What makes you better at product/service than your competition?
Why should Google rank you higher than your competition?
Why do you or your client deserve to rank?
These are all questions that need to be answered before you write a single word of content.
Have you ever worked with a client in the medical space?
If you answered yes, then you know that usually content written by medical professionals is always;
- Filled with industry jargon
- One-way conversation
Website copy like this might rank but it will not convert well.
After all, our goal with local SEO is bring in new customers/leads.
Rankings and traffic don’t pay the bills, new business does.
START WITH YOUR DIFFERENTIATORS
You have ideas on what makes your product or service better than your competition.
It could pricing, communication, customer service, quality, or something similar.
But what do your current or previous customers have to say about your products and services?
If you haven’t read it yet, there’s a chapter on Review Analysis and you should read it before moving on.
What you think you’re solving for customers may not be what you think it is.
Until you’ve done a review analysis, you’re assuming, back up your assumptions with real-world examples.
Have your differentiators dialed in?
Bully for you, let’s move on.
THE OPTIMAL WORD COUNT LENGTH FOR PAGES
It doesn’t exist, this is hyperbole and a horrible way to approach writing content.
Oooooh, all I need to do is write 550 words on topic A, have 1 H1 tag, 2 images that are named after my keywords, plug in keyword-rich alt text, have a keyword ratio of 1.2x, and I’m golden?!
This is nonsense, reevaluate your career.
The ideal length of content for any page or blog post is the length needed to satisfy the intent of the search, that’s it.
Don’t add fluff to your content because you need to hit some made-up metric.
LOOKING AT WHAT’S CURRENTLY RANKING
You want to rank for topic A (and the xx related keywords on the topic), where should you start?
Start by doing some searching and look at what’s currently ranking.
There are tools that can do a lot of this for you, but we stick to doing this manually.
Here’s what you’re looking for:
- What is the intent of the ranking pages? (informational vs. transactional)
- How are the ranked pages structured?
- Headers, imagery, video, etc.
- Note; If a page is ranking and it’s a giant wall of text, this doesn’t give you permission to do the same thing.
- Are there any other topics covered on the ranking pages?
- This can help lead you to internal link opportunities
- What SERP features are being displayed?
- Featured snippets, image or video carousels, People Also Ask, Q&A schema, etc.
- Are the ranking pages homepages, child pages, blog posts, or third-party directories?
- If you’re planning on writing a blog post and most of the ranking pages are homepages or child pages, you might consider going to a child page.
WRITING YOUR CONTENT
If you’ve done all the above, you have a good understanding of the type of copy that needs to be written to get you to rank.
When starting to write content (like this post), start with the core topic of the content.
Next, identify the subtopics that compliment your core topic.
Once you’ve finished your rough draft, don’t look at the content for a few hours.
Better yet, have someone else look at the content to provide feedback.
To make it easier, read the content out loud to yourself.
If the content doesn’t sound like a conversation, it needs to be edited.
Long paragraphs are boring, stick to 2-3 sentences max, people don’t have time for that and like to skim.
ON HEADER TAGS
Don’t ONLY put your keyword/topic as your H1, or any other header tag.
e.g. Bend OR Medical Spa
If you know what sets you apart from the competition, spruce it up, like;
e.g. Bend’s Highest Rated Medical Spa
The keyword is still included in the header tag but also puts some branding/differentiator into it.
Bend OR Medical Spa is boring, don’t be boring.
Links, both internal and inbound, will also help your new piece of content rank.
Publishing a new service page? Internal links are going to be your friend. Inbound links are going to be hard to come by.
There are strategies to do this, but that’s a chapter for another week.
Add internal links to other pages or blog posts that make sense.
e.g. A new service page on furnace repair for an HVAC company.
Places to start:
- The homepage
- Service pages that talk about heating
- Blog posts that talk about heating
There isn’t an ideal number or minimum number of internal links.
Add them as they make sense, see how the page ranks, then reevaluate from there.