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Search Engine Optimisation

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EATing your way to success: content generation in 2019

By | Search Engine Optimisation | No Comments

This article about the priorities of content generation in the context of Search Engine Optimization in 2019, fired up my imagination. The days of merrily stuffing generic pieces with keywords and creating quick and simple, but, ultimately, vacuous ‘ten top hints and tips’ fluff are over. Instead, producing comprehensive, in-depth and authoritative articles is the way to ensure your website stays high in search results. It’s all about EAT, an acronym that neatly sums up the ravenous need for good quality content for websites in all sectors. EAT stands for: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Attaining these qualities has become one of the most important goals of content writing.

The main thing that the article triggered was the realisation that the key to the challenge of EAT isn’t in faking authoritativeness or trustworthiness. Instead the key is to know how best to translate or to transmit these qualities. With this, I realised how this new focus on structured and well-researched writing plays exactly to my strengths.

Why me?

Coming from an academic background it becomes second nature to produce writing that is researched and structured and to ensure that the content you produce is underpinned by authoritative sources. Through research, you can build on the expertise of others like a journalist getting to the essence of a complex subject. This is the key to producing SEO friendly content in 2019: providing a medium through which voice of other people can be heard, whether they be accountants, lawyers, mortgage advisors, concrete manufacturers or fudge producers.

In short, there is still room for dedicated content writers in the new world of expertise and authority, but these content writers need to have a particular set of skills. They need to become amplifiers, getting to the heart of a business and magnifying the voices of the specialists who are there, whether that is through interviews or questionnaires. It’s about spending time with the company you are writing for and listening to them, understanding what interests them. Finally, it’s about understanding the best medium to express their interests be that a case study, a white paper, an interview, a podcast or (and yes they can still exist) a top ten hints and tips blog post – speaking of which…

My top five tips to generating authoritative content for a business

  1. Speak to the experts in the business – listen to them – find things that interest them and decide on subjects based on this.
  2. Draw up a series of questions about the subject – remember introductions and conclusions. Use keyword research to refine the wording of the questions ensuring that they are phrases with search ‘currency’.
  3. Put these questions to the experts, either informally in conversation or formally by email or an interview and use the responses to structure your content. Remember that the article will be viewed by the expert before publication so it is acceptable to reword their responses to make the writing flow better.
  4. If there are gaps, go back to the expert for clarification or for further quotes.
  5. Finally, make sure you cite the expert in the content linking to their contact webpage or perhaps a social media account such as LinkedIn – here’s mine for example. Make their role clear – emphasise their authority.

You don’t need to be an expert in a subject to write about it with authority, you just need to know who the expert. Content writing is an acquired set of skills, but these skills revolve around the ability to research, structure, interpret and translate complex ideas in a way that amplifies the authoritative voices and to get them heard.

Get in touch for more about how we can help you get your voices heard and to produce content that is authoritative.

Autumn path representing Search Engine Optimisation

The Wonderful Wizards at MOZ

By | Search Engine Optimisation | No Comments

Sometimes, approaching the task of digitally marketing your company can feel a little like you’ve been swept up by a tornado and dumped into an alternate universe with talking lions, walking scarecrows and flying monkeys. Some of it is intuitively understandable: for example making your website look professional and making sure your content is error free, but some tasks can appear impenetrably complex, and none more so than search engine optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of ensuring that your website appears prominently when a potential customer hunts for it on a search engine such as Google. There are two main reasons the process seems complex: firstly, the requirements of SEO regularly change as Google, Bing and other search engines change the ways they rank and display results, so in the past it was sufficient to crawl sites full of particular words to push them up the rankings, but nowadays a more nuanced approach is required. The second reason SEO is considered complex is that it requires a consideration both of what is on the surface and what is happening behind the curtain of your website.

MOZ is an online marketing tool that combines a number of digital tools to help with Search Engine Optimisation. It’s not the only solution – there are many similar packages and it is possible to go-it alone, but MOZ is a great starting point for SEO training, research and implementation. For all this, navigating along the yellow brick road towards an optimised website can take skill, time and money, so it is best to approach a good digital marketing specialist to take the load off. However if you do want to know some of the basic first approaches then below are a few simple steps towards optimisation:

Know your website

The first step is a straightforward one – you need to research how well your website is doing, how you are ranking in search engines, your progress compared to your competitors and what search terms (keywords and phrases) you think prospective customers are searching to find you. With a tool such as MOZ, the technical side of this is quick and painless, but interpreting the results and applying competitor research takes skill and experience.

Find your keywords

Once you have a sense of the state of your website, you will need to identify and test existing and new keywords. These keywords will be used as the basis for the changes to your website in order to optimise it in search engine rankings. Keyword research is a two-pronged task: you need to anticipate what your customers’ desire when they are looking for your services or product, and you need to know what the popular search terms are. Finding a niche – a defining word or term for each landing page is the key to this step. MOZ can help you locate strong search terms and test new ones, but only in the abstract. Interpreting the significance of the keyword research is the tricky bit, as is what you do with your precious keywords once they’ve been confirmed as strong.

Optimise your visible content

When you have keywords, you need to know what to do with them. This is a twofold approach. Firstly, you need to optimise the content of your website that your visitors can see. To do this you need to ensure that: your content is aimed primarily at your audience; that it is keyword-rich; that it has impactful headlines and that your text is structured using a tag hierarchy.

Make changes behind the curtain

When you have tackled the surface content of your website, you need to attend to the information behind the scenes. You need to ensure that all your images are an appropriate size and have titles, alt text and captions that make natural use of your keywords. You also need to consider your URLs – make sure that they make sense, are as short as possible and also draw on your keywords. Finally, you need to check that your content works on all devices such as mobiles and tablets, that every page is included on your site’s XML sitemap and that your internal links are relevant and use anchor text, again based on your keywords. Once again, MOZ is a great tool for flagging up these issues, but it is advisable to consult a content specialist to ensure the implementation of the changes is as smooth as possible.

Test, test and keep on testing

Finally, it is important to remember that Search Engine Optimisation isn’t just about making changes – it’s about testing them and continual refinement. To maintain your website you need to keep a close watch on your rankings, and to regularly update your content. MOZ is a great tool for monitoring the results of the changes you’ve made and targeting the areas that still need improvement.

 

MOZ is a versatile and useful tool but it isn’t a magical solution. Used correctly, it allows you to identify issues with your website, test keywords and monitor the changes you make, but to navigate the yellow brick road without losing your way in the haunted forest (to stretch a metaphor close to breaking point), you will need the help of experienced and dedicated digital marketing experts.

Contact us for more information about how we can optimise your website:

https://www.chartereddigital.co.uk/contact-us/