How To Create Attractive Content for Your Website?
Building a web presence that constantly receives interest and attention isn’t always an easy task. The Internet is a noisy place with billions of users who are constantly active and seek to broadcast their own messages. Internet users are constantly bombarded with information and are exposed to many distractions.
In the online terminology, the word “content” means a piece of information that can be viewed electronically.
In the world of the Internet, everyone is seeking to get the information they want as quickly as possible and they’re not shy to move on within a second. They’re also not shy to click and read or look at something when it catches their interest. People’s attention span on the Internet is very short lived. We can only exploit that small window to have them look at our content and explore deeper into our website. Content that makes that happen has to be good, it has to be challenging, interesting and rewarding.
For this, it’s important to take the most sensible approach. If you think about the books you’ve read, the movies you watched and songs or speeches you’ve heard you always remember them for their most outstanding parts and their most appealing phrases.
If we apply this to our content, we’ll have to make it provocative and edgy in order catch their eyes. We cannot expect users to spend more than a few seconds in trying to overcome the dull opening of an article with the hope of finding something good down the road. Yet you can still create interesting and engaging content even for the most boring of industries.
Content is king and good content is even higher up the hierarchy. Creating better content is the first step towards improving our marketing. Today, it is essential for a business to have an effective content campaign in order to keep their customers and gather new ones as well.
You’ll see some drastic changes in your results once you have more attractive content.
Knowing Who You’re Creating Content For
You have to have a well-rounded image of your target audience in order to engage them and make useful content for them. Who are your ideal readers/customers? How educated are they? How much do they make a year? What do they want and need? Establish a person or a group of people who you think will find your content interesting and worthwhile.
As soon as you create and understand your buyer persona, you can weave it into your content creation and make content that’s more effective for him or her.
You can visit Alexa.com and type in a website’s URL whose audience you’re interested in. There you’ll see the website’s statistics, the level of its users’ education, their gender, their browsing location and so on.
Invest In Yourself
You’re trying to get some useful information out there and that works best if someone knowledgeable and intelligent does it. To make your content as colorful and as engaging as possible, it’s best if you reach out to as many sources as you can.
Sit down with your trusted friends or advisors and flex your creative muscles together. It will help you get hold of ideas that you wouldn’t have come up with yourself and have others share their perspectives as well.
Read, read a lot
Read books and publications that are relevant to the topics you’re writing about. Summarize your readings, write down important phrases, sentences and tell your users about your conclusions and what you have learned.
Put basic assumptions and misconceptions to the test
There are loads of ideas and assumptions that have been nailed into our heads through media, our upbringing and the people we meet. We tend to make quick assumptions and often find ourselves believing urban legends that are very far from the actual truth.
Write Your Own Story
There is a reason why most of us get hooked on soap operas and drama series. We get attached to a story and want to know what else is waiting down the road. Don’t be shy to share your personal journey and the struggles you had along the way. People easily get invested in personal stories and like to follow them.
Question as many assumptions and preconceived notions as you can. This ensures that your content will be much more interesting and thought provoking.
Ways to Create Better Content
We’re constantly fighting a fight on the Internet against many odds and factors, in order to grab users’ attention. For this battle, we’ll have to create content that is short, straight forward, precise and well presented, and our visitors will appreciate it.
Write Powerful Headlines
A good, provocative headline always sparks interest in your readers. About 80% of people read your headlines and 20% will actually read your content. Create a headline that is nicely provocative and sums up what that individual piece of content is about.
For example: Five Gestures That Make You Look More Intelligent
Or maybe this: The Shocking Way Watching YouTube Videos Affects Our Conversations
Your headline has to reflect that it is:
- Useful – How is this content valuable?
- Urgent – What new experience can this blog post give the user?
- Very Specific – What can he/she expect to learn from this post?
- Unique – Why should he/she read it right away?
Help People Solve a Problem
Customers like things that give them a quick solution to their problem. What other reason would they have for reading your content? They have a problem and you provide the solution. It’s that simple. Make sure that you give them answers that are easy to get to and they don’t have to read through rows of nonsense on the way.
When people want a solution to something, they start typing into a search engine. Ultimately, a search engine’s job is to provide answers to its users. But people don’t just want answers; they want them as fast as possible. So structure your content in a way that it is easy for them to scan.
I say scan instead of reading, because people are not reading content linearly, they scan it in an F-Pattern. If you present your content in such a way, they’ll surely notice the most important parts and you’ll be able to provide value to them after they’ve spent only a minute on your page. Use quotes, different fonts, captions, images, headings, subheadings and outline important information.
