Content is the backbone of online marketing, and having an effective content marketing plan in place is becoming increasingly essential for businesses that want to become visible to their customers online and to build trust. Content can come in many forms, including images, videos and audio, but written content still dominates.
So how should you go about writing great web content that will get you the results you need?
Draw Readers In with a Compelling Headline
The headline is the most important part of any written content. If people don’t read past the headline, it does not matter how good the rest of the content is. Remember that web users have to choose to read your blog or article over the hundreds of others they see each day, so you have to give them a good reason to take an interest.
Be interesting, creative or provocative in your headlines. Pose a question that the content will answer. Suggest a key benefit in the content that will make it worth the reader’s time. Make the reader know that after reading the content, they will have an answer to an important issue they are having.
One thing that will put people off when they encounter your content is large blocks of text. People read differently online, and they are more likely to scan your content rather than read it through in its entirety.
For this reason, keep sentences and paragraphs short. Break up the page so that there is plenty of white space. Some people break up very sentence of their content into paragraphs, but that can sometimes be a bit too much, so it’s important to find the right balance. Also make use of subheadings and bullet points to break the text up even more and make it more scannable.
Make It Visual
Another way to break up the content and make it look more interesting is to add visual appeal in the form of images or videos. A well-placed image, video or infographic can go a long way to liven up a blog post, but make sure it has a purpose and is not just there to look pretty.
Say Something Different
People are not going to read your content if you are just saying the same thing as everyone else. Make it different by injecting your personality and also by taking a different angle. Say something interesting that has not yet been said, and don’t copy what everyone else is doing.
Write on Topics that Interest Your Readers
No matter how good the quality of the writing is, your content will only get read if it is focused on topics that are of interest to your readers. So how do you find out what your readers really want to know?
Keywords are a good place to start. What keywords to people use to find your content? Use your analytics account to find out what people are searching for when they arrive on your website, and use this to direct your content.
You can also visit forums and analyse your social media activity to search for topics and discussions that come up frequently. Alternatively, ask your site visitors what they are looking for, or the main questions they want answered, in the form of a short survey, and you can use this to guide your content.
Take Your Content to the Next Level
These are some of the most important ways for you to get more from your content and ensure you are not wasting your time when you publish blogs and articles online. Keep these tips in mind next time you publish some content and check whether you are doing everything you can to make your writing stand out.