As always, when Google speaks, we, as professionals in Web development, need to listen carefully.
In November 2015, Google released their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, 160 pages of sweet weekend/evening/bathroom reading for those of us who wish to stay on the cutting edge. The most important point Google made is the absolute need for high-quality and engaging content for our websites. Google’s suggestion? Hire an expert writer who knows what to write… and how.
With this in mind, I turned to Optima Automotive’s own expert staff writer, Natalie Juns, to help me write this month’s column. Why not turn to an expert to help explain the need for an expert? And here’s what Natalie had to say:
Targeting Your Audience
Our website rankings are dependent on the content we have on our websites. That hasn’t changed. But, the quality of well-thought-out, valuable and helpful content, and the frequency of it, has both text and video. By following Google’s guidelines, they’ll flag your website as high quality and likely increase your rankings. And more traffic to your website equals more cars to fix.
The mistake many shops make is writing with too much industry lingo. We may be proud of our huge investments in equipment, spraybooths, frame machines, etc., but the public doesn’t care and, more importantly, they won’t search using any of those terms when they need a body shop. That’s key.
A professional website writer writes with the target audience in mind, i.e. the general public. When the public needs the services you provide, a pro will know what words or phrases they’ll use and incorporate those into the content of your site. And not once has that search term been “spraybooth.”
Hiring a professional writer is an investment. They offer their invaluable communication skills to tell your story and your shop’s mission. They’ll do so in a powerful way to capture potential customers’ interest and establish the foundation for a positive working relationship while at the same time writing so search engines know exactly who you are, what you do and where you do it.
- Strong communication skills are at the forefront of a writer’s talents and abilities. Writers offer their direct, straightforward and confident voice as a way of communicating everything you want to view on your website. Writers communicate your story in a familiar and approachable way so your potential customers are left feeling as if they know you and, as a direct result, entrust the repair of their vehicle to you.
- They ask the right questions. Writers know the questions they need to ask in order to get you thinking about the information they need for purposeful and interesting content. Their hard-hitting questions allow you the opportunity to produce meaningful answers. They know how to help you think deeper and discover the valuable information they need during the interview process.
- Skilled writers produce original content. Original content is vital to a successful website and high rankings within search engines, since duplicated content is a rankings killer. Cookie-cutter websites with copied content are against Google’s guidelines. This kind of text lacks any uniqueness or original voice and leaves the reader wondering what the business is truly all about. A professional writer has no problem taking all the information you give them and crafting an individual and unique story for your website that also doesn’t violate any copyright laws.
- Thinking creatively is second nature to writers. Writers will sort through the information you give them during your interview and find creative ways to piece together ideas and produce appealing, interactive and appropriate content. Writers know how to take your background and history of your shop and produce a captivating story depicting your shop and team. As Jonah Sachs makes clear in the book, “Winning The Story Wars – Why Those Who Tell (And Live) The Best Stories Will Rule The Future,” marketers/writers can both transform their craft and the businesses they work for by telling great stories that the business must, in turn, actually live.
- Writers use keywords to help websites pop up in more searches. Professional writers know the important words to use in the content they write to help your business’s website appear in more searches by using the correct keywords the public actually uses to find the services you provide. This skill is essential to the success of your site.
- Writers are great at working independently. After the initial interview, there’s little or no effort needed to manage this person who is creating content for you. They work diligently by themselves, providing updates on where they stand with your content. If they need additional information in order to finish the project, they will contact you without your prompting. Soon, you’ll have the completed content in your hands.
With Google’s emphasis on expert writers, there are many positive outcomes to follow. A writer will provide original content which will help you connect to your target audience, increase your search rankings and attract future customers. The ROI will be apparent as cars roll in the door.