Also, if you’re creating educational content, make sure you have the right people seeing it. Just about any content can be attractive to the right individuals.
You should always seek to provide something useful to your audience and become a valuable source of information for them.
Use Good Visuals
Now, this might sound like an obvious proposition, but hear me out. Adding images and video helps you communicate a lot better and it is also easier for your reader to consume. Use images, diagrams, videos to illustrate what you want to say. These will also add a lot more value to your post.
It doesn’t matter how compelling your headline is if the thumbnail image of your story doesn’t match up. The thumbnail you choose should be predictable and high quality, to let the user know what kind of ride he/she is in for. Always pay close attention to visuals in your content, especially when it comes to branding those visuals.
If you’re using video, make sure it is at least 720p and that you make it as short as you can. You can’t hold the user’s attention for longer than 5 minutes, unless he’s really devoted. Remember, the quality of your images and videos is important from a SEO standpoint as well.
You know, a picture can say a thousand words and will always give a stronger impression at first.
Put Up a Good Conversation
Nor you nor anyone else would be interested in reading a post that is filled with terminology they can barely understand. No one wants to know about how smart you are and how much you know about your field.
Make your content look like it was created by a human, not some overly knowledgeable robot. Write it in your own language; speak in a way that anyone would understand. Very few people will understand the industry-specific terminology you would use, so be sure to talk in a natural language. Create content that looks like a human wrote it!
Have a Sense of Humor
Now, let’s make sure that we focus on the word “sense” there. It’s good to make jokes and make as many as you see fit because we all love a good laugh along the way, but consider some cultural differences as well. Be sure not to use any offensive humor, even if you find it funny. It might confuse some people, make them laugh or end up offending them.
Using a bit of sarcasm with a comic flair is something that will make your visitors enjoy your content a whole lot more. Making fun of awkward situations or your boss is sure to get your content some plus points for humor.
Your witty content is sure to attract a lot more visitors than most of your competition.
Make It Surprising
There is a strong connection between viral content and emotion. Content that we find most engaging sparks feelings of joy, fear, anger, sadness, surprise, disgust, wonder or empathy.
You probably don’t want to make your much beloved users angry or disgusted, but you do want to provoke an intense emotional reaction. Once they engaged with your content, they’ll want to share it with the first person that comes to their mind to ignite the same emotion in them.
As I mentioned earlier provoking an emotion out of your audience with your posts title and thumbnail might just make them click it.
Go With The Flow
Some of the richest people on the planet have one skill in common, the ability to adapt to trends. Catching onto a trend during its first few waves will take you to good places.
Take a look at what has been working best for your site up until now and the kind of trends that others have set as well.
Every time you publish a post, you’re adding a new page to your site that will be indexed in search engines. Just read through Google’s starter guide to learn how to make your content more search engine friendly.
Including a throughout keyword research and paying attention to SEO creates self-marketing content that Google will market for you for free. Having a combining content that provides for people’s needs and good search engine optimization will ensure a steady flow of traffic. It will attract new traffic as well, only because you had that single piece of content optimized a few months or even years ago.
Make It Easy To Find
Good quality and relevant content is easy to find. You should make your content easy to find inside and outside of your site. So users should be able to intuitively navigate towards it within your website’s interface and should be able to find it through Google search. The best ways to ensure that it’s easy to find is to implement a highly relevant keyword. Even the most well written content is worthless if no one knows where to find it.
Paying proper attention to SEO is an integral part of high quality and accessible content, but there are other ways to ensure that users find your content as well.
Have a transparent structure for the information on your website. Create a sitemap that people can use to overview what you have to offer. Include a sidebar for navigation and for your most popular content. This way, you can serve users’ interests fairly quickly and you can ensure that a piece content that got popular, stays popular.
When you have new content, promote it on your website’s home page and on your social media channels. If you have an email list, send it to them as well. Make sure that the people who are interested in your content will get their hands on it when it’s available.
Have a search bar. This makes it easy for users to get their hands on content that appeals to their interest and look through what you’ve posted in the past.
Make It Sharable
If you hear a good joke or come across something good, naturally you want to share it with others. It’s the same with good content. If people come across something they enjoy, they’ll want to sing songs about it or at least post it with their social media account. Especially if that piece of content says something about them.
To make this happen, they have to make it easy for them to share and make sure that they would be proud to do so.
Writing good web content isn’t exactly the same as writing on paper. Although the goal is to provide something that attracts the users’ attention, that attention is short lived. Catching attention and holding it is the constant battle of content creation and you only have a few weapons at your disposal.
High quality content that provides value and is optimized for SERP’s will always manage to get the attention it deserves.