Businesses have cut back on their marketing budgets, and justifiably so–it’s a crazy world (think “Mad World” by Gary Jules). With all this downtime what can and should a business be working on?

Content. Our experience as a digital marketing firm constantly shows us that businesses need help understanding:

1). How their customers search for them and

2). How to write for their customers first and foremost, and the search engines second.

The horror stories are real and sometimes businesses know about the issues but other times they have trusted someone else to do this for them with disastrous results. Let’s review some tools and what they can mean for your business.

Priority #1 – Keyword Research

How do people search for you and what is your most important keyword? If you are currently using AdWords this is an easy question to answer. The keyword research tool will tell you exactly how many people search for any given keyword AND give you recommendations –

Is Content Still King?

Once you click “Get Results” Google will give you the numbers for the keyword you entered plus more (in my example I got 21 additional keyword ideas to consider along with their search volumes as well). You are looking to find the right balance between volume and intent.

Family Law has 8,100 searches per month.

Family Lawyer Vancouver has 1,000 searches per month.

Divorce Lawyer Vancouver has 720 searches per month.

Vancouver BC Family Law has 10 searches per month.

Which keyword(s) would you focus on? What best fits what you do? Businesses often go too broad, i.e., Family Law, or too specific/narrow (Vancouver BC Family Law) and ignore the best phrases somewhere in the middle.

Priority #2 – Content

Once you know what keyword to focus on it’s time to write some content. The trouble most businesses have is finding the balance between their users and the search engines. Some businesses also have an extremely minimalist approach and don’t have content at all … just images and/or videos thinking Google will magically know what their business is about.

Tip #1 – ALWAYS write for the user first. The user is who matters most, they need to engage with the site and you need them to stay on your site and/or convert to a lead or customer. If all they see is a bunch of keywords “stuffed” into your content, it’s easy to spot and will alienate your potential customer faster than you can say “back button”.

Tip #2 – We have found the ideal length of content to be around 400 words for most pages. This is a handful of paragraphs and isn’t a tall ask at all. In 400 words you want to try to use your keyword phrase 2-4 times as naturally as possible. Ideally, you use the words in the same order people would search for them but how people search and how we write/read don’t always align. Just try to use the words as naturally possible and consider other similar phrases as well, i.e., family law and divorce are very symbiotic phrases that could be used interchangeably.

Tip #3 – Use a character counter tool to see how much you have written and even more importantly see what your keyword density is! Character count tool is a great free tool: once you enter your content, it has a section called “Top Frequency” which shows you the most used 1-word / 2-word / and 3-word phrases. You’re looking to hit around 2.5% for your phrases.

Priority #3 – Copyscape

We often run into sites where people who shall not be named have basically just copied and pasted content from another website, often without the business owners’ knowledge. Duplicate content is a bit of a tricky concept and Google acknowledges a fair volume of content is duplicated but there is a difference between innocent mistakes and flat out plagiarism. Copyscape searches the internet for pages with the same/related content as yours and shows you what site it was taken from and how much of it was copied. We have seen sites where essentially every page has been copied and pasted with 95%+ duplicate content.

So, what I propose is if you are a business taking a small break for the next few weeks is to take a look at your website and take a look specifically at your content. Do you have enough? Is it compelling? And is it optimized? Try to finish 1 page of content per Netflix episode you watch and your site should be fully updated in no time!


Shameless plug here but if you need help we offer content creation by native English speakers AND with focus on optimization and engagement.


Additional Resources –

“Content should be your first priority when thinking about SEO. Quality content is how you engage, inform, support and delight your audiences. Creating authentic, valuable content is also critical for search engine visibility.”

“Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. Without one, your efforts on the other are seriously diminished. For example, your keyword research won’t do much good unless you then use those keywords in your content. And, creating content without knowing what your audience is looking for will leave you without any significant traffic. Beyond that, high-quality content is what earns you backlinks, and it’s also what search engines crawl when they arrive at your site.”