Our Writers Know: To Succeed, Content Must H.U.M. The Right Tune

Too often, web content—especially that found on the websites of attorneys and doctors—is ho-hum. It's boring, offers no new information and is stuffed with awkward keywords. This has been especially problematic since the Google Hummingbird update. Now, dull content that relies on keyword stuffing is severely punished. And for good reason! Nobody wants to read a sales pitch wrapped in an article's clothing.

To ensure that our writers are following the Hummingbird's lead, and that our clients are getting the best content possible, we covered the subject during our latest writers' meeting. For an easy to remember acronym, we stuck with the Hummingbird theme, asking that our team push themselves further; creating content that H.U.M.'s. This means that all the content they write should be:

  • Helpful
  • Unique
  • Motivating

Hummingbird We encouraged our writing team to apply the H.U.M. rule to every word they write and to stop stuffing keywords into every nook and cranny of their content.

And we didn't want to keep our top content writing tips to our self, so we decided to share with you our top tips for creating awesome, Hummingbird-proof content.

When and Where to H.U.M.

You should ensure that every word you write, every sentence you build, is helpful, unique and motivating. Getting the H.U.M. is especially important in the following areas:

  • Meta descriptions. This is the first impression a searcher gets of your article. Because of this, meta descriptions must be highly motivating. Example: Nobody wants to read an article described as "A Dallas, Texas personal injury attorney talks about neck injuries. Learn more about neck injuries here." But people may be inspired to click after reading this: "A neck injury can be more than a pain; it can prevent you from doing the things you love. Better understand your injury and find out how to get your life back."
  • Page titles and headlines: Page titles and headlines are meant to grab the eye and pique the interest of the reader. An effective headline makes the reader feel that if they don't read the article, they will be missing out on important, even life-changing information. And above all, never stuff keywords, phone numbers or your name into titles and headlines. Example: Forget about "You've Been Injured in a Dallas Car Accident, Our Attorneys Can Help." Yawn! This title is boring, unnatural and overused. Instead, how about "Stop! Thief! How to Keep Your Insurance Company From Ripping You Off."   
  • Calls to action. Few things annoy and insult readers more than being forced to reread the same call to action over and over again. In addition to annoying readers, this practice may affect your SEO, as repetitive phrases are a big no-no. We asked our writers to only use one call to action per page. Example: Instead of "If you've been injured in a car accident in Dallas, Texas call 888-888-8888 today," try "Found this article helpful? Then share it on Facebook! Doing so could help your friends and family avoid an accident; even save a life."  
  • Content. Every piece you write and post should be written with the H.U.M. rule in mind. We used to tell our writers to include one geo-specific keyword per 250 words. Now, we encourage them to write a fantastic, unique article. Period. We do want them to keep in mind that if it's possible to naturally add a location, go for it. But if you have to force it to make it work, skip it. Example: Don't just talk about "a terrible car accident in Dallas." Get to know the area and use region-specific locations such as landmarks and highway nicknames in your writing. Such as "Trust us; you're not the first person to be hit by a car in the parking lot of Cotton Bowl Stadium."

Here's the bottom line: keep your writing authentic and creatively answer the questions on the reader's mind. If you do this, and if you keep H.U.M.ming, you have no need to fear any animal Google releases. 

Want to learn more about creating killer content? Request your copy of our free book, The Foster Web Marketing Client's Guide to Great Content.  

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