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Content on websites – the latest thinking

The history of website content

In our experience of writing content for websites over the years what works has changed.

Any website content was good

At the start any content on a website was generally considered good by Google and other search engines as it meant you had said something.


This then developed into the use of keywords. At the time it was great because Google would advise us which keywords were receiving the most hits. They even gave the information to other providers of research such as Statcounter and what we did was simply write more articles on the subject’s individuals search for and were interested in.

General interest articles

Websites also seemed to do quite well when content included general interest articles.
For example: A Surveying website included general articles on areas they carry out building surveys in and more general knowledge articles.
However, main hits came from writing articles about keywords.

Keyword Stuffing

It does seem like history to write about keyword stuffing but we are aware that some web experts talk about it. In approx 2011 Google started to penalise websites for the over use of keywords which they referred to as “keyword stuffing”, which was the repetitive use of particular keywords
For example: If you were Chartered Surveyors you would re-use the words structural surveyors, building surveyors unnaturally in a paragraph
Those that researched or took advice on the subject of keyword stuffing found it was generally recommended only to add 10-15% keywords. This is what we stuck to and we never used keywords unnaturally. Our usual percentage was less than 10% keywords.

Lots of linking

At the same time there was a great deal of interest in links to and from other websites, the theory being that if your website was mentioned on other websites then it was considered as a useful website or a leader in the field. READ MORE

This then spawned many companies that would build links for you and websites that were specifically about link building. At one time it really was any link will do and we saw this develop and expand many websites where links were almost irrelevant. We had problems on one of our websites with links during the World Cup from various Brazilian and other football countries that were selling football shirts on their websites.

Search Engine Optimisation – SEO

There are some terms you just can’t avoid in website building and that is SEO – Search Engine Optimisation and what is referred to as Grey Hat SEO (there are of course Black Hats and White Hats). This, we believe, refers to techniques that Google has made comment on.

Black Hat SEO Techniques Defined

Black Hat SEO Techniques are anything Google has specifically warned against doing

White Hat SEO Techniques Defined

White Hat SEO Techniques are following the rules exactly as Google or other search engines states.

Grey Hat SEO Techniques Defined

Grey Hat SEO Techniques is probably the area where most search engine optimisation companies work.

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Great techniques that we recommend and use on our websites

1. Adding website content

Adding to and refreshing your websites as Google looks at this as fresh content may give you a better ranking or may not but it does mean that you can try things and if they don’t work you can then try something else.

We call this “Test and Measuring”.

2. Forums

If you or someone else writes a Post on a good Forum with a link to your website and make sensible and reasonable comments. We have seen this add considerably to traffic.
For example: Where a surveying practice have been commented on in MoneySavingExpert.com and also DIY.com this has improved their traffic to their website.

3. Watch Out for Back Linking

Equally you have got to be careful that other people do not back link you on poor quality websites reducing your ranking.

4. Links

It is worth linking to good websites
For example: If you have a review website such as a Surveyors Review website you can link and give comment on the Surveyors.
There are many more Google Grey Hat SEO techniques

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Website Traffic

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Research content to see what individuals are interested in. You can get such information currently from web traffic analysis tools like Statcounter and Google AdWords. Google AdWords where Pay Per Click (PPC) is being used obviously, or may be not obviously the ones that cost a large amount of money per click are the ones that are popular and receive results. Again using a Chartered Surveyor website we have helped with as an example Google AdWord fees are greater for How much is a Building Survey? or How much is a structural survey? as these are popular searches and valuable to a Chartered Surveyor as they normally mean someone searching the web is ready to book a survey. Additionally something along the lines of What is the difference between a structural survey and an building survey? will also be popular searches and command higher Google AdWord fees.

Have a theme and follow a framework

You don’t need to stick rigidly to this as it can develop organically over time.
For example: You could have a theme, we are developing a surveying website at the moment, where the theme is going to be based around How much building surveys cost, getting value for money and linking to useful surveying articles. It is always worth linking to any articles that you have, if you do not have any articles then write some!

White Hat Techniques Test and Measure

You should keep an eye on your Statcounter ratings and react when traffic is poor. We believe doing something is better than nothing but you also need to learn from your mistakes.

Articles – look at what your competitors are doing<

Look at your competitor’s websites and see what they are doing.
For example Listed Building Surveyors ListedBuildingSurveys.co.uk advertised with Google AdWords for the briefest of times and is still the first natural search ranking.
Take a look at your competitors website and copy it, (of course avoiding plagiarism), use things that are on the website such as the competitor may offer a Free download – create a Free download your target audience will appreciate, note the format is it clear, are the colours appropriate for the product/service, is the website full of photos, what is the balance of text v images for instance? If what they are doing works for them it can work for you

Do it with passion

You have to be very careful that websites do not become robotic or very formulated in their format; you need to add a sense of humour and show that you have passion for your product.

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Does Your Website Need a Review?

Brief on the product that you are trying to develop on a website

Your goals – which we believe should relate to your traffic, your leads via phone calls, possibly indications of how much time people are spending on the website such as are people on the website for plus 15 seconds. Good ways of monitoring this are to give something free away such a Guide to your X,Y or Z. In the case of a Surveyors website it would be a Guide to How to find the perfect house remembering advertising it is always best to ask a question and always best to get the client to join in so perhaps a better name for the giveaway would be How do I find my perfect house?

Make sure the expert is an expert

We always recommend making sure the expert you seek advice from is an expert! A way of doing this is to ask three questions, two of which you already know the answer to which will enable you to gauge their expertise. Based upon this you need evidence from the expert as to what they have previously done, there is a great deal of talk on the internet much of which is simply repeating what other websites are repeating. Also there is a vast amount of information you can find yourself if you Google for half an hour or so.

Talk to an expert

If you don’t know the answer talk to an expert. You will need to give the expert:-

Reverse engineering

The idea of reverse engineering we are getting keener on as some of the websites we have produced are excellent but Google has ignored them for one reason or another. This may be because what we perceive individuals are Googling/searching for and want is not what they are searching for/want. When we think back the way we have developed some of our earlier websites was to use the keywords that were popular as a basis for understanding how to develop the websites and wrote articles based around the popular keyword searches. Google, in their wisdom, have blocked keyword searches in the vast majority of cases, some time ago so the way to investigate what a popular keyword is, is to use such tools as Google AdWords and establish what are the high traffic terms. Google AdWords allows you to search this information and Google also offers a helpline telephone so that you can talk this through with them. Once you have established with Google’s help, which are the high volume data trends Google recommends on a web page a minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 keywords.
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