By now SEO consultants from Los Angeles to Boston have likely settled into their new den hedged by Hummingbird’s yellow “do not cross tape”, and they understand that Hummingbird’s algorithm has its high beams set to validate websites with well-written, authentic and informative content over repetitive text jammed with a heavy keyword density. But what a lot of web developers and SEO genies have yet to figure out is how to write authentically and how to produce content that stands out from other websites. Most SEO specialists have their back links strategy, social media campaigns and web optimization plugins working away, but what is leaving most SEO professionals struggling to pitch their content sails in the stormy wind of writer’s block are the following barriers: writing original content, and writing content people will want to read.
Use your Voice
There is only one “you”, so let the person you are shine through in your writing. We all have our favorite writers, but if you try to speak through their voice and not your own, not only will you be discrediting your self, your audience will see right through it. If you are eccentric and quirky, be eccentric and quirky. If you are a brooding soul then write from the deepest pits of ennui—there are people out there who will love you for it.
Be Relevant and Current
One way to keep your readers dialed in is to tie in current news to your blog. When embarking on the educational shores of how to write quality content, it is vital to reference some recent industry-related news piece and work it into your message. Remember, Google is “big brother”; it is watching and will deem your website a good authoritarian source depending on a number of factors, so why not take your news from the horse’s mouth? Simply go to Google News and type in a keyword that best describes the subject of your content. Google will then list every article published from a small town country bumpkin news source to the mighty giants of new media like ‘The Los Angeles Times’. All results appear from the most recent publications and scale down in age. Google News is a writer’s magic ticket to finding the most recent and reliable news events to help enrich their content with continuous freshness.
Creative Writing 101
The first thing you will need to do is come up with ideas. There are a number of writing exercises that creative writing professors have been pushing on student bodies for decades. Some of these include writing epithets on objects as arbitrary as avocados, making idea webs, scene casting, and writing your own obituary. But let’s simplify this by looking at some more practical, basic methods: (1) embrace the synonym. The last thing you want to do is sound stale with repetitive nouns, verbs, adjectives and pronouns. The English language has a wealth of words; use as many variations as you can to make your point.
(2) Use metaphors. Metaphors can help people relate to your content on a cultural, professional and social level. Remember when you read Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ back in high school? That story utilized many metaphors to portray life’s various complex challenges. You can make your content interesting and authentic by using metaphors to bring life to your words. For example, if you are writing about how a law firm competes with its local competition to acquire clients, think about instances in life where something pursues something else in a close game of chase. Perhaps a greyhound racetrack would be appropriate: the dogs could represent the competing law firms and the rabbit could represent the client in need of representation who keeps running in blind confusion. Each law group is trying to edge the other one out to reach the prospective client, but the client is simply running on a straight line with no real direction.
(3) Bring the narrative back into writing for SEO. You can still write from a marketing perspective and use the appropriate keywords, but your content can follow a narrative style to make it more authentic and likable. A narrative has a title (your H1), an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The title should grab your reader’s attention by being catchy, controversial, funny, thought provoking, etc. The introduction states your purpose by incorporating the “who, what, when, where and why”. The body paragraphs will note the details and argue a point in a structured format. Be sure to use the same tense throughout the piece and adding dialogue can give the content that additional X-factor. Your conclusion will emphasize the point of your content typically by tying in all the elements to support the argument made in your introduction.
Your Content is a Hummingbird Feeder
Speaking in Hummingbird means that your content must stand out above competing sites by being well-written, creative, original and it must provide answers to questions asked by search engine queries. In order for Google’s algorithm to ping your site and read it as a authoritative source brimming with the éclat of superior quality, your words must take on the sticky sweet semblance of hummingbird feeder nectar. After all, it is the best way to placate the Hummingbird update by allowing it to gorge itself on your enticing, bona fide one-of-a-kind writing voice.