We all know we need to develop quality, creative content. It creates traffic, conversions and ultimately, sales. However, knowing content is necessary and understanding the type of content that drives results are very different. As the owner of an SEO company, I get that results-driven content creation isn’t always instinctive. By integrating a few basic features, you can produce the kind of content that will help your business grow and thrive.
1. Strong, Compelling Headlines
The adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” rings true with content as much as it does with face-to-face meetings. What is your first impression? Your headline, of course. This is your one and only chance to let your audience know what you have to say and why they need to listen.
A few simple principles will help you create attention-grabbing headlines. First, keep it short and sweet. Today’s attention span is even shorter than it was when that adage was first coined. Second, make it catchy with power words that invoke the reader’s curiosity. This can be formatted in many ways, some examples include:
- Posing a question remains one of the best ways to engage a reader
- Adding benefits to your headlines – make an emotional appeal
- Eliciting feelings that help prompt decisions
- Quotes from a speech or interview that provides a great introduction to good content
Finally, avoid sensationalism at all costs – the age of yellow journalism is over, and readers are looking for authentic, honest content stuffed with usable information.
2. Readable, Shareable Content
Quality content is easy to read. It is straightforward, interesting and even humorous when appropriate. Your reader should get to the end of your article without putting forth an exorbitant amount of effort to understand what is written. The best content has a personality that allows the reader to engage directly – as if they were enjoying a conversation in a local coffee shop with an expert on a topic.
Readable content performs well. Even better – readable content is more likely to get shared. Shared content expands its reach, gets seen and earns results.
3. Unique, Useful Information
The digital age has brought a myriad of information to our fingertips. Some content is helpful – other content, not so much. If you want to stand out from all the online noise, you need to provide information that is both unique and useful. Hook readers in the first paragraph by stating what your content is about and why they should care. This is no time for fluff, so keep your content relevant, interesting and valuable.
One of the best ways to help your content stand out from the crowd is to become a master storyteller. Gone are the days where an audience just wants to absorb facts. Today, the reader is looking for a way to engage with everything they read. Open with a problem your reader can relate to and then lay out your solution. This formula for creative content is simple but highly effective.
4. Visually Appealing Imagery
No matter how good your content might be, if your audience sees nothing more than words on a page, it is unlikely to get read. In a world where GIFs and infographics rein, content’s kingdom has expanded considerably. Stop thinking of content as just text and expand your horizons to visuals designed to get and keep attention.
Visuals are a proven way to improve the performance of your content. When images are inserted about every 75-100 words, content is twice as likely to get shared. Videos are another valuable resource, increasing organic traffic, shares and time spent on a website.
5. Targeted to the Right Audience
Good content won’t get you results until it gets to the right audience. Think about what the purpose of your searches should be:
- Navigational: Searchers are on the hunt for a specific site to get information about the company. This is a website a user and wants to visit directly.
- Informational: Searchers are looking for websites that offer specific information around a certain subject matter. For example, step-by-step instructions to complete a task or basic facts about a medical condition.
- Transactional: Searchers want to perform some type of function, such as to receive rates or purchase an item.
Knowing the intent of your audience will help you pinpoint your content to your precise target. Not only will you attract those that are interested in your business, but you will also find the audience most likely to take the appropriate action.
Great content development does more than showcase your business – it gets results. Whether you are crafting blogs, e-commerce or social media posts, when your content drives traffic and increases your conversions, it is worth every word.