Want to know how to write good content for a website?
You’re in the right place…
Website content is anything on your website that a user can use, read or interact with.
It’s split into three categories:
- Textual: This is anything written or text-based; like blog posts, news articles and even the words on your homepage.
- Visual: This is anything your user can see; like a video, an infographic or just a photograph.
- Aural: This is anything that can be heard on your site; like songs or podcast episodes.
These three can be combined to create great pieces of content.
For example, a great blog post might contain…
- 2,000 words
- 12 images
- Two videos
- An audio snippet
In terms of SEO, textual content is the most important.
Although I’m sure Google will be able to interpret video and image content in the future, the majority of its search algorithms are based on written information.
Google’s crawlers can read but they’re not adept enough at viewing or hearing just yet.
(They can make out some objects and text in images.)
The more in-depth your content and the more of these different mediums it draws upon, the more valuable it’s going to be to search engines.
On the flip side, bad content can hurt your website.
If you’re creating thin content that’s stuffed with keywords, doesn’t add any value to the reader and is only there to generate advertising income… it’s going to lose favour. Fast.
In this section of our SEO guide I want to explore…
- What makes “good” content
- Why it’s important for SEO
- How you can create it yourself
What Will I Learn?
Why Is Good Content Important For SEO?
The goal of any search engine is to connect its users to the best possible content.
This means that good quality content is incredibly important for SEO as Google will only pick good quality content to not only rank highly but to index in their database.
They want to link to resources that help people…
- Find answers
- Solve problems
- Buy products
- Get accurate information
To ensure they’re always sharing the highest quality content, they constantly update their algorithms to help them cut out any bad content from their index.
Kind of like how a wolf picks off the weakest sheep in the flock.
So if you want to stand a chance at ranking in a search engine you need to be creating a website content template that is:
- Accurate and up-to-date
- Well organised and easy to read
- Long enough to cover the topic thoroughly
- Newsworthy or adding new insight to an old topic
- Utilising all three forms of content: visual, audio and written
- Referencing other sources and industry leaders
- Free from spammy links or too many affiliate links
Let me show you an example of a good piece of content and a bad piece of content.
Let’s say you were looking for a review of Rosetta Stone’s language learning software.
This first piece is a bad piece of content for someone looking for that software.
It’s poorly written, formatted and no focus on why you’d want to buy the product.
If you took the time to read any of that content, you’ll notice that it’s basically orientated around the Rosetta Stone keywor and doesn’t provide much value.
Let’s compare to this blog post which is the first Google result for ‘Rosetta Stone Reviews’.
There are some stark differences.
I’ve annotated some of them for you to see:
Their layout could be better, but the content itself is miles ahead of the other post!
I hope you can see the difference too.
Now you’ve got an initial idea of what good content is…
Let’s look at different ways good content can be presented to your audience.
8 Types Of Good Content Every SEO Can Use
The first step to creating good content is putting it in the “frame”.
A “frame” is a simple way of saying the type of post you’re going to write.
Thankfully, there are lots of tried and tested ways to do this.
Here are the 8 most effective ways of creating and framing your good content…
#1: List Posts
List posts are the most shareable types of blog post.
They’re great for sharing…
Having numbered lists makes them highly clickable and shareable.
See below, list posts always make an appearance in BuzzFeed’s most shared content:
These don’t just have to be for cheesy viral content, either.
You can use it to create many different styles of content. For example:
If I search for different types of guitar the data from a list post is extracted to show me:
There are so many benefits to list posts.
#2: How To Posts
How to posts (also known as tutorials) are the cornerstone of SEO friendly content.
Someone asks a question, you give them an answer and a solution.
This post is best written in long-form containing at least 1,500 words.
The idea being to go to depth and help the reader solve their problem.
They’re also a great place to share…
- Audio snippets
Which is why they often work their way to the number one spot, or wind up in rich snippets, in Google for problem related search queries:
Some great examples of how to posts are:
These are the types of blog posts you want to bookmark!
Resource posts bring together tools, tips, articles and tutorials from around the internet.
They’re great for SEO because they attract a lot of backlinks and social shares, especially from the people who have been featured in the posts.
I’ve used them to great success on my blog and my audience has loved them.
You can check out this post, The Best Free SEO Tools to see an example of one.
This type of post can be used in conjunction with any of the other types of posts.
This will create good website content.
Reviews are great value-adding content.
Like you saw at the start of this article, reviewing products is one way to approach this.
You can also review songs, events, movies, books and anything that requires an opinion.
Here are some more examples of great review posts:
This creates original long-form content beyond just saying if it’s good or bad.
