Tag Archives: Content Writing

How a Content Writer Works: Insights From Blair Fawcett

What does it look like when a content writer plans out their newest website? Today, we’ll take a close look at their process as we interview Blair Fawcett, one of the skilled content writers at Plumbing Webmasters.

You can view the whole interview on YouTube, or explore our Content Marketing section for additional details about our services.

Introductions With Blair Fawcett

Madison: Hey guys! Welcome back to the Plumbing Webmasters Podcast. I’m Madison. Today, we’re going to shake things up a little bit. We’re going to be talking about content creation, but from the perspective of one of our content writers. We have Blair Fawcett with us today. She is one of our spunky content writers here at the Webmasters. I’m going to be interviewing her, asking her some questions about her process.

Blair: Yes, indeed. Very spunky!

Madison: Let’s go ahead and jump right in. Blair, can you tell us a little bit about what led up to working with the Webmasters?

Blair: Absolutely. I have a degree in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. After I graduated, I became a teacher for a few years in the public school system. After that, I decided I really wanted to focus on journaling, writing, becoming a journalist. That’s where I found the Webmasters.

Madison: Cool! You caught the bug and you’ve been writing since you’ve been in grade school? That’s awesome. A lot of our content writers start with one different degree – anthropology I think was Shabnam’s (one of our other writers) – and they end up in a few years writing as a career. But I think it’s cool to see somebody who’s been writing her entire adult life.

The Content Writer Planning Process

Keyword Research and Placement

Madison: Why don’t we go ahead and get started on your writing process? Before we start big though, let’s go on a smaller scale. Let’s take a single service page, say “Water Heater Installation” or something like that. How would you start planning that page and what’s your process for working that page?

Blair: I’m so glad you asked! I focus on two different parts of the question. One: How do I optimize the page for SEO? The other: How do I make it where it’s really easy for the customer to read?

The first thing that I do to make sure that I’m optimizing for SEO is that I make sure the word count is correct, that the headers are aligned with the subject matter. I make sure that there’s a call to action, there’s a linked phone number so the customer always has easy access to the company. They know what the company does, so they can say “Okay. Clearly this company does…” What did you say?

Madison: Water heater installation.

Blair: So if I’m the customer and I say “You know what? I need a new water heater.” This is the company that popped up and they popped up because I had my page SEO optimized. That’s great.

Madison: Okay, so you’ve clearly done your keyword research and made sure that’s ingrained into the page itself.

Blair: Keyword research is so crucial for this aspect.

Writing Content for People

Madison: Now you said you had a second goal, which was making for an easier reading experience. How are you going about that?

Blair: So I do this thing called “Kiss it. Don’t kill it.” K.I.S.S it means “Keep it short and sweet.” K.I.L.L. it means “Keep it long and lengthy”.

Madison: That’s cute. Kiss it; don’t kill it. Nice.

Blair: What I do there, I make sure it’s direct. It’s to the point, and I also make sure that the customer has access to what’s going on in that page, as opposed to it’s just long/length/tedious sentences that are missing the point.

Courting Customers and Converting Leads

Madison: That’s so important! A natural reading experience makes for great reading for the [consumer], but it also feeds back into the conversion process of actually turning a prospect into a sale, which is what our clients want. So what sort of stuff are you doing to create that natural experience and to maximize that conversion process?

Blair: I think perspective is so important. I imagine two things. I imagine that I am the customer who’s looking for service (like I mentioned earlier), and I also imagine that I’m the company. What is the message that I want to convey from the company? I do one thing that is really important: I do a logical, an ethical, and emotional appeal.

Let’s say that I have a burst pipe in my home. I’m the customer, and I want a service. I’m going to look for something that’s logical, that makes sense to me. “Yes, I need a plumbing repair right now.” Ethical: “Okay, this company is insured, they have the right certifications. Those are important from an ethical standpoint.” Then finally, we have the pathos, which is emotional. I’ve actually had a burst pipe in my home, and it was terrible! I really feel for the customer there.

Madison: That’s so cool! So you’ve been able to take a lot of your own experience (both as a teach and as a homeowner) and feed that back into your writing. That’s great. You mentioned different sorts of appeals you can make: the ethical, the emotional, and the logical. That’s really feeding back into that natural reading experience. So many plumbing websites are missing that. They focus on the sale, sale, sale. “This is why our services are great…” but they don’t relate it back to the customer.

