Is your SEO strategy letting you down?

content marketing SEO


Is your SEO strategy letting you down?

A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy based on keywords may not get you to the first page of a Google anymore.  Search engines no longer focus on single keywords.  Instead, they try to work out the intent of the user.  And what content will answer the user’s question.

As search engines get more sophisticated, so should your SEO.  It is all about content now.  In fact, content is king! We’ve all heard it, right?

It this blog we’ll look at how developing and documenting a strategic content marketing plan can send you back to the top of the search list.

What happened that makes content marketing so important to SEO?

In traditional SEO, you would scatter identified keywords throughout your website and social media sites.  To get the attention of search engines, you would put keywords both in the text and it the meta data.

Then, in 2013, the game changed.  Google introduced a new search algorithm, Hummingbird, that is much better at guessing the user’s intent.  Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query.  The whole sentence or conversation or meaning is considered, rather than particular keywords.

The bottom line is that Hummingbird is looking for content.  These days, to stay at the top of the search results, you need to supply quality content and supply it consistently.

Why bother with a strategic content marketing plan?

Content marketing has proven benefits for the water industry.  The most often-cited benefits are:

  • Generating leads
  • Building brand awareness
  • Engaging with prospects

Strategic content marketing benefits the water industry in other ways as well.  Water and wastewater treatment plants are big-ticket items with long service lives.  A sale depends on connecting with multiple decision makers.  Content marketing can help progress leads through this sometimes long, sales funnel.content marketing SEO

The best way to ensure quality and consistency in your content is to have a plan.  A strategic content marketing plan.

A robust content marketing strategy shifts the focus of your content agenda.  Rather than a mad dash, it’s a smart, coordinated approach.  An approach that delivers consistent business improvement.  With a documented strategy, you can deliver quality content consistently.

A strategic content marketing plan:

  • Identifies goals for content marketing that align with desired business outcomes.
  • Describes your audience and how that audience changes through the sales funnel.
  • Contains a content calendar that uses topics and tactics to lead your audience where you want them to go.
  • Assigns metrics that will allow you to measure the success of your content marketing campaign.
  • Schedules regular plan reviews to ensure continued relevance.

If you document your plan it becomes even more powerful.  Use it to engage management, the sales team, the entire work force.


Search engines are now focusing on the user’s intent rather than on specific keywords.  To stay at the top of the search results you must supply quality content consistently.

In the coming weeks, we will look in more detail at how to develop a strategic content marketing plan.


Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.


Does your water industry writer have these 5 key skills? (Part 4)

research skills

Since we started looking at key skills for a water industry writer, we have looked at writing well, water knowledge and understanding your audience.  In this week’s post, we look at Skill #4.

Skill #4:           Research Skills

As we have gone through critical skills for writers there is one you may not have thought about. Research skills.  You need a writer able to find the background information that supports your solution.  In journal articles, in conference proceedings, in industry publications.  The information could be anywhere: blogs, on line resources.  Even on your competitor’s website.

You need that writer to be able to synthesize all that information.  Someone who can take complex ideas and explain them simply.

Your prospects don’t really want to know all the intricate details.  They do want to know that the technology is proven.  They want to have it explained clearly and simply.

A water industry writer needs to be able to find the evidence that proves your process.  Who stays abreast of the latest developments in the scientific literature.  Who can take complex ideas and explain them in clear and simple terms.


I love a good lit review!  I keep up with the latest in wastewater treatment, subscribe to newsletters, belong to industry associations.  No one else researches the problems you solve like I do.  Let me put my skills to work for you- contact me today!

Contact me to discuss your next content project.



And next week in the final post in this series Skill #5:       Planning Skills

Does your water industry writer have these 5 key skills?

research skills

There comes a time in the life of every business when you realize you need a freelance writer.  A time when your key personnel are busy doing the things they do best.  The things that build your business and sell your products.

