Back in December we posted a blog called 8 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Content. You read it, you’re following it, and now you are turning out a lot of content; maybe you are turning out one, two, three, or even more pieces of content a day, but is the content you are turning out holding that value? SEO is so often about quantity: quantity of links, quantity of keywords, quantity of solid metadata, that it is easy to forget that quality of content is equally as important. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to get people to read your content, so it is important not to completely sacrifice readability for the sake of better SEO ranking.
As you continue to grow your presence online we’d like to provide some additional tips to continue to improve the value of your content that will help you rise above the mucky-muck.
1. Create truly original content and summarize your points at the top
Everyone gets bored. What is more boring than rehashing the same drawn out ideas time after time? Making your reader read the whole article before they realize you have brought absolutely nothing new to the table.
That is why it is important to make sure you are creating interesting, dynamic and 100% original content. Then, once your content is set, make sure you include a TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) section at the top so your audience can grasp your point at a glance and decide if they want to read further, or just share your article on the spot!
2. Write strong headlines
Let’s face it, you need to write a strong headline, because for a lot of people, that is all they are going to read. How many times are you scrolling Facebook, stumble across an article and share it just based on the headline? Be honest.
By that logic, the headline is equally if not more important than the actual body of the content. You want you headline to be attention grabbing, but not too cliche. Avoid titles that may be misconstrued as click bait. Writing the perfect headline is finding the sweet spot between “A comprehensive listing of every botanical advancement of the last 100 years” and “10 Shocking Tips to Make Your Garden Super Amazaballs.”
3. Links and resources from accredited sources
Links are the currency of SEO. The more links you have, the better you are. Quantity is not the only factor. Quality and relevancy of links, paired with the credibility of the source can go a long way into getting better ranking and more shares.
Source your links appropriately to the sections. Remember, you need a good amount of links, but sprinkle them in like salt bae. Bogging down your content with non-stop links may seem like a good idea, but in reality you are just hurting your readability. A good rule of thumb to keep is one or two relevant, accredited links per section.
4. Vary your content, diversify your portfolio
Everyone has a winning formula, and sometimes it can be easy to fall into a routine. However, becoming trapped in one content style can really affect your readership. A list of similarly formatted, or similarly themed content can begin to look monotonous under your reader’s scrolling eyes.
Changing up formats or content styles can be simple and subtle, however. If you use a lot of list posts like this one, then maybe just create a straight article. If you are a word-heavy poster, maybe start to rely on videos or infographics to vary up your content medium. Varying your content can be a way to attract new attention and diversify your readership.
5. Make your content “actionable” and always include a physical Call-to-Action
Your content should beg to be acted upon. The best content gives the user a sense of urgency and eagerness to apply the lessons learned in the content. It doesn’t belittle the users by micro-managing them, but rather provides a respectful critique from an accredited professional.
When you write your blog post, give examples and tips of specific ways that people can include the methods outlined in your content into what the are already doing. Lastly, be sure that if there is anyway to include a call to action — do so. Did you just write content that talks about monitoring SEO via analytics? Then include a big red button that directs a user to the Google analytics dashboard for them to check on right when they finish reading the content.
6. Get social via streams and widgets
Social media is where the people are. It is where they are talking to each other. It is where, as a blogger, you are going to win or lose a lot of battles. So, make your content as shareable as possible and make sharing the article from any social platform as easy as clicking a button.
Additionally, providing a widget that is focused on the post at hand; i.e. a widget that follows relevant comments from your social media platforms to the content so that readers can keep up with the most breaking parts of the conversation. Each piece of content is a conversation, and you want your readership to be able to respond with ease.
7. Moving images are so in
We talked about videos lat time, and basically since the birth of television, video has reigned supreme in keeping people’s attention. I mean, what could be easier than video? No pesky reading, scrolling or interpreting to worry about; just press play and the basics of your content are all laid out and easy to digest. That is why is it important to add aspects of video blogging (or “vlogging”) to supplement your content.
Video doesn’t have to just be informational, either. It can be an eyecatcher. The use of vines or gifs can be just as effective. A classic example of this formatting is Buzzfeed, who uses gifs after almost every section to serve as the punchline to the joke. Video inclusion can serve a multitude of purposes and garner a lot of attention for your content.
Your content is an investment. You just need to decide what kind of investment you are growing for yourself. Is your content investment a savings bond that is raking in the interest to your offshore account? Or is it a pile of scrap metal that is rusting out behind your cousin Jerry’s shed? The choice is yours.