Web content is big business – not only is it the lifeblood of a website, it’s what keeps a blog ticking over and what ultimately drives visitors to become regular readers, but it’s essential to bothgetting seen and getting seen regularly. This is why good content – killer content – is so crucial to the performance of your website. While you may offer competitive rates or unique products, these are ultimately the bare bones to surviving in the wild of the internet – good content is the meat of the matter, for it entices readers as much as it entices Google’s search algorithms. Therefore, if you’ve been placing more emphasis on the products or services you sell with the quality of your content being a mere afterthought, now is definitely the time to start rewiring how you think about the way your web content looks and performs. There are a number of ways in which you can make fledgling content killer content – all it takes is a little training.
This one is a no-brainer – it’s the first thing anyone reads when they come across an article online, and writing good headlines has worked wonders for print media the world over. In your headline, you sell your article, your blog, or your business. This is a limited chance to really hook in the people that you want to convert to a regular reader or customer, and you need to do so by thinking outside of the box a little. What sort of articles would you feel captivated to read while browsing? What types of words could steal your attention regardless of what you might be doing?
Titles or headlines that challenge our perceptions, or leave questions unanswered, are particularly effective. ‘Eight things you never knew about polar bears’ is infinitely more interesting than ‘Polar bear facts’. ‘Five reasons you could be losing money’ will pull in more readers than ‘How to save cash’.
It’s all about challenging the reader – you need to excite them, to make them want to read on – and it’s a great idea to spend some time on getting the best headline you can.
This goes without saying if you know a thing or two about SEO, but Google will be unforgiving if your content is either cribbed from elsewhere, or if it is far too similar to alternative content available elsewhere. The facts stand : changes to Google’s ranking algorithm ensured that genuine content, i.e. that which is organic and written for purpose, as opposed to raked from other websites to climb page rankings, were given higher positions on the golden search results ladder. This means that copying anything is a no-no – even if you’re not doing it for SEO reasons – as Google will sniff out a duplicate and drop it like a stone.
In addition to this, think of fresh, new angles. New concepts, new ideas. List articles may be perennially popular, but just about every list must have been written by now – what can you bring to the table that’s alternative, genuinely refreshing and that stands out amongst a sea of familiar websites and content farm articles? It’s worth planning in advance as much as possible if you want to be ahead of the curve!
Again, this may go without saying – but anyone using Google will be looking for an answer to a question, even if they have merely entered a few stray keywords into a phrase – and if your site is lucky enough to sail to the top of Google’s hallowed hall of fame, you had better be sure that you not only answer the questions you intend to, but that you do so with authority and with any sources cited.
A poorly-cited or researched blog or website shines through, particularly if you’re at the front of the public eye at the top of Google’s rankings – meaning that once you’re there, you have a reputation to uphold. Be useful – provide thought-provoking ideas, twists on a theme, angles that have yet to be looked at – if you’re selling a product, explain why your products answer a buying need. Be accurate by citing your sources, ‘showing your homework’, and establishing that you ultimately know what you’re talking about. Your readers will thank you for it.
Nobody likes a neutral piece. It’s true! We love to read opinions and thought-provoking articles as they inspire us to join in on a debate or spread the word. With social media still very much a viable opportunity to create business and readership, it’s essential that you give your visitors the option to connect with you via Facebook or Twitter, or at least share any articles or product lines in question via these channels easily. Invite your readers and potential buyers to comment, or offer feedback. If there’s anything everybody likes doing, it’s giving an opinion.
People also love a good story. One that they can relate to, one that humbles the writer – give your pieces personality, make yourself approachable. This goes with sales content, too, to an extent – people adore grassroots content, whether it be in the form of an article or a product line – meaning it will certainly do you no harm to bare your soul to the public – to an extent, of course!
