How many times do you hear people talking about content these days? If you’re a search marketing specialist like ourselves, it’s something we talk and discuss on a daily (almost hourly!) basis. Our clients know content is important but good content takes time and effort to produce. It’s a harsh, unforgiving world of competing content out there and getting those all important likes, +1s, re-tweets or shares can be a tough old job.
But there are some tricks to help you. Here’s our top 10:
- Write about what you know.
I‘m responsible for content creation here at Innovation Visual, so guess what my boss asked me to write about? Writing about what you know and feel confident about is a much easier task than struggling with something you’re not. If there’s something I don’t know but need to know, such as how much annual nappy waste is in landfill or how diamonds are used in concrete cutting, I find out first - which brings me to my second point…
- Good content is all in the preparation
If you’ve ever watched a professional decorator in action, you’ll see why they spend so much time smoothing, filling and sanding the surfaces before they even think about opening the paint tin. All that preparation gives a much better finish than jumping straight to slapping the paint on. The same applies to content. You need to prepare for what you’re going to write about, your chosen style and where you’ll find the information to help you. The same applies for visual content, like videos. What story is it going to tell? What message, stats, facts or data does it need to draw on?
- Slip on your audience’s shoes
Ask yourself who will read or see your content. Then ask yourself why they’d want to want to. Lead with the issues, concerns or interests that they have and keep them in mind right to the final sentence. Check your tone of voice, too. Does it need to be formal, opinionated or warm and chatty?
- Find out how people find out about stuff
Your mission is to write content that adds value to your audience – but you also need your content to be found. It also pays to know how your audience searches for the products and services that your business offers. This is where a specialist SEO company can help you. They can access powerful analytics that show you target terms and search phrases that you can weave into your copy – and greatly increase the chances of your content getting picked up by search engines.
- Don’t stuff your content with search terms
If you decide to include key search terms into your copy, make sure it still reads naturally and flows in such a way that people continue to read it. Stuffing copy full of search terms is a big no-no. People don’t enjoy reading it, it can sound mechanical – and, more importantly, it can affect your quality score with search engines.
- Work on your headlines and titles
It’s your first chance to get someone’s attention, so getting it right is important. You can lead with a question, quote, ‘how to’ or news. Be careful with humour: not everyone shares yours!
- Give up if you have to
Nothing is more soul destroying than plugging away at an article or blog that just won’t flow. Do something else and come back to it. Creativity tends to strike when we’re at our most relaxed so don’t be surprised if a brilliant idea for a blog pops into your head when if you’re in the shower or something. Jot it down or memo it and use it for future inspiration!
- Think before you type
A careless comment or sarcastic response can trip you up badly and undo hours, weeks or even years of hard graft. Whilst there are still some people out there who subscribe to all publicity is good publicity, just ask yourself if there is more sensitive, less negative or aggressive way to make your point. Strong opinions are good, but air with caution and be prepared to deal with feedback.
- Always use images if you can.
Visuals, such as photographs, images, illustrations or infographics all help break up t reams of writing and are a great way to draw attention to your content. Use the best quality images you have access to and try and use ones that are unique or unusual if you can.
- Use spell-check
I know we all make typos, but aren’t they annoying? Spot them before someone else does (it undermines your great content!) and use spell-check. Better still, ask someone who hasn’t been embroiled in the content for the last three hours to have a read through. Spell check isn’t fail proof and it’s amazing what you can still miss.
Above all remember the key to great content is about writing the right content, in the right way, for the right audience. Get that right and you’re on to a winner! If you need help writing fresh appealing content for your website remember it is something that we can offer as part of our online marketing services packages that are customised to each client’s needs.