King Content (Top 3 Tips)
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King Content - The importance of, and our Top 3 Tips for content writing
Anyone who has worked on a project with Big Dog Digital knows how much we like to prepare and plan. We often allow 3-5 weeks for the initial planning stages of a new website project:
Setting-up the project plan (we like to use BaseCamp)
Setting and assigning initial tasks
Agreeing on milestones
Approach to collaborative working
Site and competitor analysis
Workshop and discovery meeting
Navigation, user-flow, and user-journey
High-level messaging and end-conversion goals
This is before we look at colour, typography, imagery and all the nice things. However, there is always one rather large elephant in the room throughout these various stages of website development ‘Content’.
Call it what you like (content strategy, planning, writing, storytelling) the reality is everything starts with content. A good solid website is built around your content. Telling your story is one of the most powerful ways to engage with consumers – and it should be at the core of your website strategy. You want your customer to associate with your brand, develop a positive opinion of it, and then subsequently make contact with you.
Unfortunately and all-to-often we find clients have put less thought into ‘or’ underestimate the work involved in content writing.
It’s all well and good wanting a beautiful website - but your website needs to say something about you, your brand, your service and offering. Impactful imagery and colours might be enough to engage and hook your customer initially - but then what?
At Big Dog, we often discuss content at first contact with a new client “do you have your website content written and ready” or “are you using this redesign as an opportunity to review your content” are the typical questions we ask.
Why is this so important to us?
Well, firstly any good development agency needs to know how much content they are going to need to populate and/or migrate. But more importantly, we design around your content requirements.
Secondly, we want your website to be successful - we want you to engage with your audience and convert those users into customers.
1. Define Your Audience:
Knowing your user/customer is key - exactly who are you talking to? Here are some simple questions to get started.
- Demographic (typical age, location, education, etc…)
- How informed are they? (do they understand your subject matter)
- Who do they listen to? (other reference sites, influencers)
- What are their pain points?
2. Content Planning:
Begin to draft, review and define meaningful content that is aimed at your target audience.
Tone: By understanding your user/customer you can start to pitch the content at the right level and tone. For example - should the tone be playful? professional? jargon-filled?
Topic: How informed is your audience about your product or service. If the answer is ‘very informed’ then you can afford to go into detail and be almost analytical in your approach. If not - then keep it simple - avoid industry terms, acronyms and use ‘layman's terms’. You don't want your audience leaving the website because they just don't understand or need to reference a dictionary every 2 minutes.
Length: How long is your content, and does this affect how it's viewed and shared by your audience? Do they prefer longer, more comprehensive levels of content, or do they prefer things short and sweet? We are big fans of ‘less is more’ try to keep is snappy and straight to the point - says the person writing a novel here 🙂
Variation: Where possible use different approaches to content storytelling - mix your text content with pull-out-quotes, imagery, infographics and ideally some video. Both Google and audience love video (we will be writing another blog post on this subject alone).
3. Search Engine Optimisation:
When drafting your content - be conscious of SEO tactics. This could really take-up an entire article within itself!
- Your content should be well written, engaging, and informative
- Ensure a keyword phrase/word is present in the title of your article or blog
- Break your content into short paragraphs with subheaders
- Use the important keywords/phrases as early as possible in the article/content
- Don't overuse keywords/phrases - intersperse them
- Include links to other web pages (internal and external) relevant to your content
- Make your content easy to share through social networks
- Finally, don't underestimate how helpful a good content writer/copywriter can be
Here are some useful resources to help you with your endeavors:
- Content Strategy: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-marketing-plan
- Writing Copy: https://www.smartbugmedia.com/blog/best-practices-for-writing-website-copy-and-choosing-imagery
- Being Google Friendly: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/40349?hl=en
- Content & SEO: https://moz.com/learn/seo/content-marketing
- Importance of SEO Content: https://www.brafton.com/blog/creation/why-content-is-important-for-seo-2018-edition/