Should You Keyword Stuff Your Content?
I guess I’m odd. I kind of like writing. I used to hate it… a lot. I remember struggling to write papers in college and look at word counts, page counts and figuring how to double space and use larger fonts to hit those required page counts. Yeah, it was a drag and I know it’s also a drag for lots of people.
Content is the main thing that makes a website design project drag on and on. Anyone who has put together a website knows this. Mapping out and planning content is crucial.
Plan Your Content When Designing Your Website
I had a client last week that just wanted us to throw together a new website for him using his existing content. I refused. His goal was to rank higher and he didn’t quite get how content development helps drive design. Finally, I think I got through to him when I related planning content to building a house. I said no home builder out there would just build you rooms and let you decide later if it was going to be a bathroom or closet. No way. That’s kind of how it’s like with website design – you have to plan your content.
The secret to getting good content done is to hire a copywriter. This is what they do – write content. They’ll do it in the right voice, make it concise, interesting to read and get this task off your plate. They’ll interview you and then get to writing. The big advantage to hiring a copywriter is that they are looking from the outside in. They put themselves in the shoes of your prospective clients/customers. This is huge.
If you need help hiring a copywriter, we have several that we work with and would be glad to help you work with them.
Using Keywords in Your Content
I just checked the calendar and it’s not 2009 anymore. Yeah, SEO back then was super easy… just keyword stuff an article/page, get links to it and you rank. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Well, Google became keen on what was going on and those days are long gone. What matters now is quality content. So does that mean you can’t write with SEO in mind? Heck no! In fact, it’ll help.
What using SEO techniques and what keyword research does is guide your writing so that you’re writing about what people are searching for. That statement is maybe kind of a mix between “oh, duh” and getting your mind blown. Of course you want to give people content that they’re searching for and the way to do that is to do keyword research and incorporate those phrases into your content. No, you don’t stuff articles with keywords but still include a few phrases (just once) that people are searching for. You’re helping the search engines here, that’s all. This contributes to a good user experience and that’s perfectly fine to do.
Here’s a great article I found today that talks about this:
How SEO Actually Improves Content Quality (searchenginewatch.com)
As a writer, or at least as a person producing content, it’s easy to think you know best. To assume you know what a person wants to read or even that you know who your audience is. However, through SEO we get to actually find out these things and then use them to better our words.
Another benefit SEO brings to the content process is organization. When you’re writing a book, there are chapters and a natural evolution of information that moves the story along. On websites, the same exists. There is page hierarchy and natural progression of how a user makes his or her way through the website.
The bottom line here is that planning works. Plan your content and do research. You can do this with your existing website or a new website/redesign. If you’re not sure what to write about, ask your customers. You can do a survey over email or on Facebook. Call them if you have to. Focus your research on what they say and what people are searching on by doing keyword research. We can help with this.
The way you have to think about this is to realize that this is what your competition is doing. They’re doing planning and research. Do you think you’ll have a chance at outranking them by just winging it or by doing planning and research? This is what it takes now to build and launch a successful website. We’ve seen it many times – the projects that have lots of good research and planning really do succeed. They do really well. Not all our clients want to do this but many of them do and it works. You have to do more than your competition.