By Lamin Turay
One of the great things about being an active participant in the entrepreneurial community is attending events where you can learn ways to improve your business. Both the networking and educational opportunities are invaluable. Last night I was lucky enough to attend just such an event. It was hosted by our good friends Chloe Banales and Mike Sebastian over at The Pineapple Project. The topic of the evening was "Content Writing For Your Business". There was a special guest speaker named Lauren Ventura who is a professional copywriter for Portfolio Studio. She has had her work featured in numerous famous periodicals, including Forbes magazine.
Lauren was gracious enough to share some of her most valuable insights into the world of content creation. Through years of experience working on both the agency, and client side of business, she has created some highly effective content which resulted in both traffic and sales for the companies that she's worked at. Here are some of the highlight topics that she spoke about in teaching the group how to create content that both your audience, and search engines like Google will like.
1. High Click-Through Percentage Is Good - Lauren taught us that if your content has a high click-through percentage then you are doing good. What this means is, when someone searches for a topic that your content covers, and they click the link to view your content, your click-through percentage goes up. You want to make sure that you optimize your content so that it is appealing and will warrant click-throughs at a high rate. Be sure to have enticing headlines as well as sub-text so people know that your content is the best source of information about the topics they are searching for.
2. The Older The Better - This one is simple, but can be a little confusing. Essentially it's great to have an older site. If your website has been around for a long time, then both people and search engines will consider it to be a more trusted source. This doesn't mean that you need to keep your content stagnant though. Be sure to have a consistent feed of fresh content. Just don't be quick to pull the trigger on a new URL or platform. The longer your primary website is around, the more trusted a source it becomes.
3. Keywords Are Not King - Any traditional SEO-focused consultant or company may tell you that it's absolutely imperative to cram keywords into your website, headlines, and content. While that may have been an optimal strategy in the past, it's not the name of the game anymore. Ever since its 2011 Panda Update, the Google search engine is more and more keen to those who overuse keywords in their content. A more modern and effective alternative to this, is to utilize terms that are related to the topics your are writing and/or posting about. For instance, if you write an article about Amazon's new Echo product, you may want to include terms like "digital assistant," "Alexa," or "voice-operated". By including related terms instead of just keywords, you are effectively making your content a more credible source of information.
4. Size Does Matter - While you may think that created quick, concise pieces of content that are very easily consumed is the right way to go, this is not always the case. Yes, it is convenient to be able to quickly digest a piece of meaningful content, however that's not the best way to get that content ranked higher in searches. When creating articles be sure that the bulk of them contain 1200 to 1500 words. That way you create more depth of content on your site. You are also able to provide your audience with that much more information. Try to include call-to-action, statistical data, or references to other popular articles to flesh out your content even more.
5. Cross-Links, Back-Links, All The Links - Cross-Linking to content that you have previously created is a great way of reducing bounce rate on your website, and keeping people focused on what you produce. In addition, utilizing back-links to other reputable sites, or having those sites create back-links to your content is incredibly powerful. If you have relationships with other content creators, work with them to create links back-and-forth. Be sure that the links make sense for the content you are producing. Another thing to keep in mind, is that website's which utilize the .edu or .gov domains are considered highly reputable. Possessing back-links to those types of sites can create huge gains for your search rank.
Those are just a few of the topics we covered in the info session yesterday. This is information that any content creator or business with a web presence can leverage to level up their production. Can you think of any more useful techniques related to content creation? Please sound off in the comments below?