How do you consistently create engaging content that people will actually want to read? How do you draw visitors to your page and gain exposure? While there is no perfect formula to create the perfect article, there are some basic concepts that you should be aware of if you want to build your audience. These tips and tools will teach you how to write for your audience, gain their interest, and increase your web traffic.
1. Write Quality Content
Without high-quality content, nothing else matters. You might as well close up shop now because nobody will care what you have to say. Consumers have an endless number of choices when it comes to the web. The only reason they will choose to read your content is if your material matters to your audience. Your content will come across as high quality if it is directly applicable to your target audience, written with clarity and poise, and contains sources and references when necessary.
2. Come Up With A Killer Headline
So, you have a great idea. You have quality content, and you are sure your readers will appreciate what you have to say. Now the trick is to get them to pay attention. You can do this by creating a captivating timeline that will grab them and not let go. One way to do this is to make a list. People love lists! Another is to use exciting words or rhetorical questions. Just make sure the headline is truly indicative of the information to come in the article.
3. Use Simple Language and Short Sentences
The mark of a great writer is the ability to express complex, detailed information with simple and clear language. If you want to learn how to do that, spend some time reading Ernest Hemingway’s novels. To apply this concept to your website, avoid language that is technical or full of jargon. Keep your sentences short, your language simple.
4. Tell A Story
People relate to stories better than they do to facts and data. Stories allow us to relate to one another. You can tell the story of how your business got started or a story about someone using your service. Another way to incorporate stories is to use testimonials on your website. When your customers tell their stories about how your product or service helped them, others will be more likely to hire you as well.
5. Use Subheadings and Bullet Points
This goes back to the fact that customers have many options when it comes to what to read online. People are also pretty lazy. They don’t want to read every word of a dense paragraph to arrive at the point. You can counter this by creating headings and subheadings and using bullet points to outline important information. You can also create white space on your website and write important terms in BOLD.
6. Include Links to Share the Post
If your readers like your article, they might be inclined to share it on their social media pages. Make it easy for them to do so by adding links at the end of your article to share the post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. This will create more links to your site and help increase your web traffic.
7. Use Keywords
It’s important that your articles contain keywords. This will improve the organic SEO of your article, and increase the incoming traffic to your site. Incorporate keywords into the title of your article, any prominent headlines, and the body of the text. Also, include keywords in the file names of any photos. The total keyword count should be about 1-2% of the word count.
8. Include Pictures or Videos
In 2014, photos made up 75% of the shared content on Facebook. And Tweets with photos were shared 35% more frequently than those without photos and customers are 60% more likely to purchase from companies that have attractive photos on their websites and social media pages. Are you convinced yet that you should include photos on your website and blog postings? If not, consider this: overall, posts with photos are shared 94% more frequently than those without posts. So, what’s the takeaway? Add some photos to your articles and blog posts.
9. Schedule Your Posts
If the majority of your audience is online at 6:00 p.m. and you post and share your content at 12:00 p.m., there’s a good chance the post will be buried in their newsfeed, and they won’t see it at all. You can counteract this problem by learning when your audience is online. You can do this with the “Insights” or “Analysis” tab on your social media pages. Tailor your posts to this timeframe.
10. Post Longer Content
One way Google determines the placement of your page on their search engine is the length of the post. Very short posts are not featured as prominently as longer posts. Keep in mind, this does not mean to write longer sentences or to fill the article with “filler.” You still need to stick to the principle of simplicity. But aim to write at least 500 words (if not 700-800) per article.
All of these tips are great in theory, but they can be tricky to put into practice. The following tools will help you be successful as you adopt your new web content habits.
Since the most important principle of writing engaging content, you need a tool that will help you keep track of ideas and organize your thoughts into potential articles. Enter Evernote. Evernote is like a home office in your pocket. The app works on your phone, computer, or tablet and lets you take notes, save stories and websites, create lists, and manage your editorial calendar from one place.
This website will help you come up with fantastic content ideas. You need only type in your basic topic (whatever your product or service is), and the site will generate a list of useful headline ideas. For example, if you were to type in “Blogging,” Contentideator would generate “Newbies, I Plead With You to Not Pay for Any Programs That Guarantee You Success in Blogging!” and “If You Feel Locked Out of Social Media, Blogging Is the Key”, among other topic ideas.
3. Ninja Essays
Ninja Essays is a writing service that employs skilled writers with advanced degrees and a wide breadth of experience. If you’d prefer to let a professional write your web copy or blog articles, you can hire Ninja Essays to produce high-quality articles based on your requirements. This can save you a lot of time in the writing process.
Once you have a few headline ideas, it’s important to make sure people will respond well to them and actually click on the link. To do this, you need to verify that your headline contains powerful and emotional words. CoSchedule will assign your headline a score between 1-100 based on the language. Choose the option with the highest score.
Since simple writing is essential when creating an engaging and SEO friendly article, try to mimic Hemingway. He was known for using simple language and brief sentences throughout his novels. Hemingway Editor scans your article for any sentences that are difficult or “very difficult” to read. You can then replace them until the website accepts them. It will also point out sentences containing passive voice or too many adverbs.
ThingLink lets you turn your images into clickable links. This helps increase the shareability of your posts, while also making them visually appealing. Let’s pretend you write a travel blog. Your home page could feature a map of the world with links to each of your blog posts incorporated into the map.
It’s essential that your web content is original. If you have a website for a restaurant, you don’t want your web copy to say, “home cooked”, “delicious,” or “family style,” because these things are said on every restaurant website on the planet (ok, maybe not every website, but still). PlagTracker will detect sentences with high instances of repetition online, and replace them with unique content.
ShareThis lets you easily add social media “share” buttons to your page. It also lets you create a pop-up screen to capture visitor information or sign them up for your email marketing list.
Creating engaging content and increasing the traffic to your website are not easy tasks. But they don’t have to be impossible. It’s just a matter of learning the right skills and taking advantage of the tools that can help you find success. These core principles of writing web content will help you build your audience and improve your SEO and online image. This will translate to a lower bounce rate, more conversions, and ultimately more sales.