Maybe not so obvious?
As an expert in your field, what is obvious to you might not be so obvious to your target audience. And there might be a question which feels to you so obvious that you're wondering why it's even being asked.
But your potential customer is asking for a reason, so let your web content deal with that upfront. Tell potential customers what they need to know, show them what you do, and help them to understand why you or your business is the one they should buy from.
I will cover this in more detail shortly.
Publish meaningful relevant content, not spam!
If you were to search for advice on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), you'll see plenty of experts telling you that the content on your website needs to be relevant and meaningful.
It should also be written so it makes sense to whoever is reading it, and does not read as if it has been written purely to boost your position in search engine results.
That might seem like basic advice, but it hasn't always been that way...
Way back in the mid 1990’s when I first started building websites, the most popular search engines included AltaVista, Yahoo, InfoSeek, Excite, HotBot, Lycos and several others. Google arrived a few years later.
To rank high in search results it was important to include keywords and keyphrases on your web pages. But in some cases it became ridiculous, because a lot of the content on web pages looked like nonsense due to attempts to cram in as many keywords and keyphrases as possible.
Keyphrases are also known as
long tail keywords
Avoid keyword stuffing
The idea behind keyword stuffing (also referred to as keyword cramming or keyword saturation) was that if you managed to get more keywords onto your page than your competitors, you stood a greater chance of ranking higher in search results.
But it didn’t look good. An example might have read something like this:
Aardvark Kitchens of Cambridge install top quality kitchens in and around the Cambridge area, so for all your kitchen needs in Cambridge, check out Aardvark Kitchens.
That’s 26 words in one sentence where the words kitchens and Cambridge have been mentioned 3 times. A little excessive!
Thankfully for everyone’s sake, things have changed, but not completely. I recently found a page for wedding car hire in Northampton. The page contained no fewer than 32 instances of
wedding car and 12 instances of
Search engines actually place a huge amount of value on websites which are aimed at their intended audience and not aimed at manipulating search engines.
Communicate, inform and advise
Websites which contain well written content which communicates, informs and advises tend to rank higher than those which are just thrown together with vague or poorly written content.
Communicative and informative websites are considered to be of value, and are more likely to attract backlinks (another factor in successful search engine rankings)
So yes, there are websites out there full of pages mentioning place names and services as many times as they can manage to fit in, but Search engines, including Google, have been known to penalise websites for keyword stuffing. So it's best to avoid that practice.
From a content perspective images are important too, but I have covered images for websites separately.
Let’s focus a little more closely on what we mean by Meaning and Relevant Content.
What does meaningful and relevant content mean?
Let's say that you run a gas boiler installation company in Kettering (UK), and you also cover other areas in Northamptonshire.
Your website content should make it clear to potential customers what services you offer, and where you operate. Any information about experience, qualifications, and membership of accredited professional organisations would make sense too.
So using terms closely related to
gas boiler installation and targeting other towns in the Kettering area, you should therefore aim to be successful in search results for related terms such as:
gas boiler installation in Kettering
central heating engineer in Rushton
boiler installer in Burton Latimer
gas safe engineer in Desborough
There might also be advice you can provide. For a gas boiler installation company this might be advice on different types of boilers, and how often a boiler needs to be serviced.
Providing that kind of advice in a language your customers understand could show that you're a friendly and knowledgeable company, and it can help to build trust between yourself and a potential customer you have never even met yet.
That approach would certainly be beneficial to your SEO efforts and help you reach more potential customers. In fact Google's uses Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT) as one of it's Search Quality Rater guidelines.
So if you're an expert who can be trusted, make it clear on your website!
Does your website portray your company as being experts in your field? And from all of the other options of similar companies in your area, will potential customers get the sense that YOUR company is the one which is most suited to their needs?
Google tries to determine just that, by evaluating the nature and content of a website against criteria which assesses the credibility of a website. Google calls this process
E-A-T which stands for
Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness
E-A-T is derived from Google's Search Quality Rating Guidelines.
Want to know more?
In part 2 we explore some ideas for website content.
In separate posts I'll be covering other aspects of web content, the use and preparation of images, linking within your website, external links to and from your website, website structure, etc.
Thoughts, suggestions or comments?
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About the author: Having begun building websites back in 1996, Daron Harvey has been professionally involved in website design, UX and eCommerce best practices for over 26 years, including management of large multi-lingual global websites. Following the global pandemic Daron founded Targa Web Services, specialising in Website Design, Search Engine Optimisation, User Experience (UX/UI), etc.