If you combine this with rich snippets you can create a Google SERP result that is attractive and enticing to click, too.
By adding stars and average costs which display as part of your result, you can dramatically increase your click through rate:
#5: Expert Roundups
Expert roundups ask experts in their industry to answer a specific question.
You then display the different answers to your audience as unique content.
This type of content is great because they attract lots of links and social shares.
The industry leaders are likely to share the post to their followers, and other sites are likely to link back for specific quotes.
Here are some examples of posts:
#6: Podcast Or Video Show Notes
If your content is audio or video based this doesn’t mean it can’t be found in Google.
Using transcriptions or creating show notes, is a great way to repurpose your podcast.
I use this to add to blog posts or to send to my email list, after any video training I create:
And if you’re a podcaster…
Here are some show notes for you to look at and use as inspiration for your strategy:
#7: Thought-Leader Posts
If you run a personal blog or website, thought-leader posts can attract a lot of attention.
You take a stance on an observation you’ve made in your industry and argue your point.
This comes from the old-school origins of blogging, but it’s still super effective.
Rand Fishkin the ex-ceo of Moz.com, has used thought leader posts to help grow him and his brand over the last twenty years. (You can read his heartfelt departure post here.)
Tim Urban is another example of someone who has built an entire business around this.
His ‘Wait But Why’ blog is one of the world’s most subscribed independent blogs.
#8: Case Studies
Case studies are another great way to create good, original content.
They attract a lot of SEO benefits.
By performing an experiment or trying something new within the bounds of your industry, you can create valuable and unique content whilst sharing new ideas with your audience.
I have a lot of case studies on the blog you can use for reference:
How To Generate Ideas For Website Content
One of the hardest parts of creating website content is how to come up with new ideas.
You ask yourself – what should you write about, and will anybody care about it?
But there are a few ways to generate consistent new ideas for content which your audience will definitely love.
Asking your audience is arguably the best way to start generating content ideas.
Simply put together a survey through SurveyMonkey and send it out to your audience.
Ask them what their biggest problems are and are there topics they’d like you to cover.
You can also use Google Forms if you want a simpler looking & completely free, version.
If you don’t yet have a mailing list or an audience, you can do this through Facebook groups or other communities you’re a part of.
Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a free tool that pulls together search queries and FAQs.
In the search bar beneath the impatient bearded dude, type in the broad keyword for your subject. Like “hairdressing”. Then hit the get questions button.
You’ll then be presented with a wheel of questions people are constantly asking.
They’re split into questions with different intent.
This helps you decide on the right content for your site, too:
All you have to do is pick a question and write a piece of content that provides the answer.
Another great question platform is Quora.
You can see people asking and answering questions about your niche in real time.
There are a few options here:
- You could use any one of the question headlines as the basis for your content
- You can try to answer the content, see what reaction it gets and then decide whether or not to use it on your site
Depending on the topic, you’ll have to do some digging to find the real golden topic ideas.
But the important thing is this:
Someone, somewhere, is searching for answers to this question.
If they’re doing it here, they’re probably doing it on Google too.
If you want to create content that’s on-the-pulse, a great way to do this is newsjacking.
Which is a fun way of saying you’ll “hijack” a news topic.
One simple way to find topics to talk about is to head to Google and search for your topic in the “news” section of the engine:
This will come up with all of the latest news stories in your niche from the last few weeks.
But, there’s an even simpler way.
You can create a Google Alert to send you an email whenever a new story is posted.
So you get ahead of the curve and beat all of your competitors. More on that here.
How To Write Good Content For Your Website
I write good content for my website by using these principles
- Write how you speak
- Longer content is better than shorter content
- Use white space and subheadings
- Link out to reputable sources
- Use videos and images
- Follow these copywriting hacks
- Sprinkle keywords, don’t shove them in
With your ideas in place, it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)…
And start creating content.
But this begs an important question:
How do you go about writing good content for your website?
Although there will be a variation for every niche, the principles remain the same.
Consider these best practices when you’re creating your content:
Write How You Speak
Your content should be easy to read.
Few people open a website in the hopes of reading an in-depth University thesis.
Instead, writing for the internet should be conversational and fit the cadence of your voice. When writing your post, read sentences out loud to see if they fit how you talk.
If not, edit them to fit what you would say.
It’s also important to set a “tone” for your voice.
Your tone is how you convey your message to the reader.
In all of my writing I aim to hit these six points:
- Tell it like it is – straight & to the point
- Fake business etiquette bullshit can go f*** itself
- Like I’m talking to a friend in the pub
- No more than 3 sentences in a paragraph
- Short & punchy
- Keep it simple
This is what my readers expect of me when they come to the blog to read.
