Google's guidelines get interpreted in all sorts of strange and creative ways. If you are writing web copy and are not a search expert it can all get a bit confusing. Based on a conversation with one of our favourite clients, here's our true and false myth busting guide to writing for the web.
There is a set number of words required for each page for it to rank well on Google
- Writing pages around mythical Google rules is a red herring. Write useful, informative pages for your visitors and they will be good pages for Google to spider and should rank well in their own right.
People don’t read beneath the fold on a page, so make the pages short and snappy
TRUE & FALSE:
- People make up their minds about a website within seconds, so its important that all the key information is easily accessible
- However, for bigger decisions people need more information and therefore will happily read below the fold of the page, particularly if the content is engaging and useful to them.
- But visitors don’t expect to hunt around for everything. Make phone numbers, contact details and calls to action clear and above the fold.
Using search terms in the content is vital
- One aspect of making the content relevant for visitors is ensuring it is on topic and is using the specific words and phrases that they use. There are a number of ways of doing this – one is including search terms in the text as often as makes sense. The other is reducing the number of filling adjectives, so that the text is tighter and more concise. This is simply good business writing.
- However, what isn’t good writing is keyword stuffed text which sounds stilted and like a SEO company who knows nothing about your business wrote it.
People will phone to discuss, so my website is only a calling card and the content isn’t important
- Although this may once have been true, people increasingly use the Internet to research their options before phoning. The website is often the first sales touch and the first opportunity to make a good impression about the company and what you stand for.
- Google isn’t interested in ranking highly good companies; it ranks highly good resources on the web. If you want to rank well on Google, then you need to think of the website as a resource for your customers and potential customers, not simply a sales brochure.
I work in a boring industry sector, so all my content is boring:
TRUE & FALSE:
- Luckily the world is full of different kinds of people; the key is finding what your passionate users want to talk about. There are lots of examples of B2B companies that generate interesting content in niches that would bore the pants off most of us. This Hubspot blog is quite inspiring!
Image by: Alan Reeves