I'm featured in the "Business Minds" section of Coffs Coast Focus magazine issue 44 (May 2014).
You can read it here: http://issuu.com/focus.mag/docs/cci44/91?e=4204553/7574571
- but I've also copied the interview below for easier reading.Coffs Coast Focus - Business Minds
Interview with Micky Stuivenberg – Triple W Communications1. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be in Coffs Harbour.
I came to Coffs Harbour in 2005 to take up a job at Coffs Council as its web content manager. Three years later I started my own business in professional copywriting and website consulting, specialising in web content and SEO.
Before my husband and I moved to Australia, I had lived, studied and worked in 5 other countries, and I enjoy immersing myself in different cultures.
In Singapore, I was part of a pioneering team of online journalists and content producers at The Straits Times when newspapers were only just starting to move online. I have also been editor of a European business travel magazine and worked in international marketing communications.2. Your business, Triple W Communications, is focused on the art of good communication. What sort of professional services do you provide clients?
I help businesses communicate more effectively online. Around 80% of my work involves writing or rewriting website content so it’s clear, concise, persuasive, and optimised for search engines.
Some businesses aren’t good at writing appealing copy that explains their unique selling propositions to their target market. By writing convincing, optimised content for my clients’ websites, I help them improve their Google rankings and increase their sales and enquiries.
I was one of the first dedicated web content writers in Australia with thorough knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO). My contentwriter.com.au
website ranks very well for the keywords (search terms) I optimised it for. Almost all of my new business comes via my website.
Businesses often get a pretty website designed but then don’t get any visitors or don’t make any sales because they haven’t put any thought or effort into their text. That’s where I come in. A one-off investment in high-quality content quickly pays off.
My 20 years’ experience in marketing communication, copywriting, journalism, internet entrepreneurship, website editing and SEO has given me a valuable skillset that allows me to transform boring company jargon into powerful, concise content that sells.
Besides content writing and editing, I also do website evaluations and SEO consultations, provide content and social media marketing advice, and write articles, feature stories and marketing materials. Travel writing is one of my specialties.3. Micky, when you’re not in Coffs Harbour, we understand there’s a good chance you’re in Europe. Tell us about this.
I work for clients around Australia and overseas. They find my website and email me the details of their project. I don’t need to meet them face-to-face, which means I can do my job from anywhere. My husband and I love Europe, so we’ve decided to spend more time there while keeping our home base in Coffs Harbour. Having travelled the world, we recognise that Coffs is one of the best places to live. 4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is regarded as a highly skilled and intricate profession. How did you come to be in this field?
About a decade ago, I realised how important SEO was to online success and noticed many solid SEO techniques involved writing. I then took several advanced SEO courses because I saw a niche in the market for a professional web copywriter with both marketing and SEO skills. It’s great to see how my optimised content and advice can make someone’s business more successful.
I closely follow reputable SEO industry leaders to keep my skills up to date. Since 2009, I am also a part-time online SEO tutor at Search Engine College, which has students in over 60 countries.
Unfortunately, SEO got a bad name due to unscrupulous operators using spammy tactics such as hidden text, keyword stuffing and paid links. It’s good to see Google is cracking down on this, and many websites that tried to take a short-cut have lost their rankings.
I’ve only ever advocated and applied sound, industry-accepted (“white-hat”) SEO methods that adhere to Google’s guidelines, so Google’s algorithm updates don’t affect my clients’ websites. My focus has always been on useful content and tags using logical keywords.5. What are your tips for business owners looking to improve the SEO of their website?
I could mention a hundred things, but here are three tips that can make a real difference in your rankings. 1. Keywords:
For each important page on your site, think of words and phrases people might type into Google to find that particular information. Then ensure you use those words on that page a few times (but don’t overdo it).2. Title tags:
Use those same keywords in the title tag for that page, as Google also uses title tags to determine what a page is about. Write unique, descriptive title tags for all your pages and limit them to around 55 characters to fit in the search results. 3. Content marketing:
Regularly add fresh, valuable content such as blog posts and share it via social media channels. This is a reliable SEO strategy to attract visitors and links.
Incidentally, Google has also identified the quality of writing on a website as a ranking factor. They have an algorithm that recognises bad writing and multiple typos and will devalue a website if the writing isn’t up to scratch. 6. As a content writer, you must have a love for the written word. How did this develop?
I’ve always loved writing. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Management, and all my jobs have involved writing and editing. In writing, I can really craft a story that draws people in and takes them on an interesting journey.
However, I’ve never liked flowery writing. I’m very direct and I love cutting out fluff. Since writing for the web is all about clarity and getting straight to the point, my job suits me to a T.
I’m also very inquisitive. I ask questions readers would ask, and make sure the content answers them. Nobody likes a website with irrelevant content.7. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Content is King’ over the past few years. Can you share your philosophy on this?
Google’s advice to website owners has always been to have well-written, informative content, but recently they have increased the focus on this. Content in itself isn’t king, but GOOD content is invaluable.
Using the right words gets your site found in search engines, keeps people interested, and turns visitors into customers.
People come to a website to get information, solve a problem, buy a product or hire someone. Your content needs to be structured logically and answer people’s questions or they will take their business elsewhere. 8. What are the top three things a business website should feature?1. Details of all your products and services.
People want to know if you have or can do what they need. Be specific and don’t just list features but describe benefits.2. An informative About Us page and full contact details.
People prefer buying from businesses they trust, so be authentic, use real photos, and make it easy for people to contact you.3. Testimonials.
Anyone can claim they’re the best, but nothing beats other people vouching for your business. Thank you Micky.