are oftentimes in distracting environments. As Sticky Content points out, it’s a good idea to consider them as being on the move when they’re reading the content.
Cut down on your words whenever possible. Remember that the screen is small and that they’re probably looking for some specific information, not reading the Internet as a way to relax or entertain themselves. While adding a bit of style and a unique voice is important to creating good content, remember that you are, essentially, speaking to someone who has a lot of other things around them that are probably just as interesting, or more so. Take that into account and write short, concise sentences. Think Hemmingway, not Faulkner.
Work Those Headlines and Subheadings
Mashable gives a very good piece of advice where headlines for mobile content are concerned: think like you’re tweeting. That means writing short headlines that get the point across in a few words.
Your headlines and subheadings are vital to compressed content. They let the reader know what’s in the paragraph that follows and whether or not it’s relevant to them. Make sure your subheadings serve this purpose. It prevents readers from wasting their time and, of course, it’s more likely to catch their eye in a distracting environment.
A Great Example
The Sticky Content article referenced above is linked to from a Twitter account. The tweet provides a great example of how to craft something that is short, to the point and that makes you want to follow the link. It reads:
“Writing mobile friendly content: Top tips”
To put it directly, that’s perfect. It tells the reader exactly where the link goes and, if they follow it, it delivers. This is what mobile content, when done correctly, looks like. It’s most important feature is that it doesn’t waste the user’s time, their bandwidth and the user can easily and quickly scan it and see that it’s what they’re looking for.
Lists are great for mobile devices. They tend to encourage the type of writing that plays well on such devices. They’re also easy to scan through, which is what most users are going to be doing when they look at content on a mobile device.
Lists also make it possible to keep messaging consistent without getting too wordy. For example, an auto repair shop that advertises certified mechanics, guaranteed work and the best prices on parts as their principal message to customers could convey that entire message in very few words. In list form:
- Certified Mechanics
- Best Part Prices
- Guaranteed Work
That might seem simple, but for a mobile device user it means that the page loads fast and it gets straight to the point. For the business owner, it means that the potential customer is less likely to look for a different site out of frustration that theirs doesn’t load quickly enough.
Throw Away Your Thesaurus
Keep the language simple and to the point. Avoid overly long words and, remember, writing content for mobile sites is not an occasion to show off your command of the English language. Again, being concise counts for a lot, but that means more than just choosing your words carefully.
Some of the best writing is done by cutting away what’s been written rather than adding to it. This is doubly important when writing for mobile sites. If a paragraph can be put to the ax, then do so. Get rid of it. Replace it with something more relevant and useful.
If you’re vexed by this, take a look at Purdue’s guide on writing in the inverted pyramid style. While newspapers may be fading into the past, newspaper writers also had to struggle to fit information into very limited space, so this style of writing is particularly useful. It keeps everything focused on the point at hand and it makes it very easy for people to get the information they need. If they want to dig deeper, they can, but if they just need information and need it fast, they won’t be frustrated.
Some of the best search engine optimization (SEO) writing out there is very standardized within a site. This doesn’t mean that it’s generic, but it means that the format is sometimes as important as the content. The format is the delivery system for the information and, by working with a professional writing company, the advantages of a consistent format can be realized.
A great example of the power of having a consistent format can be found in Wikipedia. Take a look at articles on that site that span any range of subjects and you’ll see that they’re all presented in essentially the same way. They start with a summary, major points are expanded upon further down the page and are separated by headers that divide the information up into a manageable length. References and resources are given at the bottom of the article.
This consistency of format increases the quality of the user experience. Users know what to expect from the site and it delivers over and over again. The same strategy can be used on other websites to great effect, but it does require some skill to implement.
Why Professional Writing Services Matter
Professional writing services utilize the skills of professional writers. Among the skills a professional writer needs to have is the ability to adapt to specific formats. Whether that means that articles need to have HTML tags, that content needs to be formatted as an eBook or it means something else entirely makes no difference. Professional writers are able to take information and to get it into the most advantageous format for a site’s readership, ensuring that the delivery of that content is as effective as possible.
Knowing the Formats
For many businesses and individuals who want to publish content, figuring out the format that they need to adhere to is a real struggle. For professionals, it’s rather routine. There are standardized formats that are used for eBooks, websites and so forth and most professional writers will have worked on variations of those formats over and over again. Whether that means that articles need to be summarized in a separate section, that they need to have a certain arrangement of content or that they need to be formatted as instructions does not prevent professionals from delivering.
