How to write great SEO content
To be a writer and work in the content team at WMG you really have to love writing. And you really have to be a writing nerd. Content writing is what we do day in and day out. Over seven hours per day of writing plus the research, planning, interviewing, and editing that goes into content writing.
On National Writing Day we thought it was a good time to look at the kinds of SEO content writing we do and why it’s so important to get it right.
How to write great SEO content
Every day our team of 12 content writers write thousands of words for over 100 different clients across almost every industry and sector that you can imagine. And we see the benefits of content writing for our clients – improvements in ranking and traffic, increased engagement and reach across social media, and improved brand visibility.
A good writer can spot good writing a mile off. And we can also spot bad writing.
Keyword stuffed landing pages? We see you. Lazy comparisons? Yep, you too. Clunky client links? Spotted. Rambling, meandering blogs that don’t say anything? Hi. Poorly executed social posts with no call to action? You too.
1) Start with a content strategy
One of the first things we do when we start working with a new client is to conduct a content audit, looking at the current state of play, and formulate a content strategy.
We believe that content and social media creation should be strategic. That what we do should ladder up into a client’s objectives and give them a strong return on investment.
We analyse your commercial and supporting content looking at your strengths and weaknesses, the gaps between your content and that of your key competitors, and the potential competitive opportunities we can leverage.
We research your target audience, industry trends, and your key brand messages. We look at your priorities and USPs and we create areas of interest – unique content pillars – that all your non-commercial content will be structured around.
This guidance, this structure, this STRATEGY is how to write great SEO content.
2) Art + science
What we do is undoubtedly creative, but we are also led and informed by the data. Working with our technical team we identify the pages or areas to focus our content writing efforts on – this may be existing pages that aren’t currently answering user search intent, are lacking in depth, or need optimising. Or it could be new commercial pages that we need to create from scratch.
Once we know the main areas we’re going to be writing about, we research. We look at the industry, we speak to you – the client – and we look at the keywords.
With clients in the worlds of finance, interiors, logistics, automotive, personal injury, insurance, fashion, beauty, travel, and education, among many others, we are experienced at writing content that works for all these industries and we’re constantly monitoring what brands are doing in each of these spaces.
3) The Content Quality Score
Our R&D team built a tool to measure the Content Quality Score so that we can quantify the quality of the content of our clients and their competitors. Looking at more than 13 different metrics, the CQS evaluates content giving it a score out of 100. Content written by our content team regularly scores 75 and above.
4) Content writing
We use keyword research to inform our blog plans and landing pages, we think about what the end user or customer is wanting to find out from each page, we measure the content quality and then we write.
We always write with Google in mind and pay close attention to the algorithm updates which can affect a website’s ranking and traffic. Most of these updates place quality content front and centre, so by continuing to do what we do best – and continuously refining and finessing it – we can make sure that our clients are affected positively by the updates.
Writing great SEO content is about writing great content full stop. As Google places ever greater value on quality content, our journalistic backgrounds married with our love of data and analytics helps us craft content writing that works.
It engages the reader, it answers their questions, it provides them with information AND inspiration, and it shows them the next steps to take.
What kinds of content writing do WMG offer clients?
At WMG we write numerous different types of content for our clients from the extensively researched eBooks, White Papers, and EAT content, through to landing page optimisation, social media plans and blogs, to guidance on tone of voice and best practice.
In response to August 2018’s Medic/EAT update we created EAT content for Your Money, Your Life clients in finance, health, personal injury, insurance, travel and automotive. But many sites outside of these industries also benefit from this content writing. We create content that highlights a brand’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. EAT content is usually much longer than traditional landing pages – for medical and financial sites it can be 2,000 plus words. It takes hours of research and we also interview experts in the field.
eBooks and White Papers
eBooks and White Papers are an excellent way to show that your brand is a thought leader in a particular space. These lengthy pieces are written by our most experienced writers who work collaboratively with you to create information that can really help improve lead generation for your business by asking people to provide their email addresses before allowing them to access the content.
Whether it’s properly optimising your existing landing pages for bottom of the funnel keywords or writing new pages from scratch, our team of writers can help. Working with our technical team to identify the pages that will make the biggest difference, we do keyword research and write in your brand tone of voice incorporating key brand messaging as well as industry or wider market trends.
Supporting content like blogs should help first and sell later. This kind of content writing is about giving your audience inspiration and information at the top of the funnel. That might be home renovation inspiration for a company that sells doors and windows or the best road trip adventures for a client that sells car finance. We pride ourselves on providing original content that works for a client’s brand messaging as well as their target audience.
Tone of voice guidelines
How you write is as important as what you write. If you already have a tone of voice, we’ll create content using that. If you don’t, we can create one for you. We’ve developed tone of voice guidelines for many household-name brands so that you can make sure wherever your customer finds your content, it sounds and looks like you.
A buying guide can help convert a potential customer by providing them with detailed information written in an accessible, practical, and informative way. Using keyword research and focusing on user search intent, we can create Guides for your most popular categories or highest revenue drivers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen more brands take to social media as an effective comms channel to ease the pressure on their call centres. We offer new social media clients a social audit and strategy looking at everything from frequency of posting, platform review, and content. Assessing this alongside what your competitors are doing is the best way to improve your social media. We build monthly social plans unique to each social platform incorporating brand campaigns and messaging with wider social trends and events. We can post and schedule your social content and provide detailed monthly reports and recommendations. Alongside this, we can also create social media guidelines for your team to use.
It doesn’t have to be National Writing Day for you to say hi. If content writing is on your to-do list or you’d like to find out more about how we can help, get in touch! We’d love to chat.