How to Create Content That Rocks
Most online businesses now realise the importance of creating high-quality content for their websites and to boost social media campaigns. Providing written content not only offers a means for a business to more effectively connect with its audience, it also ensures that a site is regularly crawled and indexed by search engines.
Not all content is created equally however. Whilst it can be expensive to have content created for you, it’s very necessary if you don’t have the skills or the time to create it yourself. A professional agency or writer knows how to craft content correctly in order to make it useful and readable. They can also help with SEO and ensure that your content is seen through their own channels.
With this in mind, let’s have a look today at what content you should be creating, and how it should be presented.
Write For the Audience
As a business, your aim is to provide your potential and existing customers with content that they want to read. This requires you to know your audience thoroughly, so that you can tailor content for them. To this end, your first step in your content strategy should be to work on coming up with at least one buyer persona. These take the form of a written marketing document that describes your buyer and should include as a minimum:
- Age range of typical customer
You can find a template for creating your own buyer persona here.
Once you understand who your audience is, you’ll have much more success in coming up with topics that appeal to them. You should also take a look around other industry sites, paying attention to content that has comments and social shares in order to get a feel for what your audience really enjoys. Once you’ve created your content, you can later delve into analytics in order to further understand how your audience is interacting with it.
Pay Attention to Formatting
We read differently online than we do print. Online readers tend to read in an F-shaped pattern, although this does vary slightly depending on the form. Online readers also tend to skim, so craft content that facilitates this.
To do this:
- Use short sentences and paragraph (the latter should be around 6-8 lines deep with clear white space between each paragraph.)
- Use subheaders throughout.
- Avoid jargon and complex words.
- Make use of images and video.
- Use bullets to further break up text.
Further to this, you should also provide links to supporting material that you reference in written work. This is good for SEO and shows the reader (and Google) that your work can be trusted as it uses references.
You should also ensure that written work is unique. If you place a quote in the text, then you should use quotation marks and ensure that you link back to the source. Remember too that all of the content that you create should be free from spelling and grammatical errors and should be relevant to your industry niche.
Good content attracts backlinks, and they are great for SEO.
Many people spend a lot of time crafting great headlines that are highly creative. This is fine, but you should understand how headlines work. Research has found that readers don’t want flowery, obscure headlines that don’t tell the reader anything about the content. This means that your headlines should explicitly tell the reader what the piece is all about.
- 80% of readers don’t click through on a headline
- A good headline can boost traffic by as much as 500%
Research has found that certain types of headlines resonate more with readers than others.
As you can see, headlines that contain numbers are by far the most popular. These take the form of ‘5 ways to boost content with Twitter’ or ‘7 blogging tools to make you a superstar’. People complain on social media about these types of headlines and call them clickbait, but the numbers don’t lie. The reason that these kinds of headlines work is because the reader instantly understands whether reading the post will help them to solve a problem or not.
It tells them explicitly.
Distributing Your Content
You should distribute your content through as many channel as possible, and predominantly on social media. This will provide a certain amount of ‘social proof’ which in turn increases trust in your website. Get creative on social and make sure that you interact with those who are engaging with the content. Engagement can be difficult to achieve and you never will if you don’t work at thanking your audience and involving yourself in discussion.
You should also look to create downloadable content so that you can grow your email list. This can take many forms and can include:
- Case studies
- Cheat sheets
Create special landing pages for your downloadable content and measure the impact too. You can then carry out A/B testing to further drive downloads and increase that list.
Learn SEO Basics
You don’t have to know about SEO in order to create great content, but it helps to know the rules and how you can leverage keywords to your advantage. Search engine rules and algorithms are always changing too and as a business owner, if you get hit with a penalty because you weren’t aware of the rules, Google won’t care.
Good content is a huge asset to any online business. Without it your site is unlikely to see a stream of visitors in the first instance. To offer a truly useful experience to your visitors, you should create a range of content that resonates with your audience and boost your site traffic.