SEO Copywriting: The Write Way To Build A Website
9 April 2009, Jonathan Saipe
Who should be involved from the start when building or refreshing a website? A web designer? A programmer? An information architect? All of these professionals have significant impact on your site’s look, functionality and infrastructure. But the person you also need to talk to from the beginning is an SEO web content writer.
Such trained writers understand what matters most to your customers once they get to your site: content. You may have the best-looking, easiest-to-navigate site on the web – but without the right words to make your offer stand out, your customers will simply go elsewhere.
Content is king
Mobile telecoms operators recognised years ago (to their profit) that content is king. And at its most basic, content for the web is words. How you use these in your site can make the difference between someone staying and buying from you, or going and buying from someone else.
This is why you need an SEO web content writer. Hiring a web design agency filled with talented web designers and bright technologists who know every acronym from AJAX to XML is great. But they won’t look at every single word on every single page of your site. A web content writer trained in SEO techniques will.
One writer, one voice
You wouldn’t let every departmental head in your business define your corporate brand. So why let them co-write your corporate site? That way lies inconsistency of tone and presentation. A web content writer knows this – and knows how to ensure your business speaks with a clear and consistent ‘voice’. He or she will turn all your essential information into a site that gets noticed. And not just by Google.
As easy as ABC
So how is it done? What are the first steps? A good content writer should approach every project knowing their A, B and C: Architecture, Background and Content.
A is for Architecture
Architecture isn’t just about the site’s technological structure. It’s about words on pages. Before you do anything, you need to know how big your site has to be. You should talk to your writer about everything you feel needs including. From this, he or she will be able to help in drawing up the all-important sitemap of every proposed page on your site. Then you can decide if it needs trimming down or beefing up.
B is for Background
Background is the hardest part – it means work for you and those in your business. You’ve identified what pages are needed, now you need to identify which people in your organisation have the understanding and background detail to help the writer do their job.
Don’t make the mistake of sending your writer away with a pile of corporate brochures and the words, “Just cobble something together from the existing site”. That won’t be enough to ensure well-written, SEO-compliant pages – even the best web content writers in the business aren’t mind readers.
C is for Content
Content is the words your customers will read. This is when your hard work behind the scenes gets turned into pages that highlight your strengths, showcase your expertise and sell your goods and services. Or at least, that’s what should happen if you’ve developed a close collaborative partnership with your web content writer.
Never send your writer away to write in isolation. Encourage questions, have regular round-table progress discussions, ask to see how the writing is coming along – and contribute honest, constructive feedback. You’ll be surprised how much quicker (and more economical) the process becomes when approached like this.
And D is for…?
There is a D in this process: Design. Not just of the visual elements of your site, but also the technologies (if you need something bespoke) to make it work seamlessly. But it all starts with A. And that means getting an SEO web content writer on board from the beginning.
We all like to think we know how to write. But doing so for the web is a specialist skill. You wouldn’t try to program your site yourself – so why try to write it?
This article was written by Mark Owen from i do words.
See further information on Emarketeer’s web writing courses.