Blending SEO With Natural Reading Experience

Madison: That’s something that many websites struggle with. How do you make sure that you have that balance with those SEO elements (and clearly displaying services) with that natural reading experience? Is that a struggle to balance those?

Blair: No! I actually have a really good team that works with me all the time. I have graphic designers that make sure the website layout is really clean, pristine, and nice. That all the buttons click where they’re supposed to go. Also, something that I personally do is make sure that all of the pictures that are associated with the services they match what exactly is going on in that page.

Here’s something that I love! Sometimes the companies will give us a whole bunch of pictures that we can work with.

Madison: Oh yes! Pictures are so nice when [clients] actually give them to us. We sometimes have to work with stock photos. We definitely don’t want to if we can avoid it. It’s okay, but if we can get those original photos…that’s fantastic.

Blair: It is. It’s authentic!

Non-Text Elements Crucial to Content Writers

Madison: Now, taking a tangent off that, you’ve mentioned that this is just one of many non-text elements. What other sort of non-text elements really feed into your process that are really important for the page?

Blair: Something that we do is incorporate Righteous Reviews…for the customers to have easy access to the reviews and then also have access to the services themselves. We have a really clean look. We really work with our [clients] to make sure that their plumbing website looks exactly the way they want their plumbing website to look like. We personalize it. We make it really stand out as a beacon of what that company’s message is and what they’re about.

Madison: Now is that from a graphical standpoint, or formatting? What sort of styling are you thinking of?

Blair: From my end as a content writer…I do a lot of research into the company. I see what they’re about. I see how long they’ve been around. Every single company is different. Whenever I work with a company, I make sure to incorporate those individual characteristics (those little details) are worked into the page as much as I can, while also continuing to have it SEO optimized and have all the easy reading.

TLDR, a Challenge for Content Writers

Madison: Speaking of reading, there’s a challenge that many content writers and businesses in general face today. There’s a saying that you’ll see on the internet:TLDR which stands for “Too Long; Didn’t Read.”

Blair: Ah! What a travesty!

Madison: So many people are crunched for time. Maybe they’re browsing for services while they’re at work or they’re at their pilates class, and they need to find information quickly. How do you deal with this challenge in a way that ensures that people actually get to the content that you want them to?

Blair: Madison! You’ve actually hit the heart of the issue. The best way to address that is to make sure that it is a pleasant reading experience. I never want my customers to feel like “Wow. I’ve gotten sold to.” I want them to feel like “Oh. This is informative. It’s telling me about this company. It’s telling me about the service.” That’s what a good website will do. That is what a good message will do.

Madison: Mmhmm. I think a lot of great websites, when you’re reading them it feels almost like a conversation that you’re having with a person, not somebody telling you “Okay, this is how X, Y, and Z goes.” It’s such a relatable experience, that it feels like you’re talking with a person.

Key Takeaways for Great Reading

Madison: What do you think are the most important elements in your content writing that are providing a great user experience for somebody that’s visiting the site (maybe for the first time)? They need services and they’re trying to get information.

Blair: I put in some imagery. I put in some metaphors; I put in some details…

Madison: There’s that creative writing for you!

Blair: Ya! Exactly…describe a burst pipe. “Ah! A burst pipe is in your home and that’s terrible.” That way everybody feels emotionally invested in the process.

Madison: So you’re scene setting?

Blair: Exactly. Scene setting; getting some imagery in there. Everyone likes a good metaphor.

Madison: So many plumbing websites when you read through them, they’re just so dry. I’m like “Ya, I know what plumbing is, but this doesn’t really relate to me.” But the way you’re describing it like a person can see the situation going on in the page. That’s really cool!

A Broader Point of View

Madison: Let’s blow up this perspective and look at it from a whole, cross-site view. How are you going to make sure, as a whole, that your content across the entire website is successful (cohesive, informative, not overlapping)? What are you going to do to try and ensure that?

Blair: Whenever you’re managing a really big website, you’ve got a lot of pages. You’ve got 60 pages that you’ve gotta make sure have a really similar message. That it all works together. To that end, on the front end [it’s about] all the research you do on the front end from the very get go. You’re going to reap the benefits of that as you go through the website and create the content.

Madison: That’s a good point. So you know ahead of time what all the services are so you’re not accidentally overlapping on content. And what else are you doing?