It’s also what resonates with the people I want to read my content and become part of my sphere of influence.
Depending on your niche and your audience, your tone of voice will change.
But it should feel honest and true to how you want to create your content.
Longer Is Better Than Shorter
Good content is usually longer than it is shorter, and ranks higher.
I’d say you should never go under 500 words.
I have blog posts that are in excess of 10,000 words. That’s bigger than some books!
But they rank well and gather lots of attention.
Use White Space And Subheadings
Big paragraphs with little space around them can be intimidating and overwhelming for a reader. Especially if they’ve found your content through search.
They just don’t want to dive in and start reading.
Instead you can follow my unwritten rule of: no more than three sentences per paragraph.
This allows for lots of white space and easy, fluid movement down the page.
When you pivot to a new part of the topic, be sure to add a subheading so that skim-readers find the parts they’re looking for too.
Link Out To Reputable Sources
Whenever you make a claim in your content, find a way to back it up.
This could be a research study, another blog posts or a place where you’ve read a quote.
Use Videos And Images
When you make a point try to go as deep as possible to make sure the reader gets it.
You can aid in this by adding videos and images to illustrate what you mean.
Also research shows that articles with images perform better in every way.
Follow These Copywriting Hacks
If you want to know how to make your writing crisper, sharper and more readable…
I recommend you check out this article of copywriting tips, too.
Sprinkle Keywords, Don’t Shove Them In
Use your keywords sparingly.
They should definitely be in your content, but don’t force them into every possible gap.
The more natural you can make them sound, the better. If it’s jarring to find one of your keywords, there’s a good chance you’ll lose their attention.
But Matt, What If I Can’t Write?
If you feel you can’t write (or you don’t want to do it)…
You can buy content for your site, by hiring a freelance content writer.
I’ve personally used freelancers to help me on projects and found it to be helpful.
Especially when time is tight and I need something creating!
The best way to find freelance writers is to ask around in your network and see if any of your contacts can recommend someone.
How To Create A Simple Content Strategy
A content strategy is a defined way of creating content for your website.
- Define Your Goal
- Get Clear On Your Audience
- Research Your Search Queries And Keywords
- Set A Regular Posting Schedule
- Set Aside Time Each Month To Write
- Repeat steps 3 to 5
It means you can generate ideas and continue to deliver over the long-term.
Let’s take a closer look how to quickly set one up:
Step #1: Define Your Goal
The first step is to look at what you want to achieve with your content.
If you’re on this site, it’s probably conversions to your site through SEO.
But get specific: how many people do you want to attract and in what sort of time frame?
Step #2: Get Clear On Your Audience
Figure out who the “persona” of the person you’re writing for.
- Who are they?
- What are their problems?
- What are they searching for and why?
This will help you choose things like:
- Where to share your content
- When to share your content
- The type of search queries you should target
Step #3: Research Your Major Search Queries And Keywords
What are the major keywords you want to target?
What types of searches are people performing to find them?
This should directly link to the last step.
You can do this by using some of the methods in the keyword research section of this guide, or you can use some of the idea generation tools mentioned above.
Step #4: Set A Regular Posting Schedule
Decide how often you’re going to share content on your website.
- Do you want to do it every day?
- Do you want to do it every week?
- Do you want to only do it every month?
But it could also be overwhelming for your audience. You’ll need to test this one.
Step #5: Set Aside Time Each Month To Write
Define time in your schedule to write.
Once you start posting content…
It’s important to keep your blog fresh and updated with new content.
Set aside time in your schedule that’s protected for content creation.
Your website will thank you for it.
Step #6: Repeat Steps 3 To 5
It’s that simple.
Research queries to generate ideas. Post regularly.
Set aside time to write, and actually do the writing!
Wrapping This Up…
Website content is anything on your site that a user can interact with, learn from or use.
Good website content is important for SEO.
Google’s job is to connect people to the best content for their queries.
If your content is below standard, it won’t make it far up the rankings.
Also if you want to attract people to your site and to create links to your content, you need to be sure it’s outstanding.
There are eight types of good content I recommend you use:
- List posts
- How to posts
- Expert roundups
- Case studies
- Thought leader posts
- Podcast/video show notes
You can find questions on Quora, Ask The Public or by reaching out to your audience. You should also try to create newsworthy stories where you can, through Newsjacking.
Now you understand what makes great content, it’s time to look at SEO Copywriting.
To learn the best copywriting tactics click here.