To be, or not to be.” Centuries after it was first penned by William Shakespeare, Hamlet’s most famous speech continues to resonate with audiences. Most website content won’t enjoy that kind of staying power, but you can create great content that reaches your audience and enjoys good search engine rankings by using these nine strategies to ensure that your content will be awesome.
1. Be Original
When it comes to content, familiarity breeds contempt and not the conversions that are your ultimate goal. Original content is king, so break the mold and fill your website with quality content that is unique. Make sure that you have something to say and that you’re saying it in a fresh, effective way, and both Google and your readers will reward you.
2. Be Accurate
Trust matters. Your website is a reflection of your business, and if the content it provides isn’t trustworthy, your audience is likely to question your company’s reliability and integrity. Flair is fun, but the facts conveyed by the content you present must be accurate and drawn from dependable sources so that your expertise in your field is clear. Content that is well-written and error-free also helps to establish your authority.
3. Be Useful
How can you keep readers coming back for more? Provide content that is useful to your target audience. Whether your aim is to inspire, inform or both, offer content that is likely to come in handy for your readers. Include both the facts they need to understand your point and some valuable tips or clever examples that demonstrate how they can apply what you’re talking about in their own personal or professional lives. Be sure to encourage them to give your idea, product or service a try by sharing the potential benefits that applying your content can bring.
4. Be Ready With Answers
What are people searching the web for? Can I provide it? That’s what savvy website owners ask themselves when mapping out their content creation strategy. After all, people type a query into a search engine because they are looking for answers to a question or solutions to a dilemma. If the content on your site can provide the information that they need quickly and easily, they’re likely to share it with others and return to your website the next time they are in need of answers.
5. Be Smart About Headlines
Roughly four-fifths of people will glance at your headlines, but just one-fifth of those people will actually go on to read the content, according to Copyblogger. Headlines that connect are crucial! In fact, your headlines are as important as the article. Try to create something that captures attention, triggers curiosity, plays on our need to know or manages to do all of the above in a few carefully chosen words.
6. Be Prepared to Show and Tell
A solid wall of text is intimating, so don’t simply tell visitors to your website. Use graphics to show them. Pictures, videos and infographics all bring added value to your content. However, be choosy. Don’t simply slap up the first stock photo you find. Select visual aids that are relevant to your message.
7. Be Concise
With the proper punctuation, a carefully constructed sentence that’s full of elegant phrasing and colorful ideas can stretch to great lengths and still be grammatically correct. That doesn’t mean it should. Short, sweet and to the point is generally best for web content. Instead of aiming for a uniform length for your content, let your content dictate the length of your posts. The right number of words is the number required to get your message across clearly and effectively.
8. Be Engaging
Get your audience involved with engaging content. Spark your readers’ interest with content that gets a reaction. Raise questions, encourage comments and tell stories to draw people in and make that vital connection with your audience. Engaging contents will bring visitors back to your site to see what else you’ve shared. In addition, articles that draw lots of comments are likely to catch the eye of Google, leading to a potential boost in rankings.
9. Be Fresh
You’ve created a fantastic website that is overflowing with top-notch content. That’s awesome, but you’re just getting started. If you want to win favor with visitors and search engines, you’ve got to keep that excellent content coming. Regular updates of fresh, new content are a necessity.
Writing great content isn’t easy, but implementing these nine strategies is a strong start. It may take time and effort, but it’s well worth it if it draws in the traffic you need to help your website and your company flourish.