Standardized formats on a website can make it easier for visitors to find the content that they want and to take away from the site exactly what they need to know about the subject being discussed. If your company is revamping their website, consider cleaning up your content by having it set in a format that makes it easy to read and that makes your pages more consistent in terms of content and presentation. Having a professional writing firm handle this work is the fastest way to do it and, on top of that, it also produces the best results. When you see content presented in a standardized format, you’ll understand the advantages that it presents to the reader and to the business that runs the site.
For some businesses, the hardest part about producing content is making it accessible to a broad audience. This is particularly true of companies that have products that are very technical in their natures. For instance, a company that sells cellular phones can find plenty of ways to market, but a company that produces batteries for cellular phones may have a hard time pointing out the advantages for consumers when those advantages seem very hard to describe without a lot of tech jargon. Content producing companies can help with this.
Blending Sales with Information
A content production company will have writers with a great deal of experience and the experience available will span many different fields. Just as importantly, such companies will have writers who are experienced enough writing for a wide selection of audiences that they will understand how to address those audiences in the right way. Where complex subjects are concerned, this means being able to write to someone who may not understand all the complexities involved without condescending to them.
Information that is designed for an audience with little experience in the field that applies has to be written as if it were to someone with no experience at all. At the same time, it has to contain enough information that it will still be interesting to those who do have some experience with the subject being discussed. This is difficult to do but it’s what professional content producing companies do all the time. The experience that the people who are available through such companies have makes it possible for them to write content that appeals to a very broad audience and to deliver useful information.
Why It Matters
Most of the writing that is done for websites is designed to increase the visibility of those sites on search engines. In order to pull this off, the writing has to be informational and useful to the reader. The search engines do not want to index sales content, as it really doesn’t benefit anyone but the company trying to make a sale
To make sure your content is good, it has to provide information, be interesting to read and be accessible to the person who is searching for that information. Without meeting these criteria, it’s likely to be skipped over by the search engines. Good writers and content production companies can make sure that the information succeeds in all of these regards, helping websites to get noticed.
No Subject too Technical
Even the most technical of information can be written about in an interesting way. In fact, good science writers do this all the time. What a good content company can do is take that information and write about it in a way that includes the technical information, but that also explains to the reader why that technical information is relevant to them. For companies that have a very technical product to sell, this ability makes it possible to reach a much broader audience and to get more value out of the content that they pay for.
When you’re shopping around for search engine optimization (SEO) writing, remember that creativity in the writing is vital. It’s easy to produce monotonous content that just touts the value of your product or service over and over again. This is low-quality content that Google and other search engines are not going to pay much attention to. There are creative ways that professional content companies can give you content that will advertise your products or services but that will still entertain, inform and impress the search engines enough to get good ranking. Here’s how it works.
Go Beyond the Product
Professional content companies have writers that go beyond your product or service as something that can be purchased. They know how your product relates to people’s lives and that enables the writers to write about it in a way that is actually engaging.
For instance, writing about how great a given lawnmower is over and over again across many articles and many sites is not likely to capture anyone’s interests. Good reviews, however, that really do get into the details, let consumers know what they need to know and that give them real reasons to consider that particular lawnmower are valuable to anyone who is considering purchasing such an item. This is how good content writers work.
Good content companies can write articles that mention your product or, in some cases, simply address the need for your product without mentioning it directly, and that really appeal to people. Using the lawnmower example again, articles about lawn care are interesting to a broad demographic and, without pitching one lawnmower in particular, a good writer can get the reference in there and make sure it gets some attention, but do so without boring the reader with an obvious sales pitch.
Creativity is More Honest
Sales pitches are very predictable. They identify a need and then explain how the product can address that need. Creative writing about a product goes further than this. It addresses the fact that the product does satisfy a need, of course, but it doesn’t have to go into outrageous claims just to fill out space. Creative writing about a product can be funny, emotional, exciting or anything else. Really, the products and services that people use are oftentimes huge parts of their lifestyles and identities, so it’s natural that a good writer can find what’s interesting about those products and make something very creative with the material they’re given and stay factual.
Finding the Balance
Not every company is going to want their product presented in the same way. Professional content companies do not endeavor to rewrite the way a company wants to present themselves. They work to help companies come up with creative ways to work on the branding they want and to make it more effective as a means of reaching clients. There are great reasons to go with professionals when you need content produced but, among them, creativity and the ability to make products and services genuinely interesting are among them.