Happy New Year folks! Welcome to my first blog of 2019.
And, as I love nothing more than a bandwagon, it’s that time of year again when I sit down and write our ‘what’s going to be big in 2019’ blog post. And yes, you’ve guessed it, SEO Copywriting is going to be massive in 2019!
Now for those of you who assiduously read our blog, you may well have spotted that Simon Dalley wrote a very similar blog post to this one only last week. I don’t know if you’ve read his post yet or not, but – quite frankly – you need a degree in SEO to understand most of it.
As it’s his background, naturally he’s written an ‘SEO Predictions For 2019’ blog post that focusses mainly on the technical side of SEO. Obviously, it talks about Content Marketing – you can’t discuss SEO in 2019 without a massive focus on Content Marketing – however it’s not the main thrust of the piece. And it’s not all that easy to digest either!
Hence, no doubt you are all here, reliant on me for the ‘dumbed-down’ version?! And fortunately, that’s one thing I can provide.
So here are my top five predictions for SEO in 2019, with a VERY heavy (in fact, exclusive) focus on Content Marketing. Because, as an SEO Copywriter, content creation is what I do.
So let’s get on with it. Quick and Easy. Bish, bash, bosh. Here’s how to make sure your content will do the SEO trick in 2019.W
1. Write Great Content
It sounds obvious, but believe me, there are folk still out there writing appalling content with no planning.
You may feel like we’re on the verge of peak content – surely this content creation drive can’t go on forever?! – but I don’t think we are. In fact, I think we’ve got a way to go yet before the content bubble bursts.
The search engine algorithms are still using content as one of the main factors in judging whether or not a website is any good, so no matter what type of content you are creating, it needs to be good. And by good, I mean;
- Well written – ain’t nobody got time to trawl through your bad spelling and grammar and work out what on earth you’re trying to say. Please, God invented spell checkers for a reason. Use them.
- Lengthy – a couple of lines won’t cut it; online web copy, blogs, knowledge bank articles…whatever you’re writing, make it a decent length.
- Self-explanatory – explain what it is you actually do, don’t just give people a load of woolly waffle to use up your word count. You have no idea how many websites we read where it is not clear what the company even does. Tell people what you do and how it will help them, otherwise people and algorithms will just bypass you.
- Interesting – would you like people to read your content? Would you like them to come back and read more of your content? Then why are you droning on in that boring tone of voice about stuff nobody cares about? Come on, raise the standard. Make it exciting and engaging and folk will come back.
You also need to be creating as much of it as you possibly can. One blog a week might still work, depending on what sector you’re in and what your competition are doing, but it probably won’t. You need to prove to the algorithms that your website is at the zeitgeist of your industry, that you’re an expert in what you do, so publish as regularly and frequently as possible.
Basically, it’s the same old rule as it ever has been – just publish loads of great content. Only more so. W
2. Write Natural Content
We all know that the days of over-stuffing your content with keywords are long gone but, for complicated algorithmic reasons that I won’t go into here, it will be even more important in 2019 that your content is written naturally.
The rise of voice search is one key reason for this; more and more people are now having their search results spoken back to them, thanks to the prominence of devices such as Alexa or Siri, so you need to make sure your content can literally speak to your audience. Write it naturally, exactly how you would say it, then read it back to yourself to check how it sounds.
Even if people are digesting your content in the more traditional way (i.e. reading it), the algorithms have been studying human communication for years now and they understand how information can be imparted without having to be prim or business-like, so just speak to your audience. Forget having to be corporate, it’s not what the majority of people want from your content. Unless you’re writing academic papers, of course.
Plus, you’ve got to remember that you only have a couple of seconds to break down the barrier that a website throws up between you and your audience; speak to them like a human being and remind them that you’re not a massive faceless corporation, like Amazon (just as a random example!). You are, in fact, a real person at the end of a phone, the type of business they can actually speak to and have a relationship with. This will build and signify trust and reliability, which in turn will help your content rank better.
And in terms of those keywords, just use them naturally and go for the long-tail ones as much as the primary ones. The algorithms will return you for the queries you were after. S
3. Structure Your Content Correctly
Thanks to a couple of recent algorithm updates, as well as the rise of voice search devices, search engines have now become even more focussed on being able to pick out the correct answer for a search term quickly and easily. Because of this, it’s vital that you structure your content to accommodate it.
For one thing, you need to bear in mind that people are now searching for things by asking full questions, hence your content needs to answer specific questions that are being asked. Instead of titling your blog post, for example, ‘Search Trends For 2019’, title your post ‘What Are The Latest Search Trends For 2019?’. The world of search is literally all about questions, so ask some and then answer them.