Not everyone is particularly struck on reading, and not everyone can be sold to or approached in such a way – meaning that it’s all the more beneficial to make use of images and videos wherever possible. After all, everyone’s different – while you may well entice hundreds to your page through virtue of text alone, you may find that your target audience will be more willing to come to you with a few alternative sources of content available on your website. This being said, it’s also worth bearing in mind that a few pictures or videos helps break up text – letting the reader breathe.
However, do be choosy about the pictures and videos you do insert – as cheesy or inappropriate stock photography or footage will likely not go down too well. Go for a unique idea, and sell it with unique inserts. This way, people are much more likely to remember you – and on top of that, they are far more likely to return to you, too!
That is to say, make sure that what you’re saying is much more in the way of substance as opposed to fluff. Readers won’t care how long your article is, certainly not in terms of word count – but an overly long or stretched-out piece can feel both unnatural and difficult to read, meaning that you could easily be turning away a lucrative audience from your website – the casual audience – the readers who don’t have time to sift through reams of text to get to your point.
If you have many points to make, or if you simply like to write and discuss at length, this is all well and good – but you need to make matters as concise as possible. Make a lengthy discussion into a list if possible – lists have proven to be extremely popular in terms of quick, easy and curious reads – or, alternatively, water down what you want to say into fewer sentences or fewer headings.
Try and pinpoint the heart of the matter and isolate it, making it clear to your audience so that they are neither dissatisfied, nor wish to move on to read something else entirely. It’s all about delivering the goods once you’re past that headline!
This one is, again, fairly simple, but it is surprising how many people start a website or blog and fail to maintain it. A website or blog that hasn’t seen updates since 2014 is not going to warrant new interest unless you have a sea of interesting and engaging content going back years – and while this has worked retroactively for a number of high-profile blogs and interest websites, it really isn’t something that can be banked upon.
Set yourself a schedule. Write down ideas regularly, and make sure that you have a coherent and unique slant on the topic or issue that you wish to talk about. If you are selling products, make sure you know your range inside out, and that you are able to talk about your line with confidence and with concise but snappy detail. From here, aim to release new web content several times a month where possible – doing so will give you another shot at Google’s page ranking each time, and will also engage new potential visitors, readers or customers. Platforms such as WordPress even offer delayed blogging, allowing you to write your content in advance and schedule it to be released – therefore, if you can get a stack of ideas written in the short term, you can delay it for release later in the month or even year!
The bones of the matter are that you need to keep your site fresh and alive – otherwise, interest will die much the same as your online presence.
It goes without saying, but content for the web should never be taken lightly. While there are a million different specific audiences looking for certain products, articles, opinions and more besides – you need to stay ahead of your game on nothing less than a constant basis. Check your content is fresh, optimised and relevant. Make sure that your argument is clear, and that you have covered the topic as far as you would like to.
Use spellcheck and look out for grammar pitfalls. Ensure that you leave plenty of opportunity for your readers to connect with you, either via comments or via social media. Be honest, be straightforward, and relate your subject or product to everyday life – offer advice, but don’t force it. Tell stories, entice people to your way of thinking. Build a unique personality or viewpoint through your blog that people can latch onto and revisit regularly.
To make your content sell, you need to be optimised for both Google’s algorithm and for people’s interests. Bad content is bland, cribbed, unoriginal and badly-worded. It’s badly-edited and poorly thought-through. It’s rarely uploaded and left to linger, clearly in the hopes that Google will retroactively give them a pedestal at the top of the search listings.
A good, healthy website with killer content is one that challenges, that entertains, that brings something new to the table. One that is updated regularly, connects with its readers, and offers curious opinions and slants on matters that have never been seen before. Killer content is, ultimately, content that you’d want to read.
There are no hard nor fast ways to making the subject you are writing about appealing to everyone – but there are ways that you can get ahead of the curve and blaze a trail. By making your content the best it can be in line with optimising your website or blog for SEO, you can ensure that visitors are converted into readers and customers in no time at all. It’s all about hooking in the reader, and then converting that hook into the promise of great web content. It’ll look fantastic on you, and it’ll certainly impact well on your brand.
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