You’ve been writing your best blog ever, but you don’t seem to be generating many followers. Your website is packed with information, but you aren’t getting many new customers. Your social shares are not going up anytime soon and you are not standing out in the sea of content already out there.
So let’s start right off the bat.
Content is everywhere on the web and it is growing by the second. In 2015, for every minute, 1400 blog posts were posted, 72 hours of video was uploaded on YouTube and more than 216,000 new photos shared on Instagram. And these numbers are growing even as you read this post.
This is mind boggling. With those kinds of numbers, marketers, businesses and individuals are struggling to make their content count (60%).
Sujan Patel, co-founder of Content Marketer writes “Marketers still have no idea what kind of content is effective”, with 65% struggling to define good content.
What is Content?
Everything on your webpage is content, including visuals, videos and other components of your website. All your pages including your About page, Landing page, FAQ’s and so on is content. However, the message that you convey through effective content is what makes an impact to your business. Everything else including a great web design will play a supporting role of enhancing the effect of your copy, making it stand out above all that content that is out there.
What is Good Content?
Good content is a competitive advantage that expands and deepens customer relationship explain Ann Handley and C. C. Chapman in their book “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Will Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business."
Creating an awesome piece of work is not enough to get you the results that you’re looking for. Good content addresses a few essential criteria which will help you create content that packs a punch!
1. Effective content addresses your buyers.
Even though your website is packed, full of information about you and what you do, it does not mean that it is resonating with your audience. Effective content is written with your target audience in mind. So the most important question you should ask yourself is “Who are you trying to reach?”
Your content must speak to your buyer personas and give value to them.
2. Good Content is Educational.
Let’s face it – Your audience is more interested in themselves than they are in you. They don’t just want to know what you can do for them. But rather they want to know how they can be better at stuff. They want to be educated on how to solve their problems. You can create value by being a reliable source of valid information that helps your prospects and customers.
Good content will resonate with your audience when you address their pain points. Content becomes effective when it is useful to your customers. Educating and informing them should be your priority. In a nut shell -- good content will answer your customer’s questions and queries by providing actionable steps for your audience to follow so that they can achieve their goals.
3. Content is scan-able.
This is a big one. Very few people read every word that you write online.
Only 16% of the population reads word-for word.
The majority of them will scan through content to absorb the most relevant information.
So what makes web content scan-able?
4. Great content targets one topic at a time.
Online readers have a very short attention span. If you want them to stay focused, then tackle one topic at a time.
Best practices to stay focused
It is always important to keep your audience's end goal in mind when writing content.
5. It includes relevant keywords.
Keywords are the back-bone of organic search. Your audience will search for answers on Google and other search engines by using keywords.
Good content is always optimized for search by including relevant long-tail keywords which increases your chances of ranking well organically on search engines. However avoid stuffing your content with keywords as this will have the opposite effect with your rankings.
To get the best results, write naturally and focus on one topic that your reader wants answers to.
6. Power packs with a headline.
Great headlines grab attention and increase your click-through rates. Here are some interesting statistics from Copyblogger:
The whole idea of a great headline is to direct your audience to the rest of the content. So take some time to come up with a powerful headline and keep it under 72 characters if you want your whole headline to be visible in search.
7. Content design provides a positive experience.
After writing your content, its important to stylize your copy by incorporating bold text, bullet points and line breaks.
Make effective use of paragraph subheadings, add relevant and helpful links and align your text and graphics to create a pleasing reading experience.
Incorporate images and info-graphics including video where relevant without going overboard.
8. Includes a Call-To-Action.
One of the most important aspects of great content is a relevant Call-To-Action or CTA. After writing your content it is a shame not to use that opportunity to direct your audience towards an action you would like them to take -- whether it is to sign up for a newsletter, follow you on your social media or comment in the comment box.
So here are the most important aspects of great content that your can incorporate in your ventures. Let me know how this goes? Do you have any other tips you would like to share?