And speaking of the answer, the algorithms now want to be able to pick that out in a really quick snippet, either to display at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) or for Alexa to speak in answer to a query, hence it’s now more important than ever that you answer the question you’ve asked in one succinct sentence, preferably near the top of your piece of content.
A good rule to play by is to answer the question in the first paragraph in one sentence, then use the rest of your blog post to expand on that answer in more detail. If your answer is multi-faceted, then provide the salient points in number or bullet points, so that an algorithm can easily pick out which are the most important bits.
You can see how I’ve done it here. Just copy this.
4. Choose Your Content Topics For Your Audience
User Intent are the massive buzz words in SEO for 2019, but what does that mean if you’re just trying to create the right content for your website?
Basically, it means that you have to think about what your audience is actually looking for when they’re trying to find your website, then give them that content. So, are they mainly looking to read lengthy articles that explain a topic in great detail, for example? Maybe they might be looking for videos that practically help them solve a problem? Possibly they want something in-between, maybe an infographic that very neatly explains what you do and how you can help them?
For e.g., if you’re a plumber, why might someone be looking for your website? Possibly they have a blocked toilet, so you could provide a video that explains the first steps to try to get the toilet unblocked, then let them know how they can contact you if that doesn’t work and they need to call you out. On the other hand, maybe you sell women’s clothing? In that case, provide a mood board of the season’s latest trends, with links straight from the items to where they can be purchased on your website.
Hence, don’t just structure the subject of your content around your audience, structure the form of your content around them too. The days of just writing text blogs are over; you need to embrace video, design graphics, use infographics too…mix it up and, if you can, have the same content in multiple formats. That way your audience can pick the type that’s right for them and algorithms can pick the format that’s right for the platform your content is being received on.
You also need to think about all the questions your audience might be asking around your product or your service and make sure that you have a piece of content on your website that answers all those questions. The algorithms know what subsequent questions a searcher is likely to ask once they have put in their first search term, plus the context in which they’re asking, so make sure your website is the one that answers everything they’re likely to ask and they won’t need to go anywhere else. Or your competitor’s website won’t get returned instead of yours.
If you provide the right content, the algorithms will take care of the rest.
5. Put Your Content In The Right Place
This one is twofold. On the one hand, you need to think about where you put your content on your website. You’re going to be creating a lot of content, so you need to make sure people are able to find what they want easily.
Make sure you structure it correctly; call it what it is and file it in the right place. For e.g., make sure your opinion pieces go in the Blog section, whilst more lengthy factual pieces could maybe go in a Knowledge Bank section? If you want quick answers to optimise your website for voice search devices, then an FAQs section is the ideal solution, for example.
Moreover, you need to make sure visitors can find the correct format of content for them, so if you have related pieces of content, make sure they’re all accessible from the same place. It’s also a good idea to have related content near to or following on from each other, so that your audience can find the answers they want quickly and easily. An ‘if you liked that you might also like this’ function is a great way of doing this, or simply structure your content via the subjects your audience is likely to search for.
The second point about this is to think about where you’re sharing your content once it’s created. You can’t just write it and leave it on your website, you need to get it out into the world. So, once you’ve put it in the right place on your website, you need to make sure you are putting in in the right places online too.
Obviously, the main place for sharing content is on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, there are other places too, such a Reddit or even on academic research websites or trade publications etc.
Again, as with everything else, the most important thing to think about is what does your audience want? Think about where they are and what type of content they will be looking for at that point in time, then share your content accordingly. For e.g., there’s no point sharing meaty, academic or business content on Facebook in the evening, because that’s not what people are on Facebook to read at that time. Instead, share it on LinkedIn, probably on a weekday morning. Likewise, if your audience are mostly on Insta or Pinterest, create your content in graphics or images and share it there at appropriate times.
Essentially, the point here is the same as with all the other bullet points: think about who your audience are, where they are and what they want, then give it to them. It ain’t rocket science but, in 2019, this is the key that will make your content a success more than anything else.
Get In Touch
So there we go, my top five tips for how you can create content that will get your website ranking in 2019.
As ever in SEO, there have been a lot of algorithmic changes recently and there are bound to be even more in the near future, as the algorithms evolve and get even better and providing us with the correct websites for our search queries. And naturally, as your friendly SEO experts, GrowTraffic will be keeping on top of them all, and relaying how they affect you and what you need to do to keep your website ranking in turn.
If you’d like to know more about the algorithmic changes that have led to the above advice, or would like to have a chat about creating the right sort of content for your website, then simply get in touch with us. And in the meantime, keep creating great content, and everything else will follow from there.
You can contact GrowTraffic by phoning 0161 706 0012 or email us at [email protected].