If you’re an entrepreneur running your own marketing strategy, from the early planning stages to full on execution, then you’ve probably done your fair share of content writing.
Maybe without even knowing it!
What Is Content Writing Used For?
Hands up if you've written at least one thing off of this list!
See? Whether you knew it or not, you’ve probably been content writing all along.
And now that you know all of the different faucets that you can write within, you can now begin learning HOW to write the best content for each.
Knowing what to write about is one thing, but knowing how to write is another, more challenging concept. It involves knowing yourself, your audience, your industry, your purpose and your platform. It requires a deep understanding of the topic you are writing about and an even deeper understanding of who is trying to learn this topic (ie. your target audience).
But why is content writing so important to begin with?
Being able to write high quality content is a valuable tool. One that is used for a multitude of purposes - brand awareness, search engine optimization (SEO), engagement, education, entertainment and online digital marketing.
In reality, content writing is one of the most effective strategies in getting your brand out into the digital sphere. It has the power to influence, connect, inspire, motivate, evoke and trigger a multitude of emotions. All driving the audience’s desire to learn, laugh, relate, join, purchase, follow etc.
High quality, properly structured content writing can do wonders for your website! If you’re looking for a way to organically reach your audience, encourage connection and drive sales, content writing is quickly going to become your favourite tactic.
How does it work?
Google will crawl your website content, including the links within your content, in order to categorize and rank it on the search engine results page (SERP).
In order to help Google crawl your content, you want to ensure that the layout is clean, the message is clear, the headlines are clickable and the style is reader-friendly. You also want to keep in mind what’s happening behind-the-scenes - your meta descriptions, page titles, URLs, link titles etc. If you’re looking for a more in-depth SEO how-to, we recently wrote an article on our top 5 SEO Tips For Beginners HERE!
But before you begin optimizing your content for the web, you need to understand how to build out strong, compelling material.
Here’s how our team does it!
Before your fingers hit the keyboard in a flurry, there are 5 important factors that you need to consider. These 5 factors are going to help drive your content forward to the right people in order to meet your goals. All while staying in line with your brand identity.
When our creative team writes for another brand, we first have to deep dive into their brand identity - their personality, values, characteristics and voice. These are essentially the personifying elements of the brand that make up its unique tone.
Once we have a thorough understanding of who the brand is, we can then ensure that all of the content associated with that brand is cohesive.
ASK YOURSELF: Does it sound like the same person has written every piece of your content, or does it appear as though a large group of people with different beliefs, personalities and vocabularies came together with their separate ideas?
If your content is not cohesive, it’s time to sit down and figure out your brand identity!
Now that you know who you are, the next step is to figure out who you are talking to - your target audience!
These are the people that relate to you, learn from you, are inspired by you and even purchase from you. The goal? To write quality content that is tailored specifically to these people and entice them to read it.
When content writing, you should also keep in mind the particular demographics and behaviours that are unique to your specific target audience. This can include age, geographic location, lifestyle, stage of life or even hobbies.
These are the tools you’re going to use to write content that is relatable, educational and inspiring.
You know yourself, you know your target audience, and now it’s time to get to know your topic.
One of the ways writers SEO their content is to ensure that they are seen as experts within their specific industry. Google looks up to you and will rank you higher on the SERP if you present yourself as a leading industry expert.
Before we write anything for a client, we always do the research first in order to become this “expert”.
We also have to know the product inside and out and be able to explain it clearly to our readers.
ASK YOURSELF: Does your content make sense? If your content does not make sense to you, it will not make sense to your reader. Which could cause them to click away from your site and look for their answers elsewhere.
We always recommend that you do your research well, use reliable resources and ensure that your content is true.
Do you know why you’re writing about your chosen topic? Is it to influence behaviour, prompt a purchase, satisfy a need, answer a question or bring entertainment?
Whichever goal you have in mind, your writing needs to be custom-made to fit that purpose.
After all, this purpose is what is going to drive your content forward and motivate the reader to read your material.
Each sentence should be leading them forward in anticipation of the fulfilled purpose that lies at the end of the content - even if that fulfillment is simply for someone to get to know your brand on a deeper level.
Now that you know the who, what and why of your writing project, your next step is to tailor your content towards its identified platform.
