Writing website content for Google that your visitors will love too
If you’ve been working with a Search Engine Optimization expert, they’ve told you that you need 1,000+ words of website content for Google – on each page – or you won’t get Google’s attention!
“Make it long and informational, or you’ll lose Google’s Attention!”
If you’ve been working with a website content developer, they’ve told you that people surfing the web have a super short attention span and won’t read long content.
“Keep it short and easy to grasp, or you’ll lose their attention!”
Your search engine optimization expert and website content developer are both right. But you can satisfy the search engine requirements while still presenting easy-to-read content.
Why you need a lot content for the search engines
Your potential customer is Google’s existing customer. Google doesn’t care about you and your satisfaction with your website search rankings. Google cares about its customers and needs to satisfy them with the most relevant links based on their search.
The search engine reads millions of sites, just like yours. The more Google knows about you and your services, the better it can be at matching your website to its customer’s search words and phrases.
Accept that you aren’t guaranteed placement on any page of the search results. Then get to work and start telling Google everything it needs to know about you and your services. Be as excruciatingly detailed as you can be. Be a 1/2 hour infomercial!
Why you need to keep content short and catchy
Visitors to your website need to understand what you are talking about in a few short seconds. Their time is valuable. Why would they give you minutes of their time when they can hit that back key and choose another link? So, yes, you need to keep your content short and catchy. But here’s the trick – you can have lots of short and catchy content on each page. You only need to structure that content so your visitor can grasp what you are talking about and how you will help them – in a few short seconds.
You can write content for a search engine AND your visitor with this three-step formula
Creating a lot of content takes a little planning. But if you follow this three-step formula, you’ll write enough information for Google and format the copy to engage the reader.
Give Google what Google wants
Google wants to know everything about you, and it wants specifics. Writing website content for Google is easier than you might think.
This instruction is a bit formulaic but will show you how to hammer out 1,000 words on a topic. I’m not teaching you how to write excellent copy here – that’s an entirely different subject. I’m showing you how to write a lot of relevant content for your website.
Using a Private Therapy Practice as an example:
Create a bullet list of six or seven common symptoms experienced by those suffering anxiety.
- Write a few sentences describing each specific symptom.
Create a bullet list of specific treatment methods for anxiety.
- Write a few sentences about how each specific method applies to the treatment of anxiety.
You’ll have 1,000 words in no time! Yes, you are writing for Google, and that might feel wrong. But you need people to find you on the search engines.
You have to do it.
Avoid the Bounce – give visitors choices
Now you have 1,000 words explaining everything there is to know about why people need your service and how you provide that to them. Perfect – for Google. But let’s not overwhelm the visitor with a scrolling page of endless copy. Give them choices!
You’re going to write a short paragraph for the top of your web page and prepare a CTA (call to action).
- The short paragraph works as an introduction to the content. It should describe what the page is about and give the visitor a sense of the information they’ll find if they scroll. Keep it short – two or three sentences.
- You’re going to decide on a call-to-action, like a nice big button, to place directly beneath the page introduction. Contact us or book an appointment work well.
The introduction and CTA helps two different kinds of visitors
The visitor looking for YOU on the search engine
A link to your new page might be the first thing visitors see when they search for you. They already know you, so when they land on your page, they are probably ready to contact you or book an appointment. You want to make that as easy as possible. To that end, you’ve graciously supplied a big button toward the top of the page that links to your booking app or contact form.
This visitor looking for A SERVICE you offer
This visitor found your page on the search engine when searching for your service . But they need to know a little more about you and your approach before they agree to pay you for those services. The introduction paragraph assures them you offer what they need and lets them know you’ve got oodles of information for them. All they have to do is scroll.
Un-borify your content
As you’ve learned, your visitors have a super short attention span and won’t read all that content you just spent hours creating for them. TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) It’s time to un-borify the copy.
Remember that bullet list you used to create your copy?
You’re going to finesse each bullet point into an easy-to-grasp headline to place above each paragraph (or two) that you wrote. Keep the headlines specific to what you are talking about in the section you’ve written. You want to catch the reader’s eye and yell, “Hey, look here, this might interest you!”
Head on over to your favorite stock photo site.
A page full of content is a page full of boring. Head on over to your favorite stock photo site and choose three photos that work well with your content. Three images are about perfect for 1,000 words. You’re just offering a little eye-candy and a visual break for your readers.
As a bonus, having pictures with Alt and Title tags helps Google understand your page better too.
Your content is ready to be placed on your website for Google to consider and your visitors to read.
There you have it. You’ve written 1,000 words for Google, and it knows when to present a link to your website. The visitor who needs your help has found you, and you’ve provided that visitor with a reason to stay and learn about you.
Bottom line: Write website content for Google, but present your writing for visitors. Both efforts benefit YOU.
Does this actually work? Yes, it does!
Visitors who find you on the search engine and click through to your page will do one of three things.
- Skim the first paragraph and click on the CTA
- Skim the first paragraph and leave
- Skim the first paragraph and decide to check out the rest of the page.
You’ve written a lot of excellent copy, so let’s hope they check you out.
They’ll start scrolling and scan your web page looking for things that stand out – like your headlines and photos! A reader will pause on something intriguing and check the paragraph beneath the headline. If they spot an interesting sentence, they read what you wrote. Most likely, they will quickly scroll through the entire page and scroll up to something that caught their eye. They will read the parts of your page they choose to read.
The visitor will never give you their time to read the entire web page from start to finish. You shouldn’t expect that. But each visitor will read parts of your web page.