Clear Messaging in Website Content

Blair: Something else that I’m doing is that I’m making sure to review and convey the company’s message in a succinct way. Again, I’m making sure that… “You know what? This company really advertises trenchless plumbing repairs. Let’s make sure that message is clear, and let’s hyperlink back to it.” Because if there’s a related service, let’s hop back there. Let’s make it really easy for the customer to have access to these different pages in this big website. It’s a great undertaking to create a website, and with that comes a lot of responsibility.

Madison: Oh ya! I know from experience that process can take weeks to go through, maybe even a month depending on the size of the site. A lot of formatting, a lot of navigational structure is going in. The graphic design team is helping with that, and of course we have people like Amberlynn [our top editor] who are going in and editing it and making sure the message is consistent. There’s so much going in.

Key Takeaways for Plumbers

Madison: Now Blair. Let’s say that up to this point nobody was listening whatsoever. What would you say to plumbers if you had one thing you wanted them to take away from our discussion? What advice would you give to them?

Blair: I would say “Hi! How are you?” Dear plumbing friends, a well-designed website can work wonders for your company’s image. A really good website can tell the customers who you are in a clear way. Your website is your first point of contact with a lot of your new customers, and some of your old customers. By getting a good website, you’re putting a good foot forward on the internet and in real life.

Madison: And you’re balancing that SEO with natural reading experience so that people can not only find you, but choose you as well. Thanks for coming in, Blair. We’ll see what we’re gonna talk about next time. In the meantime, thank you so much for listening in plumbers. We’ll see you next time.

Blair: Thank you!

Related Pages From Plumbing Webmasters

For More Research:
How to Craft a 5-Star Website User Experience (Article)
Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber (Podcast)
How Plumbers Should React to the Google BERT Update (Article)

Services From Plumbing Webmasters:
Custom WordPress Plumbing Websites
Plumbing Leads
– Plumbing Content Management

Posted: | Updated: Feb 19, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

Content Writing Tips for Plumbing SEO

Content Writing Tips for Plumbers Blog Cover

I’m sure it sometimes feels like we’re beating a dead horse with all our talk about the importance of quality content for search engine optimization. But considering the impact of meaningful, deep website content when it comes to SEO for plumbers, it’s a topic I’m willing to wear out. Internet marketing is an area where we know many professional plumbers feel overwhelmed and sometimes altogether disinterested. The fantastic news for a busy plumbing business like yours is that you can hire a whole team of SEO professionals to manage content writing, allowing you to focus on what you do best (plumbing)!

The Right Way to Do Content Writing for Organic SEO

But First, The Wrong Way to Do Content Writing

I was recently doing some online research for an article that I was drafting, and I came across a post that started great. It was addressing my inquiry and providing some good data. And then, it morphed into absolute gibberish. Formerly coherent sentences were interrupted by phrases (linked, of course) that didn’t align with the train of thought. It reminded me of that episode of “Friends” in which Joey tries to sound smart by using a Thesaurus to translate every word of a letter. (If you missed that one, the resulting note was, as you can imagine, utter nonsense.)

Paragraph after paragraph, the once-promising post deteriorated into a mish-mash of text on the page. I couldn’t even salvage what I had gleaned from those initial paragraphs because the whole thing suddenly seemed unreliable. Or, to be frank, spam. It was spam.

Google Wants Quality Content for HUMANS

Spam no longer has a place on the internet for web admins and business owners who want to leverage the internet to attract new clients and grow their companies. The tactics I just mentioned are what we refer to as “Black Hat SEO,” and they have no place on a web page. Google doesn’t like them, and humans (like me) don’t know what in the world to make of that gibberish, which, ironically, is trying to trick search engines into pulling better rankings. We refuse to use this approach with our clients because we know that they don’t work. Since around 2012, the Google algorithms have changed to increasingly punish sites that show evidence of keyword stuffing, shady links, redirects, or any other backdoor means of trick a search engine into a top spot.

If the content writing doesn’t serve a person who would logically search for your plumbing services on your page, your website is missing the mark. Yes, there are many aspects of SEO and internet marketing that aren’t precisely user-facing per se. But at the end of the day, the quality of the content writing and its relevance will go very far in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., finding value in your page.

Don’t Make Content Writing for Plumbing Overly Technical

Yes, I said the content for your plumbing website should be deep and meaningful. But throwing in too much industry jargon may lose the layman when it comes to engagement and readability. I genuinely believe that those who demonstrate understanding the best can thoroughly explain something complex.

