Welcome to Fuel’s guide to creating kickass website content. Whether you are just looking to refresh a few static pages or you are overhauling your entire website – you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tackle some content basics, look at different types of website content, and dive into how you can optimize your content for searchers and search engines alike.
What is content?
Content is the meat of your website. It comes in a variety of forms (text, images, etc.) and showcases everything from your products and services to your brand image and personality.
Different types of content
It would be nearly impossible to sit here and list out every single type of content that one could add to a website. And, it’s already been done many times. Take this Jay Baer article, for example, that lists out 105 different types of website content. Instead, we’ll keep things top level and cover a few broad categories that your website content could fall into.
Written website content is the most obvious thing that people think of when we discuss “content”. However, written content can extend to include much more than the static written words on your homepage or product pages. Successful websites often include a variety of written content types. Examples could include:
- Blog / news articles
- Questions and answers (Q&A)
- Facts / statistics
- Guides / checklists
- Much more…
From a search engine perspective, it is important to employ industry best practices when publishing written content. Make sure your pages use proper header structure, include your target keyword(s) scattered throughout the text, and include optimized title and meta information.
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, shadowed only to their parent company, Google. Therefore, video content is a must for many industries. The content in the video itself could be just about anything. From a business perspective, popular video categories include:
- Product / service demonstration
- Educational (how to)
- Product / service reviews
- Property tour
- Much more…
Just like with written content, video content is also most useful when industry best practices are employed. Consider hosting your video content on YouTube to capitalize on search volume on that platform as well. Though optimal video length will vary greatly depending on your topic, the general rule of thumb is that longer is better. Be sure to include a keyword centric, click-worthy title and a video transcript in the summary section.
Check out the Hilton Hotels Youtube channel for some great examples of video content.
Interactive web content takes traditional written content to the next level. While this option often requires more resources to execute properly, the results can far surpass what you could achieve with a more simple implementation. And, the options are endless and are only limited by your creativity. A few examples that we like include:
- The Geek’s Guide To London
- Buy or Rent Calculator
- Lead Poisoning Risk Exposure Map
- Dialect Quiz
- Free Wifi Map
- Aria Las Vegas Virtual Tour
Interactive website content definitely adds a “wow” factor and can help your website stand out from others. Just remember that development times are often much higher than what you’d expect with simple written content and that you want your interactive content to be useful, not just pretty.
There are many ways you can jazz up your content for both search engines and users. We have a full SEO audit for a more extensive website overhaul, but here are a few handy tips you can use on a page by page basis.
Perform basic keyword research prior to writing content – whether it be for static webpage content, a blog or news article, or even for a video. Useful tools for this include: Google Keyword Planner, Google (auto-complete and related searches), keywordtool.io, and ubersuggest.
There is no sweet spot when it comes to content length. However, like most things, more is better. Be sure that your content is comprehensive and appropriate for your audience.
Who are you targeting? Create audience personas before you begin writing and have a clear understanding of who you are writing for. This will dictate the vocabulary you use, the length of you content, and perhaps even what type of content you choose to create.
Having a proper page header hierarchy is still one of the most important ranking factors for search engines. However, you also need to consider your users as well and not just the search engines. Make sure your content uses a logical header structure and that the layout looks good for users as well.
Schema markup is a universal code (HTML tags) that can be added to a webpage that will give search engines more information about the information. In other words, they tell search engines what your content means, not just what it says. Schema markups can also change the way your content is displayed within the search engines results pages. Use these wherever possible throughout your website. Visit the schema.org website for more information.
Search engines have come a long way and are savvier than ever. They are not, however, smart enough to determine what an image actually is. Therefore, it is important to make sure all of your website images contain relevant image alt text to better convey what your image actually represents. Alt text, in general, should be concise, descriptive, and contain relevant keywords in a natural way, if possible.
We discussed some of the video best practices above, so we won’t dive too far into that again. Just keep in mind that you should host your videos on YouTube, if possible, to take advantage of the search volume on that platform and to add video schema markups to your actual webpage. You’ll also want to be sure to use really high quality videos and be check your page speed to ensure all of this great video content isn’t slowing down the page load time.
A key rule of thumb to live by before you even begin to create content, particularly when the content is key to a SEO campaign, is to ask yourself “can I do this better than everyone else?” This concept stems from Rand Fishkin’s 10X theory that if you cannot create something that is 10 times better than you competitors then you don’t stand a chance of outperforming them from a search perspective. Take a step back, do some competitive research, and spend the time necessary to fine tune your content so that it’s better than “ok”, better than “good”, and better than the best.