January 18, 2017
Long time no see agent! Finished playing babysitter? Your education on the humble product description may have been juvenile but it was necessary nonetheless. We’re almost at the end of our journey through the content design manual now but we still have some very important missions to complete. I want you back in the field for this one, which means you are being given a second chance. This is a rarity agent so please do show me your gratitude by not disappointing me again.
Your objective is to find out all you can about web content writing. The category or type does not really matter at the moment, all we need to know is what makes web content so effective and vice versa. Be careful on your mission, we hope you like insects!
In this little story we are of course not describing a creepy-crawly, but rather a digital spider created by Google. Many other search engines have their own species of spider, but none bigger than the mighty Google spider. This is the grand-daddy of all search engine technology and is exploited by Google to help ‘crawl’ and understand every website released on the world wide web. If your website is jam-packed with lexical nourishment and valuable content, then these spiders will visit your site more often and will spend more time looking you up.
On the other hand, if your website offers little value in terms of shareable and regularly updated content, the spider will leave quickly and make no habit of returning anytime soon. If you are capable of satisfying these spiders and producing quality pieces of content on a regular basis, then your site will start to creep up search engine rankings as a direct result of the spider’s findings. So when it comes to pleasing Google, producing quality and grammatically perfect material is over half of the battle.
Producing unique work is also vital to effective web content writing. Plagiarism is perhaps one of the biggest no-no’s (if not the biggest) in the world of digital marketing today. If you copy work from elsewhere then your search engine rankings will be severely punished and your website will effectively fall from the web. Original, helpful and shareable ideas will attract followers, attention and more profit. Ignoring all of this will attract failure. It is and always will be as simple as that.
So far we have written much on the subject of SEO, but of course web content writing is for humans too as well as spiders. You really shouldn’t forget that either when it comes to writing for the internet. Yes, the aim of a digital marketing campaign is to increase your SERPs, achieve more sales and increase profit. This relies on satisfying spiders, robots, search engines and various other forms of technology. But we cannot forget the primary aim, purpose and exploitation of our content – people!
In a blog post late last year we spoke about the release of Google RankBrain; we will not go into too much detail here but this new technology has effectively enabled Google to learn how to read. You can read more about this here. What this means now is all of your content becomes valuable. It’s not just your Meta Data, or your keywords, or your H-Tags – it’s the full lot! From top to bottom, Google is learning how to read and interpret the whole your website. Therefore it is more important than ever to put just as much attention into pleasing and genuinely entertaining readers as you do trying to satisfy Google algorithms.
Inspirational and sharable web content writing will also increase the amount of time users spend on your page. Here we place priority on the quality of your story, rather than attempting to con Google into thinking you have one. Search engines will not turn searchers into buyers, only your words and site design can do this.
The vast majority of web surfers these days are impatient, bored or unimpressed. The internet lost its novelty a long time ago, back in the days of dial-up! To be a successful web content writer these days you have to be quick as well as valuable. No one wants to read content anymore, they want to be spoon fed information and pointed in the direction of a solution to their problem instantly. It seems oxymoronic to say such things after arguing above that we must all write for readers as well as humans. But that is where the challenge lies these days. Great web content writing needs to be brief, effective and extremely valuable – catching a readers attention instantly and causing a reaction.
We have only two more instalments left to go in the Content Design Manual series. Tune in next time to learn about social media writing and all things social!