The style and layout of writing you choose for a blog article is going to look drastically different from that of an Instagram post or newsletter. Why? Because each of these platforms are designed to be operated by the user in a specific way.
Your job, as the writer, is to understand how the reader operates within that platform and tailor your content to fit creatively within it.
Remember that within each platform, you must be intentional. Your audience has a limited attention span that is easily lost and your goal is to not only fit your content within that given time frame, but also make it easy to read and purposeful.
Who knew there was so much to consider, even for a simple Instagram post!
Content writing is such an incredible art to master, but it can also be quite a daunting and time consuming task to undertake.
Are you looking for a local content writer to help build your brand, boost your online presence and increase traffic to your site?
Get in touch with our creative team at OSM today!
“How on earth do you SEO your website?”
We get this question a lot! And there are many different answers we could give you, because SEO isn’t just a click of a button. And it’s definitely not a one-time fix.
SEO is constantly evolving with technology advancements, software application updates, privacy policies etc.
Why is it such a dynamic practice? Because we don’t live in a static world. We live in a world that is constantly looking for:
This means that we, as business owners, need to dive in and start showing up in these key areas.
But how do we do that?
By optimizing our online presence and, essentially, making ourselves easy (and quick) to find!
What even is SEO?
Well for starters, the term “SEO” is actually an acronym, meaning:
S - Search
E - Engine
O - Optimization
Essentially, it is the process of optimizing your business in order to reach the right target, in the right place and at the right time.
And both of these goals are to be met using organic methods!
In a nutshell, SEO is composed of two main parts:
Today, we’re just focusing on the optimization side of things!
Step 1. A search is made (ie. Best Pizza Near Me),.
Step 2. Google takes your request and begins crawling sites for information that match your search (paying close attention to quality, accuracy and relevance).
Step 3. The crawlers bring all of the information back and organize it from most recommended to least recommended. Essentially, Google prioritizes the “answers” to the request by what it deems to be the most reliable, trustworthy and authoritative source of information.
When you optimize a site, you’re improving the quality of content that Google finds when it crawls your pages, increasing your chances of being prioritized on their results page!
SEO can be very time consuming and confusing, however it is SO IMPORTANT. Why? Because this is one of the only platforms where your ideal client is looking for you, rather than you having to look for your ideal client.
Your job is simply to make yourself seen!
Now to the good stuff!
PRO TIP: In order to reach your ideal audience, you must first know who they are and understand what they are looking for.
A Keywords List is essentially a specific list of words and phrases that are commonly searched by your ideal customer and that relate to your specific business. This is where truly knowing your customer comes in handy!
THE KEY is to find specific terms with search traffic that isn’t too competitive, allowing you to be ranked higher in a reasonable time.
A good URL is relevant, structured, short, simple and keyword rich!
BE CAREFUL to not fall into the trap of keyword stuffing! Keep your URLs practical and straightforward, easy to read and even easier for Google to crawl.
Page titles are the hook for your readers AND for Google crawlers. We recommend keeping your titles up to, but no longer than, 60 characters!
DON’T FORGET to use descriptive terms from your keyword list within your titles.
Meta descriptions are elements that describe and summarize the content of your page. This important tag is often what search engines use in their SERP (Search Engine Results Page) snippet. As searchers read through the list of ranked pages on their results page, the meta descriptions help direct their choice.
HERE’S A TIP...anything beyond 160 characters usually gets cut off, so try summarizing your page in a readable sentence package full of your keywords and limiting it to 160 characters.
Headings are a great way to structure your page, organize your points of interest and improve the readability of your content! Try to structure your content so that H1, H2 and even H3 tags contain your focused keywords.
DID YOU KNOW that headings also make the page look pleasant and improve its readability for the visitor?
It’s time to start showing up where your ideal client needs you. Are you ready to try it for yourself?
Don’t forget step #1 - KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
At OSM in Belleville, Ontario, our marketing team LOVES getting to know your ideal client. And we can help you identify, locate and target these individuals as well!
Not ready to do it yourself? Contact our search engine specialists at OSM and ask about our SEO packages - including a researched and ranked keyword list, designed specifically for your business!
We’re here to help you cultivate your organic community, grow as a business and truly thrive in your market - let’s get started together!