We teased you in our last article with promises of expanding on the three keys to writing great content. We also talked about the value of creating original content, how it can engage visitors with your site and improve your standings in online searches.
Quality, Clarity and Consistency are the three ingredients we’re looking at in greater detail. If you can get these right for your site you can really boost its performance and visitor engagement. Let’s start with Quality.
Quality is what engages your visitors, keeps them coming back and gets them to promote your site for you.
It’s also what can turn them off from your site in an instant. One overlooked typo can undermine all the hard work you’ve put in to the content of an article.
Reread and edit everything. It only takes a few extra minutes. Typos make your site look unprofessional whereas a properly spellchecked, well presented article makes everyone happy.
An image at the top of an article instantly makes that article far more engaging. Make it an interesting picture though and a relevant one too. A picture of a dinosaur on a skateboard for an article about financial planning might be hilarious but it’s also likely to confuse the reader.
The Internet is fast. And that’s how we like it. People aren’t going to spend forever trying to figure out what your site is about. In fact they won’t spend more than 10 to 15 seconds! Make sure it is clear at a glance what your content is about and why it’s worth a little more of their fleeting attention.
Most internet surfers have also developed an innate Ad filter. If your content looks like an ad a lot of people will effectively be blind to it. That’s why the best ads don’t look like ads. The best content definitely shouldn’t either.
As we said before, content isn’t just about the written word. Consider the clarity of your images and videos too.
Make sure images size correctly for different screen sizes. It should be clear what is happening in the picture. A simple, figurative image works best.
This is why everyone loves Infographics. Done well they are the essence of clarity.
Beware the shakycam. If your video gives people a migraine trying watch it they won’t be happy.
Take time to plan your video out in advance. You don’t need to go full Spielberg but spending a few minutes to think about the structure and look of your video will make a big difference.
When Jill sends Jack to check out the awesome content on your site and he arrives to find a site that hasn’t been updated in 3 months he’s not going to be passing on the good word. He might however tell Jill she sent him to an out of date site. Not only have you lost potential visitors you have also lost a pair of potential site advocates.
Keeping a regular stream of content flowing to your site is just as important as producing quality content. One great article isn’t going to sustain a high traffic flow to your site. A continuous feed of engaging content will.
Maintaining a consistent flow of engaging content means managing the content you have. Don’t forget how valuable a resource content is. Be economical and efficient in how you use it.
Just like you would with money, find out how much content you can realistically make in a month and then spend that content evenly across the month.
Platforms like Hootsuite can really make managing and rationing your content a lot easier.
Quantity (The Secret Fourth Key)
You made it this far. Well done! You truly are dedicated to producing quality content. As a reward you can have this secret fourth key to developing great content.
Well, it’s not really a secret and it’s pretty intuitive when you think about it but it underpins the previous three points so it’s worth considering.
As I mentioned above you need to be economical with your content. This also applies to engagement. Visitors are more likely to engage with a shorter post.
Getting the number right depends on the type of content. A more specialised post can afford to be a bit longer if it really offers the reader valuable information. Something lighter on substance should be lighter on word count too.
Keeping it short allows you to keep quality high, keeps things clear and allows you to be more consistent. That 2000 word essay could potentially be turned into 15 different 300 word blog posts.
Things to Keep in Mind
While you are focusing on quality, clarity, consistency and of course quantity, try to keep these general points in mind:
- Does the content give the reader value?
- Is it relevant to the context and the reader?
- Is it in the right place? Are your blogs on your blog and your tweets on twitter?
How have your content experiences been so far?
Have you tried implementing these content development tips?
How did they work out?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.