Do not hear that you should talk down to your site viewers. That misunderstanding could result in thin content or, worse, a condescending tone. Instead, think about how you speak to clients in real life about their plumbing issues if you’re conveying something relevant. It’s the same. (Just with better grammar. We hope.)

Content Quote for Plumbers

Having a delegated content writing team for your website can be highly beneficial. There is inherently a gap in my ability, for example, to get overly technical because I wouldn’t know the first thing to do with a burst pipe or a backed-up toilet. (Except call the first plumber I can find on Google with a decent page!) I can, however, speak to folks like me who know what it’s like to need plumbing repairs and who are relying on Google SERPs to find their match. Content writing for plumbing SEO should embody great information germane to plumbing and the right keywords and format to appeal to search engine quality guidelines.

When It Comes to Content Writing, Grammar Still Counts

You’re not exactly contributing to a scholarly journal with every press of the “Publish” button. But whether the plumbing content writing is for a webpage, social media post, or blog article, you should still put your best text forward. Copy that is sloppy and hard to read due to typos or incorrect formatting will not provide a positive user experience. And this is terrible news for you because user experience is a factor for search rankings. If there is a high bounce rate from your Home Page, you could fall behind your competitors.

However, if you publish insightful, enjoyable posts regularly, this means that viewers (i.e., potential customers) are more likely to spend longer on your site. Perhaps they peruse your blog posts for a bit, spend some time reviewing the photo gallery, or click throughout the main site pages to learn more about the plumbing repairs you offer. The longer that viewers spend on your site, the lower the bounce rate. This engagement signals to search engines like Google that you provide an excellent plumbing website user experience. You will see the rewards in increased rankings and better SERP positioning.

The Benefits of Hiring Content Writers for Plumbing SEO

You may have a very talented member of your team who you think can handle the content aspect of internet marketing for your plumbing company. But there is a host of benefits to hiring seasoned content writers who work for plumbers en masse. We derive significant benefits from the combined years of experience and lessons learned that will ultimately serve you exponentially better than an in-house resource.

Professional Content Writing Delivers:

  • Exceptional vocabulary and grammar utilization
  • Internal processes for optimizing every word and title on the page, including the best keywords for plumbing
  • Oversight by editor(s) who can ensure error-free pages throughout your web presence
  • Scaled support to churn out content regularly, an activity that boosts rankings
  • Up-to-date Best Practices for maximizing most current Google algorithm preferences

Find Your Voice for Plumbing Content Writing That Engages

If you’ve never heard the term “your voice” when it comes to writing, it’s essentially how your personality infuses into your written words. A writer with a distinctive voice will have the ability to invest their prose with a style of their own, that you can tell who wrote it before even reading the byline. Now, I’m not suggesting you take a Creative Writing class in your spare time. (What spare time? Exactly.) But infusing an engaging voice into content writing about plumbing is a great way to differentiate your website in the market.

No offense, but plumbing repairs aren’t exactly sexy to discuss and reading about them, even less so. But if you embrace this, and if you offer viewers your plumbing website content that is light, unique, and even entertaining, it could mean more traffic and more calls. And all of that equates to better search engine rankings, so it keeps paying off.

Knock, Knock Jokes Need Not Apply

I’m not suggesting you turn your social media websites into joke sites or start curating memes. There’s enough of that these days. Your plumbing company has a reputation to uphold, and so your content should reflect that. But can you imagine the impact it would have on a potential client to see your face in a YouTube video demonstrating a simple DIY plumbing repair? 

Or what if they read a blog post that made them laugh while espousing your fantastic online reviews? I guarantee that person is far more likely to pick up the phone or at least follow your Facebook Business Page for future reference. Thus, you can develop a referral network that will serve you repeatedly, and in turn, you can help with the tremendous knowledge that resides in your head.

Write What You Know

The best advice for writers, time and time again, is: write what you know. No one expects your website to serve all of their home repair needs. But when it comes to plumbing services, your writing content should be the best out there (or, at least, the best in your area)! So take some time to see what others are doing and find a way to do it better.

Try delegating the content writing for plumbing SEO to a team of pros (like us). Then, we know what performs well geographically, and we can infuse the personality and value that keeps a busy pro like yourself reading an article as long as this one. (You’ve made it to the end. Cheers!)