Content writing for search and user experience: Quantity surveying

Writing web content for quantity surveying firm Project Quantities was a joy. Our team worked well together and I’m proud of the results.

The content design challenge

Project Quantities wanted web content well-optimised for search engines with strong user experience. It had to drive visitors to understand the value of the service, and to make contact.

I talked with my client about the product and its audience – what is quantity surveying and what audience do you want to target? Next, I reviewed competitor websites, and those of companies in related fields like construction, renovation and wholesale building materials, noting successful and less successful practices from each.

SEO keyword research

Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO copywriting, involves understanding what customers are searching for and including these phrases in the right parts of your site. There’s no way to ‘hide’ keywords in a website – you must use them in ways that fit in neatly and naturally.

SEO keyword research is one of the first things I do on any project. I use a range of techniques to find keywords. I can’t disclose these, nor what keywords I identified for Project Quantities for commercial sensitivity reasons.

Suffice to say, the success of my SEO copywriting shows in the strong search performance of the site.

Overcoming misconceptions with content

I always ask clients,

What are your customers’ (and potential customers’) biggest misconceptions about what you do?

If web content addresses those misconceptions, my client will succeed where others failed. And it’s not just writing that can set customers right – image selection and design also matter.

In this case my client named a few misconceptions:

  • Potential customers may not understand what quantity surveyors do
  • Smaller businesses may think quantity surveying is only for big construction projects
  • Potential customers may think quantity surveying is unaffordable.

In response, I designed information architecture and content to guide customers through a ‘knowledge journey’.

When your customer may understand little of what you do, it’s more important to write from the customer’s perspective: Tell them you’ll give them something they value. For example:

Project Quantities website explanation of why they save you money

Alongside my writing, Creativa’s web and graphic design does much to communicate why customers should hire Project Quantities. The bold, primary colour scheme give the business an approachable and trustworthy persona. Strong colour contrasts, simple typefaces and plenty of space make the written content easy to follow.

Taglines and short descriptions are everything

In any line of work, you can stand out from the crowd by speaking plainly and clearly. The less widely understood your business is, the greater the opportunity.

Your business name, tagline and short description are the most important things you will write. Project Quantities already had a great name – simple and descriptive. After discussing with my client, I came up with a long list of options for taglines and short descriptions. We arrived at this:

Project Quantities tagline and short description screenshot

Here’s a checklist for getting your business tagline and short description right:

  • Names the work you do (in this case, quantity surveying)
  • Explains why someone should hire you
  • Says what makes you different from the others
  • Uses short sentences and simple words.

Once you have something you think is good, show it to someone who knows nothing about your business. Ask questions like, What do you think this business does? How do you feel about this business?

Say what it costs

A powerful way to win great customers is simply to say what you charge – or if advertising a job, what you pay.

You needn’t be exact – a range or ‘from $X’ will do. You may think it’s too high, too low or worry about competitors knowing your rates, but just try it and see the difference. It filters out contacts you don’t want and encourages those you do.

I included some indicative costs alongside descriptions of Project Quantities’ services. Although I couldn’t give estimates for all services, giving some shows transparency and trustworthiness.

The results

Project Quantities were very happy with their website and importantly, the site ranks well in brand- and non-brand search. I enjoyed working with Project Quantities and web designers Creativa.

Leave a reply