When it comes to content, there is certainly no shortage out there, and on any topic you can imagine. But sometimes it feels like there is just too much to wade through to find what you are actively looking for – the good stuff. This is why it is so important to create great content for your readers so they can locate it with ease when searching the internet. So, here are 4 things that all great content has in common.
- Easy to find
If no one can find your content, no one can benefit from it. There are two areas you need to consider when thinking about making your content searchable:
First, your audience has to be able to perform a search engine query and find your content, or else all of the work you have put into creating it will go to waste. The ultimate goal is to get your content to appear in organic search results, and the higher up the better. This takes a lot of time and effort on the part of the content creation and SEO teams. Extensive research, trial and error and consistency are required to get solid results here.
And second, your content must also be easy to search once your readers get to your web site. Integrate a search function on your homepage, or ensure you have clearly marked pages to redirect your audience to the content they are looking for.
On search engines
This is an extensive topic but we can give it a brief overview.
Before you set out to create your content, you will want to do keyword research so that you can optimise your content to appear in the searches that people are actually inputting. There is an array of tools available to help you narrow down the keywords that will work for your business – we have included a resource here that gives an overview of ten free options.
One thing to note when choosing keywords: do not always go for the keyword with the highest volume – some keywords are just too competitive and not worth fighting for. You are not going to rank for ‘mobile wholesaler’ unless you are, in fact, a mobile wholesaler.
Once you have chosen your keywords, it is time to incorporate them into your copy. Optimising your content does not mean putting as many keywords into it as possible, this can actually hurt your SEO because search engines consider this ‘keyword stuffing’. It makes your content less readable and decreases its value. You should use your keywords in your title and throughout your content when it feels natural. Your keywords should appear in the URL of your post, in the metadata and in your images alt text.
On your website
In order to help your readers find what they are looking for, add a search function to your site. A lot of emphasis is placed on the external search but it is important not to overlook the internal search capabilities within your website – up to 30% of online website visitors use a site search box when it is offered.
Your readers may have reached your site when searching for one topic, but then realise that they are interested in a related topic. Once they are on your site, keep them there. By adding a search option, your audience can easily navigate your content to find anything they are looking for.
- Easy to share
Great content is sharable. For people to share your content they have to find great value in it. Think about what makes you want to share something you find online? Most likely, you found it insightful, easy-to-read and helpful. If people get value out of the content you produce, they will want to share it to help others.
When developing your content, give your title some thought – is it catchy? Does it explain what the article contains in a simple way? Consider the visuals. When people share content online, the first thing that pops up on social media is the image that you have associated with it. Make sure it’s eye catching – we will cover this in more depth in a minute.
It’s not just potential readers you need to think about here, but also your own internal teams – the more people sharing, the more people will have eyes on your content. Remember: attention spans are short and your readers are busy, they need to be able to share with a simple click of a button, so they can easily post to the social platform of their choice. These are usually offered by the platform on which your site is built, if they are not appearing, speak with your web site developer so they can add them.
- Easy to read and understand
The formatting of your content matters. Have you ever clicked through a link that seemed promising only to find a wall of copy with no headings, paragraphs, bullet points or bold text? It can be an instant repellent. Great content is easy to read and easy to scan – perhaps you are reading this article because you were wondering how to improve your content? You have a good handle on SEO so your content is searchable – no need to read that bit. It is easy to scroll down to a heading that is new to you to explore further. If the text was all in one chunk, it is likely that you would go back to your search to look for another article that is better structured.
A few tips: make sure your title explains exactly what your content will elaborate on. Use bold headings to mark each of your points. If a section is getting too long, or you are listing something, use bullet points. When quoting, be sure to indent and use quotation marks. All of these little tricks help your reader follow along more effectively.
- Easy on the eyes
Great content includes visuals. People are very visual, including photos in your articles is necessary to grab the attention of your reader and to encourage them to share your content. In addition to photos; infographics, charts, illustrations, and videos are great ways to increase your reader pool. Here are three quick statistics that drive the point home.
- According to Hubspot, “blog articles that included infographics generated an average of 178% more inbound links and 72% more views than all other posts.”
- Posts that include images receive 650% higher engagement than text-only posts. (Webdam)
- Buffer states that Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images.
If you are looking to move your content into the ‘great’ category, you can incorporate the above into your writing moving forward. Don’t forget, you can always go back and refresh content you have already posted using these tips.
If you would like to discuss this in further detail, we would love to open up a conversation with you, email us at [email protected].