Shop Talk

Rank high with good content

We’ve all heard the saying, “you must give before you get.” This mantra is especially important when it comes to ranking well within search engines like Google or Microsoft’s Bing. Ranking well in a Google search by producing keyword-heavy content and exploiting tricks like invisible text is no longer an option.

Search engines are smarter and, for the most part, have a good understanding of the quality of your content, its usefulness and the searcher’s intent. This means in order to rank well on search engines you have to create and promote quality content that’s useful to potential and existing customers.

In the home improvement industry, there are hundreds of Triangle companies and contractors competing for a handful of front page search rankings.

Businesses that rank on the first page do exceptionally well sourcing Internet leads. Owners in that field should ask themselves how they’d look for and research local contractors.

To make sure your company ranks well within search engines, offer information specific to your industry. Don’t use subjective words like “quality” and “useful.”

Wedding vendors could provide content around planning topics, dos and don’ts, and ways to save money. A remodeling company could pair strong do-it-yourself content with articles on planning that allow the reader to take action independently while remembering who the expert is. Landscapers can provide planting tips and guides. Use images to show what the end result should look like.

Keep your stories to about 600 words or more.

Don’t overuse keywords. Use one per article and try to avoid using the same keyword across multiple articles in a given month. Make sure you write often and uniquely. A couple of articles a week will get you started.

Be engaged and write conversationally. Connect with the reader on a personal level. This connection almost always turns into a lead.

By writing quality content you’ll do much better in search rankings, have a greater share of your market, and create trusting relationships prior to the initial inquiry. Give your expertise to the community, and you’ll be rewarded for it.

Jeremy Sisk is owner of Durham marketing firm Xperience4Higher. Reach him at