You know marketing today is focused on the internet as a way to reach potential customers.  And the internet is focused on content.  You have developed a content marketing strategy.  You have worked up a content calendar.

Now you need a freelance content writer.  How do you choose the best writer for water industry content marketing?  In this series of five posts we will explore 5 key skills your content writer should have in spades.

This week we look at Skill #1: Writes Well

Skill #1:           Writes Well.

It would seem obvious but the most important skill you want in a content writer is the ability to write well.  The ability to write clearly and concisely.  But it’s more than that, isn’t it?  The information you need to convey to your prospects is complex.  It’s scientific.  It’s technical.  And the language used in water industry content to provide this complex, scientific, and technical information is often unreadable. That is- it’s hard to understand.

writes well

A few things can make it hard to understand. The most likely is because the language isn’t simple enough.  And that’s important because simpler is easier to understand.  Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

How do you know when your content is readable?  It’s something called the Flesch Kincaid (FK) score.  It is a measure of the complexity of the text.  The score is derived from an analysis of the length of sentences, sentences per paragraph, and the common nature of the words.

writes well

For clear communication, as you want in your marketing content, a FK score of less than 8 is recommended.  In a random sampling of ten water industry websites, the average FK score was 16.

The other important attribute of a readable asset is structure.  The content needs to be presented in a logical sequence that draws the reader, your prospect, right through to the end. To the call to action.

The structure is unique to the type of content, which is unique to the audience.  And the audience changes as they progress through the water industry sales funnel.

Skill #1, then, for a content writer in the water industry is the ability to write well.  The ability to convey complex scientific and technical information in clear concise language.


Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp.

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down to 8 or below.  I will improve readability without “dumbing” it down. I will help your prospects take the action you desire.


Contact me about your content requirements.



Stay tuned next week for skill #2:        Water Knowledge

Welcome to Water Copy

It’s always been about water…

Ever since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with water.  Swim lessons in the rain in Seattle.  Body surfing off California till our lips turned blue.  Tubing down rivers in Arizona.  Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.

That fascination with water has stayed with my all my life.  In my professional life water – quality, quantity, management, and use – is what has captivated me.

And in my professional life I have been well served by my love of reading and writing.  I love to research a topic and find the compelling idea at its core.  And then to prove that compelling idea in simple and concise language.

I love how words can transform complex scientific and technical concepts into stories that engage your prospects.  How stories can persuade, compel, empower

Okay. So, it’s always been about water and words…

I am now a freelance content writer with a focus on industrial water management and use.  I understand the science behind your wastewater treatment technology.  Better yet I understand your prospects and clients.  I understand the challenges they face in managing water and wastewater.  I know their pain points: supply, treatment, compliance.

I can help you communicate your value to your prospects and clients in effective ways.  I can help you build thought leadership in integrated wastewater management.

So, how do you persuade prospects to visit your website, connect with you, to contact you? You need to engage them both emotionally and rationally.  Find the emotionally compelling idea that will spark their interest.  Then prove to them that your solution will solve their problem.

How do you build thought leadership in your niche?  By providing compelling content on a consistent basis.  Allow me to help you with effective content assets: white papers, case studies and newsletters.


Extensively researched and effectively written, I write whitepapers that nurture leads through the lengthy sales funnel for wastewater treatment plants.  White papers vary in length, style, and investment.   We work together to address information needs at different points in the sales funnel.  We develop a white paper strategy that will pull in leads and nurture them into clients.


I write case studies that tell your success stories.  Given access to the happy customer I craft a story that testifies to your brand. Your solution. These success stories are testimonials to your solutions as well as to what it’s like to work with your company.


Together we develop a newsletter strategy that streamlines the process.  That makes generating a newsletter that people want to read a piece of cake.  Newsletters chock full of meaningful content.  But that also show your personal side.  Your employees, Your impact on the industry and the community.

Let’s work together and create content that will generate leads, and build your brand. No one else researches the problems you solve like I do.  And I will work with you until you are satisfied with the final product.