Tips and tools
Here are some tips and tools to guide your own writing and editing:
- What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
- How do I start my web content?
- Tips for managing social media for small business
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO isn't just one action. It's a combination of actions to improve your organic search engine ranking so you appear higher in a Google or other search engine listing.
Optimised content on your website can help you gain higher organic search engine results for certain keywords or keyword phrases.
Optimised content relates to your words, images and videos on your website. Links are also important - both within your site and from those reputable sites that link to you.
A SEO-trained copywriter can build SEO into your web content and advise on meta descriptions, image file names, alt-text and more.
How do I start my web content?
- Map out a content plan or site structure. It sounds obvious, but if you haven't mapped out how your information is going to be categorised and linked together, it is going to make it harder to avoid duplication or add cross-links.
- Set up a style sheet in Word. This makes sure everyone is using a similar heading hierarchy and will help you or your web team apply the CMS consistently. It can also help you with web accessibility compliance.
- Know your audience/s. Who are you talking to via your web pages? Your message should reflect their needs, not yours.
- Define your personality. Spend a little time imagining the personality or brand voice for your website. Do you want it to sound quirky, fun, inspirational or expert? Once you have defined the style, make sure all your writers get the same memo.
- Write for the web. Recognise that this is a different style of writing. Go for short, scannable text with lots of links.
Tips for managing social media for small business
It's not all about you! I know you want to tell all your clients about your business, but the value of social media comes from engagement and building a relationship. So make sure you don't inundate people with sales pitches. Try sharing relevant tips, entertaining videos/memes, blogs and other people's content. Work on building a community.
- Most platforms are playful. Most social media platforms (especially Facebook and Instagram) help you share a little more of your brand personality than a brochure might. You want your posts to sound like a real person. When writing a post, think 'conversation'.
- It's not always about likes. There are plenty of people that may see your content, but never like it or share it. That doesn't mean that they don't talk about it somewhere else, visit your website, or keep you in the back of their mind for future business. Don't become disheartened - keep publishing.
- Do some research. Which social media platforms do your clients use? What about your competitors - where do they share their content? There are some great tracking tools within many of the social media platforms, plus Google Analytics can help you track traffic to your website.
- Don't get overwhelmed by it all. You don't have to know everything about every social media platform. I'm just getting my head around new kid on the block, Periscope. Spend some time doing your research, map out a content plan, then start posting. You don't have to post on every platform. Pick one or two to start with and see how you go.
- Let it happen, but be prepared. Social media is a world of its own. Respect that you are putting things into a forum that lives forever (and could be seen by anyone), but that you are also talking to real people. If you are concerned about how to respond to comments, plan for it. Prepare some responses in advance or allow your followers to 'self-moderate'.