Creating Content for Readers
Keep your content marketing presentation easy to scan and read. One way to do this is through the use of bulleted content. Use bullets to highlight key points in your articles and to give the reader a good overview of what the article covers. Easy-to-read text on your website will keep visitors interested in your content and returning to visit. Your search engine placements can benefit from providing content that is appealing to readers.
Shorter is Better
Short paragraphs of 3-5 sentences are ideal for web content. Website visitors are looking for information quickly. Longer paragraphs are not appealing to most website visitors because it can be difficult to figure out what the paragraph is about right away. Shorter paragraphs can be scanned quickly and the visitor can determine if they wish to continue reading your website. While shorter paragraphs may entice visitors to stay on your website longer, if your content lacks interesting and accurate information, visitors will soon leave. Keep it short and keep your customers.
Hire the Best
Great content is more than just useful information. It’s compelling, entertaining writing that hooks readers and keeps them coming back for more. After all, searchers are readers, so a successful organic search marketing strategy begins with great writers. Be sure to carefully screen them and hire only the best. Content marketing that really works isn’t easy to write, so find writers who have it down to a science.
Go for Quality
In optimizing your website, you have an obligation to evaluate the usefulness of your content to visitors. Trim out the fat regularly, especially if you can replace the fluff with good stuff. If your website offers interesting information, quality product or service descriptions, and helpful advice that solves problems, you are already on your way to increasing traffic. While search engines may be tricked by search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that are geared toward increasing rankings, rather than providing a quality website, victory is not so sweet when the readership time on your site decreases as a result of poor content. Be the ball, as they say. If your visitors are not impressed with your content, you’ll never win the war of words on the web.
A Tip on Tips
You can flood your prospects with advertising they don’t want, or you can supply them with insights, information, and know-how they can really use. Over the years, we’ve learned that Tips are powerful things; they’re the bridge that connects prospects to you. By solving their problems and improving their lives, you’ll earn their trust, and trust turns browsers into believers and believers into buyers. Trust us—we know what we’re doing at WriterAccess+.
Cut Out the Clutter
Great content optimization is clear, simple, and easy to understand. Can you say the same for the messages you send out? Or do they require an explanation from your sales reps? People won’t act on information that they don’t understand. Trim the fat and KISS—Keep It Simple, Stupid. Turn perplexing problems into tidy tidbits of information that help you communicate effectively.
No Doorstops, Please
The sale is done. Now how do you cement the relationship? Not with the thick, boring manual that comes with too many products and services. Chances are, it’ll end up as a doorstop. Replace it with a guide, full of useful advice and entertaining tips, that's fun to read, easy to understand, and available both online and off. Quality content and great tips help to guide, clarify, enlighten, and connect.
Escape Keyword Traps
Yes, it’s important to use rich keywords within the content on your website. Heck, I (Byron) just wrote dozens of tips yesterday on the topic. But content that’s created specifically for spider bots may lead readers on a wild goose chase, and a wild goose does not make for happy readers or prospect customers. Content should always be written to educate, inform, enlighten, change impressions, encourage trials, and/or induce actions. Think content first, and circle back for search engine appeal later.
Feed Your Affiliates Every Day
To keep visitors interested and to attract repeat viewers, webmasters all need a steady stream of new and appealing content. Consider launching your own RSS or XML feed to your affiliates, offering free tips and advice for their website featuring trackable links back to your website. Create a ContentWidget that feeds your affiliates a Tip of the Day that they can simply copy and paste onto their websites. You’ll need to create tips that will appeal to your affiliates' target audience. The tips will be fed by an XML or iFrame technology base. The widget will feature tips and links back to your website featuring their unique tracking IDs. A Tip of the Day is more welcome and more useful than an ad or a banner. Offering something that’s in high demand is exactly what you need to do to drive more revenue from your affiliates.
Think Like A Profiler
Get a sense of your demographic and then think about their day / interests / issues. Why? To keep readers interested, you need to discuss topics in terms they can relate to. Talking about your core subject matter is important, but sprinkle it with references, analogies, or examples your audience already engages in – be it life with kids, the latest episode of True Blood or a YouTube sensation. This catches peoples’ eyes like nothing else.
People Like Getting A Little Personal
We’re not suggesting that you chat about the fight you had with your spouse or your latest issues with indigestion, but providing some insights on you – the writer – can actually endear you and your message more to the audience. Tell a story about your day and relate it to the topic at hand or reveal how you learned a tough business lesson. It’s OK to get a bit personal!
Your Culture Is A Part Of Your Brand
Clients and customers like companies that care about their employees and know how to have a good time. From time to time, post an “inside the company” event or moment. Not only do clients like seeing the smiles / originality / camaraderie of the company they’ve hired (or are considering hiring), but this can also help attract potential employees that are attracted to your corporate culture. Try to keep the photos of the team doing body shots to a minimum, though.
Do you have words, phrases, or a core sentence that are important key points in your article or blog? Bold them. Eyes will be drawn to them, they’ll break up the text, and they’ll make the document more readable. However, don’t go overboard. A document littered with bolded words is pointless. You want to make the bolded words stand out, not to create content that looks like a checker board.
Subtitle For Success
If you have a blog post or article that is longer than a few paragraphs, consider breaking up the copy under bolded subtitles (why, just like what you see on this page!). Content is easier to read and looks (and is) more organized when it’s contained under headings. Keep these subtitles on topic – this can help with your SEO as well.
Post A Picture
Including an image with your article is worthwhile for a lot of reasons: it breaks up a page of text (which is nicer to read); complements the piece; can save you from writing unnecessary text (especially graphs), and is one more type of searchable content that can increase your chances of getting traffic (when tagged or labeled correctly). Remember: Be sure to credit where your images are from!
Point to Pertinent Posts
When readers find your content through a web search, there’s a good chance they’re not only interested in the specific topic at hand but related content within that subject. Have you written about different aspects of this topic before? Make it easy for readers to find these posts by referencing them and linking these references directly.
Additionally, there are lots of great widgets – such as LinkedWithin – that pick up on keywords in your post and provide suggestions of related posts from your website. You captured your audience’s interest and with these techniques, you can have a better chance of keeping them interested in your content.
Comment On Your Comments
Just as you like seeing comments on your blog posts (it’s great to know you’re not just yapping to yourself, eh?), commenters also like to know that what they’ve said has been heard. If someone leaves a comment, leave a comment back. The joy of social media is the interaction – so do some interacting, already! People are attracted to a site that’s engaging and are often more willing to join a conversation than start one, so show that you’re down for a discussion.
Ask What They’re Asking
Advice columnists are popular because they post a real question or issue asked of them – one that other people undoubtedly also have wondered about – and then follow it with an answer. Consider doing the same when it comes to your web content now and again. Not only will people appreciate this highly recognized format, but there’s a chance that the question you write out will be an exact keyword match that people put into a search engine.
Where’s the Benefit?
Want to get readers? Then this is your new slogan: Leggo the Ego. Good web content is less about you and your company and more about your audience and what they need. It’s all about bringing value to the reader. Even if you’re talking about your own products, the focus needs to be less on the features you’ve developed and more about the benefits they’ll bring to your audience’s life or business.